BLENDED LEARNING: AN EFFICIENT RESPONSE TO SOME OF THE PROBLEMS RAISED BY YOUTHS AT RISK
University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Disruptive students are currently a major problem in many schools all around the world. Their behaviour often spoils classroom climate, making learning difficult for other students. Punitive measures do very little to solve the root of the problem, which, in truth, lies in their resistance to traditional ways of teaching. As a consequence, many disruptive students lag behind in their studies and finally drop out.
In our opinion, blended learning (through an LMS such as Moodle) may be an effective answer to many of the questions raised by disruptive students. LMS tools provide the unique possibility of combining the aims teachers pursue with the motivation students need to work with a sense of fulfilment. We review some of the main advantages of blended learning, which we consider especially useful for the troublesome area of disruptive students, and give an account of a project being carried out at the moment. Although the project is far from being completed, feedback so far is positive: teachers are working with a sense of professional accomplishment and satisfaction, and students who used to be disruptive are happy with a new model of teaching which they find more to their taste. Down-to-earth tasks are designed so that they perceive there is a clear connection between what they do at school and what they need in everyday life, beyond the school walls.
The various learning scenarios using the myriad of activities and resources we have construed and shaped for them in our LMS, Moodle, present an amusing challenge which delves directly into the real competencies children need to acquire to be useful in today’s ever-demanding society.
Class atmosphere has smoothened greatly and new roles have emerged from active class participation. Now the teacher is seen as an instructor who “helps” students to achieve a goal. If it were just for this and for the fact that they are really becoming skilful as far as using computer programs is concerned, it would be worthwhile. But there is much more than this. Both teachers and students feel that they are on a quest which is taking them far beyond their expectancies.