Head of Content Development Melanie Blount explains how teachers and learners can get the most from our free online Blended Learning resources:
We originally created our Blended Learning resources to help learners keep up with their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then these interactive online lessons have become a key part of our library of free online resources, popular with both teachers and learners.
How you choose to use our Blended Learning materials will vary depending on your teaching style and the needs of your learners, but we’re confident that you’ll find these interactive online resources valuable.
It’s important to note that these resources are intended to supplement and support classroom teaching rather than replace it – neither teachers nor learners will get the full benefit without taking a hybrid approach.
Here are some approaches for incorporating Blended Learning materials into your teaching:
1. Flipped classroom
This approach reverses the more common approach of learners encountering a topic for the first time in the classroom. Instead, teachers encourage learners to engage with blended learning units before tackling the content in class.
This allows learners to come to class having already gained some understanding of the topic, so that teachers can make more efficient use of face-to-face teaching time – for example by focusing on areas learners found particularly challenging or unclear.
It can be especially helpful when teachers need to efficiently cover all the content from a specification.
2. Station rotation
This approach involves splitting the class into ‘stations’ to focus on different activities, and rotating learners around those groups. This could be used when delivering a new topic/lesson, or after learners have engaged with content at home.
This method can help teachers to deliver content more efficiently, or help them cater to learners with different levels of ability within the same setting.
Lessons would start in the conventional way with direct instruction from the teacher and then the class would rotate around the ‘stations’ for the main part of the lesson.
For example, the class could be split into the following stations:
Blended Learning content group: Learners gain or consolidate knowledge of a topic using the Blended Learning materials, either in digital format or on paper.
Group work: Learners complete written tasks such as past exam questions, or use the time for peer review or problem solving.
Teacher focus: Teachers can work with a small group of learners focusing on developing specific skills, challenging the more able or giving greater support to those in the class that are struggling.
3. Lab rotation
Lab rotation works in the same way as station rotation but is a great alternative if there is a computer lab and extra teaching support available. The advantage of this is that teachers can focus solely on a smaller group as someone else supports the rest of the class.
4. Supplemental learning
This works in the same way as a conventional homework task. It allows students to continue their learning outside of the classroom. Teachers could differentiate the work by allowing some learners the opportunity to consolidate their understanding of the topic taught in class, while more able learners could be encouraged to focus on extension tasks and exam practice.
5. Flex model
The flex model is ideal for revision lessons as it allows the teacher to set individualised tasks for each learner depending on the gaps in their knowledge. It also allows learners to take control of their own learning and select the units they want to work on. The teacher acts as a facilitator in this model.
6. Mastery learning
The mastery learning strategy supports learners in their revision. The blended learning units can be accessed anywhere at any time, as many times as a learner needs until they feel that they have grasped a topic entirely. The knowledge check quizzes ensure that learners actively engage with the content of the lesson and the end of topic exam questions allow them to apply what they have learned.
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