ENGAGING STUDENTS WITH BLENDED LEARNING SO THEY FOLLOW YOU DOWN THE "YELLOW BRICK ROAD" OF COURSE OBJECTIVES
We all want our students to achieve our course objectives. What way is best to do this? It has become clear in recent years that traditional lecturing is not the best way for most of today's college students.
In this paper I look at distance learning methods, and focus specifically on blended learning or what are called hybrid or blended courses. I have 20 years of college teaching experience, and have been involved in teaching distance learning courses since 2002. I have taught both blended courses and courses that are totally on line. Based on my personal experience, and the feedback of my students, I believe that the use of technology to teach is a welcome addition for students to traditional in-classroom face to face teaching. I think we should welcome technology in the class too.
Today's undergraduate students are engaged much more in coursework that has technology supporting the teaching. I believe that it is blended learning or blended courses that are the best way to successfully engage today's college students and achieve course objectives. By blended learning here I mean courses which are a combination of face to face class meetings and on line activities. The on line activities may be synchronous chat or Skype sessions, asynchronous discussions or other communication methods. The learner who is the focus of this paper is the traditional college student who comes into college directly after graduation from high school. Usually, this student is between the ages of 17 to 22, and has not had any significant full-time work or business experience.