Blended learning is a mixture of online and face-to-face learning. In the literature, blended learning is also known as ‘hybrid learning’ or the ‘flipped classroom’.
The success of blended learning programmes inevitably relies on students’ equitable access to technology. However, few studies have directly addressed whether access to home computers affects the perceived success of blended learning, or whether certain groups of students are disadvantaged. This is most likely because Internet and computer access in educational institutions has rapidly increased, and the vast majority of (if not all) schools and universities in the provide access to computers for students.
Students and teenagers are the most prolific Internet users, the most recent large scale survey of Internet use found that 100% of university students and teenagers aged 14 and over had access to the Internet. Additionally, 92% of students accessed the Internet on multiple devices, such as tablets and mobile phones.
Engaging learners in your online learning program is one of the keys to ensuring they learn effectively and get the most out of what they are doing. One of the most effective ways to make learners more engaged in what they are doing it to make it interactive. With interactive online learning experiences, learners have no option other than to get involved and take an active role in their learning.
Interaction, interactivity, interactive, they are all used to describe websites, buttons, and an entire host of other digital services.
In a traditional classroom setting, interactivity is facilitated by the physical closeness of individuals. You can always intervene by asking questions. Answers benefit the entire group. In class, teachers can easily distinguish motivated learners from those who are not. They are in direct contact with students who are bored, yawn, or are inattentive and can have them participate to better engage them with course material. These opportunities for participation are one of the keys to learning. For both instructors and learners, knowing that they have the possibility to participate is both reassuring and generates engagement, whether it is voluntary (a student asking a question) or forced (instructor warning the class).
In this digital era, the challenge is to successfully recreate this mechanism to involve both learners and instructors. Better yet, online tools allow you to keep track of all exchanges and shared content. Every time something is shared, it enriches and animates the learning community. Everyone learns at their own pace, which generates even more interactivity since it is no longer necessary to ask questions at precisely the right time. You no longer need to worry about students who are too shy to ask questions or voice their opinion during class.