Thursday, October 13, 2016

Blended Boondoggle

Sent to Sky Delta (Delta Airlines Magazine)

I was astonished to read that higher education in the USA paid an estimated $6.6 billion to support blended learning  ("Blended Learning: The Right Mix," Oct, 2016).

That's a lot of money for an approach with little hard research support: Reviews of research that compares of blended learning and face-to-face classes show only a modest advantage for blended learning, with most studies showing no difference. Even this small advantage may be due to the fact that blended learning approaches involve more learning time.

The future of technology in education is bright, but a policy that is more educationally justified as well as more financially prudent is the gradual introduction of technology. We should start with inexpensive and obvious options, initiated by experienced professionals (teachers). The approaches should be confirmed by solid research before they are widely implemented.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, Washington, D.C., 2010.
Davis, M. 2015. Blended Learning Research: The Seven Studies You Need to Know.  Education Week.

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