Blended Learning: How To Get Your Student Talking
The definition of a Blended classroom differs greatly from college, where Blended refers to some in class time and some computer time, to secondary education where Blended learning means having multiple students taking multiple courses through an LMS with a certified teacher present. A major part of the success in college classes is that students engage in CMC regularly and develop learning through group discussion. In the secondary classroom, the LMS allows for students to post the answers to questions on discussion boards. However, with so many students taking a variety of classes, levels, and working at different rates, posts go unanswered. Student discussion is the crux of student learning in the online LMS. The ability to converse with other students is invaluable. The mandate of “College and Career Readiness” falls short of preparing students for online college courses where the dropout rate is higher than that of the traditional college class, mainly because in secondary Blended rooms, a sense of community among students is never developed.
One creative secondary teacher informed his students that whenever they come to a “Discussion” assignment, instead of posting to the discussion board, they are to email their responses to him. He, in turn, will respond with higher ordered ideals, targeted at making the student contemplate. Often, the teacher and his students become involved in philosophical discussions about the topic. He reported that he has reached a new level of teaching, and affirmed the success of this collaboration. He did mention that he needs to choose his words carefully to keep from influencing student’s personal beliefs. He feels that there is no doubt that this simple solution, to open dialogue with students, has been very successful at preparing students to be College Ready, and to face the realities of college life that are not as important as academic rigor.