The Perils and Promise of Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education
Hybrid learning could be the new century's educational game changer. Combining online with face-to-face instruction, hybrid learning promises a best-of-both-worlds solution to higher education's acute problems of student retention, success, and engagement. Yet, in the absence of adequate faculty care and institutional support, hybrid learning can aggravate the very problems it is meant to address.
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A call for the extension of hybrid learning urges that it become not just a quick fix or a boon for the bottom line, but an educational mode that reenvisions quality teaching and learning for the 21st century.
Hybrid Learning: The Perils and Promise of Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education is an in-depth exploration of a new learning mode that could radically change higher education, incorporating emerging trends in technology and multimedia use—including online gaming, social networking, and other Web 2.0 applications—to create engaging and dynamic learning environments. Laying out fundamental challenges facing higher education today, this book shows how hybrid instruction can be designed and implemented to deliver excellent educational value in flexible modes and at moderate costs well-suited to the circumstances of many students and institutions.
The book lays out the characteristic profiles of students who are most likely to benefit from and perform well in a hybrid learning environment, as well as the features and practices of hybrid courses most likely to produce positive learning outcomes. It also specifies the obligations of faculty in designing and delivering best-practice hybrid courses and the support and policy obligations of institutions. Challenging prima-facie assumptions about hybrid learning, the author promotes it as nothing less than an opportunity to reenvision education for the 21st century.
- Written in an easy-to-read, bullet-point style
- Gives practical, real-world examples of the successful diversity of hybrid learning programs, drawn from the author's personal hybrid teaching experience and interviews with faculty and students
- Includes specific examples of leading-edge applications, like the virtual world of Second Life and 3D web browsing with Exit Reality, which could inform successful hybrid course design
- Provides interesting and relevant anecdotes throughout
- Challenges readers to see hybrid learning for its long-term potential as a learning mode, not just as an easy fix to immediate challenges facing higher education
- Shows how hybrid learning fosters student engagement, collaboration, and active learning
- Discusses technologies that might influence hybrid learning, including fan fiction on the web, Survivor fan forums, ESPN's SportsNation, and Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Places the idea of hybridity in a broad cultural context, positioning it as a ubiquitous, rhetorically complex idea, not limited to higher education
- Author Info
"Jason Snart makes a persuasive case that blended learning -- a hybrid of online learning and in-person classes -- is radically changing the face of higher education. Forget about diploma mills. His book charts a real revolution in learning that leverages today's web and mobile technologies to improve the classroom experience. This is an important book for educators, administrators -- and anyone who cares about optimal education for the 21st century."
"While technology may change rapidly in the 'real world,' it changes far more slowly within the classroom. And for good reason: considerable thought should, and must be given to the value and impact that any technological change would have on the learning process. While the newest software fad may be intriguing, it may not offer anything additional to the educational experience. We need to be cautious of solutions in search of needs, and embrace solutions to our needs. Jason Snart's Hybrid Learning: The Perils and Promise of Blending Face-to-Face and Online Instruction in Higher Education helps us to delve deeper into the real and relevant issues concerning the role and the use of technology in the educational process."
"Jason Snart does an outstanding job of illuminating the topic of 'blended' or 'hybrid' learning models. While online learning has been embraced by many as a way to expand the times when and places in which students can learn, others resist the technological delivery of instruction. Still others accept technology, but may not use it effectively. Snart explores the challenges facing higher education and the historical context for hybrid learning models and suggests that effective hybrid learning occurs at the nexus of technology, student characteristics, the nature of the discipline, and face-to-face instruction. This book is an excellent read for instructional designers, faculty members, and others who believe that higher education in the 21st century requires new ways to teach and new ways to learn."
"Hybrid Learning is a thoughtful exploration by a 'resistant early adopter' who holds no punches as he describes the power and pitfalls of blending face-to-face with online learning. While the higher education world rushes forward to embrace online learning, Jason Snart provides the type of critically important perspective needed to ensure that we achieve the highest quality of instruction and learning outcomes possible - a perspective that is both practical and balanced."
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