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Using Blended Principles to Bridge the Gap between Online and On-Campus Courses

Using Blended Principles to Bridge the Gap between Online and On-Campus Courses
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Author(s): Panagiota Gounari (University of Massachusetts–Boston, USA) and Apostolos Koutropoulos (University of Massachusetts–Boston, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 13
Source title: Practical Applications and Experiences in K-20 Blended Learning Environments
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lydia Kyei-Blankson (Illinois State University, USA) and Esther Ntuli (Idaho State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4912-5.ch012

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Abstract

Blended learning, and its relative HyFlex (Hybrid Flexible), are garnering up a lot of attention these days from both academics and administrators on college campuses. Organizations like the Sloan Consortium offer training in Blended Course Design; free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) such as BlendKit provide ways for educators to start thinking about and begin implementation of blended course design. Despite the pedagogical benefits, not all institutions are equipped to handle blended courses, instructors are not ready to jump on the blended bandwagon if there is no institutional support, and on-campus students are not very comfortable with it yet. One proposed way to ease the transition into blended learning is to combine two sections of the same course, one running online, and one running on-campus. In this chapter, the authors describe a pedagogical trial in which they adopted this proposal as a way, based on HyFlex principles, to get students thinking about the benefits of blending two sections, thus bringing in some benefits of blended learning, while retaining the “safety net” that some students feel they need when they sign up for on-campus courses.

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