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ERIC Number: ED509636
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education. Promising Practices in Online Learning
Watson, John
North American Council for Online Learning
Most educators, parents, and policymakers think of "online learning" as a subset of distance learning (where the students and teacher are geographically separate), in which content delivery and communication are achieved primarily through the use of computers connected by the Internet. However, online learning can be either distance learning or blended learning, with both supported by a new, robust instructional approach that takes advantage of the best elements of both settings. The advent of learning that combines online and face-to-face delivery is not merely a theory--it is already being developed and implemented by schools throughout the country and the world, and in some cases has been underway for several years. While some schools call this method of teaching "blended," others call it "hybrid," and others don't bother naming it--they're just implementing an approach that they believe is helping their students. This paper discusses definitions of blended learning and explores ways in which blended learning is being developed by numerous schools in an effort to answer these and other questions: (1) How does blended learning fit into current conceptions of online learning?; (2) How does blended learning help engage students and support their academic success?; (3) How are online learning and face-to-face instruction being combined effectively?; (4) Is blended learning meeting unique student needs that neither fully online nor face-to-face models can achieve?; and (5) What digital content and curricula are being used in blended learning? The examples discussed in this paper are not exhaustive. However, they illustrate some of the outstanding uses of blended learning in these early stages of its development and suggest opportunities for expanding its use and effectiveness. (Contains 9 footnotes.)
North American Council for Online Learning. Available from: International Association for K-12 Online Learning. 1934 Old Gallows Road Suite 350, Vienna, VA 22182. Tel: 888-956-2265; Tel: 703-752-6216; Fax: 703-752-6201; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: Parents; Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: North American Council for Online Learning
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Michigan; Nebraska; Nevada; Ohio; Pennsylvania