Education has steadily shifted away from the traditional classroom because the old ways of teaching are no longer working for the students of today. One type of instruction does not provide students with enough choices or opportunities to interact with their learning and make connections (Singh, 2003). Blended learning is not a new concept in education and has gained worldwide attention as a promising alternative to the traditional classroom. A blended learning initiative can offer students choices in learning, as well as give access to information in multiple formats.
There is promising research to suggest that blended learning can have a positive impact on student outcomes, however there are also studies that have been inconclusive or point to students being more successful in a traditional classroom setting. The vast amount of research and data available on blended learning should be examined to create a clear understanding of how it can affect students. The goal of this review of literature on blended learning is to gather data from case studies and assess the overall impact it has on students including but not limited to student outcomes.
What is action research?
In my current class in the DLL program, we are looking into research and how to conduct research in our own classrooms. Why would research in a classroom be important? Education is evolving every day and research into problems, or areas that need to be updated are part of best practice for teachers. Traditional research methods are generally not practical for classrooms, and would be too time consuming for most teachers whose plates are already overflowing with other tasks. In the book Action Research, the author highlights a research method more suitable for the classroom. Action research can be broken down into 4 steps and this type of research is cyclical in nature. The four steps include finding an area to focus on, gathering data, looking at the data, and creating a plan. Once the process is complete, you can identify new areas of focus or go back and look at an aspect of prior research and start again. The purpose of this research is to look at issues and use collected data to either find solutions or create something new. As teachers, we evaluate our practices all the time. We tweak and change lessons, or come up with ways to deal with problem behavior in class all the time, so action research is simply a formal way for us to look at those issues and come up with solutions. I am beginning my own action research based on my innovation project and have laid out an outline for my plan below.
This blog includes posts about education and digital learning and I will update frequently so check back often for new posts!