Monday, May 2, 2016

Blended Learning and Career and Technology Education - Part III: Implications for Career and Technical Education

In this four-part series, I’ll define blended learning, discuss the models of blended learning, the implications for career and technical education, and how the Curriculum, Assessment, and Digital Delivery (CADD) areas of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education can assist in the implementation of blended learning.

Here are several ways that blended learning can have a profound effect upon career and technology education:

Personalized instruction – Blended learning allows for a more personalized and interactive learning experience by putting the student in charge of their own learning.  Taking the best of traditional education and blending it with the power of online learning will provide the teacher an opportunity to review data, in the moment, determine where the student is at and to form instruction for the next period or the next day.

Increased monitoring – The use of a student information, assessment, and gradebook systems that link to the LMS provides instant feedback on assignments and assessments.  This allows the instructor to spend time reviewing student data, adjust instruction, and provide additional classroom or individual instruction. 

Open entry/Open exit – Blended learning fits nicely with competency-based learning and the concept of open entry/open exit.  Personalized instruction and increased monitoring will allow the instructor to more accurately determine when tasks and competencies are achieved.

Increased enrollments – Depending on the blended learning model and the CTE program being offered, enrollments could potentially be increased.

Increased performance gains – “The Rise of K–12 Blended Learning - Profiles of emerging models” by Heather Staker profiles 40 educational entities. Not every school reported gains and some thought it was too early to verify results, but many posted positive gains when compared to the traditional classrooms within the same district.  For example:

“School of One - Students in summer 2009 acquired new math skills at a rate estimated to be
seven times faster than peers. Students in spring 2010 showed gains that, when
annualized, would equate to 1/2 to 2/3 of an additional year of gain. Students in
spring 2010 showed significant gains across all academic quartiles.”

Other potential benefits from this study include increased retention rates, an increase in teacher/parent contacts, increased course completion rates, a strengthening of curriculum offerings, and lower instructional costs.

As you can see, blended learning can have the potential to benefit the student, the instructor, and the parents in a careertech setting.  Again, I’m not aware of any research that helps decide if one model works better with any certain occupational area (if you know of any research in this area, PLEASE SHARE!!).
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