Monday, January 31, 2011

LabSim Effective in All Blended Learning Approaches


Most schools and colleges who use LabSim IT certification training courses are utilizing blended learning, which, according to researchers, is the force behind online learning’s tremendous growth.

Education Week recently highlighted the research of Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker of the Innosight Institute. According to Horn and Staker, blended learning is “any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, path, and/or pace.”

Blended learning methods don’t all look alike. In fact, Horn and Staker’s report labels six types of blended learning approaches. Likewise, the implementations of LabSim into the IT curriculum at different schools and colleges is also varied. LabSim courses lend themselves to all sorts of effective teaching approaches. Blended with texts, face-to-face instruction, hands-on physical labs, or traditional class lecture, LabSim courses are a blended approach to learning IT.

The six types of blending learning described by Horn and Staker are:
  • face-to-face driver programs where teachers deliver most instruction in a live classroom and use online activities to supplement or remediate what goes on in the brick-and-mortar school;
  • rotation models where students follow a schedule that alternates between face-to-face class sessions and in-person instruction;
  • flex formats where most of the curriculum originates online, but an on-site instructor provides instruction as needed in individual and small group sessions;
  • online lab sessions where students do work online, but in a computer lab at a brick-and-mortar school with aides who offer supervision but little subject guidance;
  • self-blend schools where students may take online courses a la carte to supplement their brick-and-mortar school's curriculum; and
  • online driver constructs where students receive most of the course online and independently, but participate in required or optional face-to-face meetings.

What type of blended learning approach does your school or college utilize? Please leave a comment and tell us about your program.

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