New Challenges for Blended Learning methodology in Large-Scale Teaching Environments
Covadonga Rodrigo San Juan (UNED) y Timothy Read (UNED)
Blended Learning environments combine traditional face-to-face instruction with computer assisted learning. Blended learning is successful because it aims for sustained learning through highly engaging experiences, ongoing training and application, and the use of technology to quickly ramp up learning on a large scale. It combines a variety of training components to continually reinforce the learning and allows for the innovative use of multiple technology tools such as interactive online programs and simulations, webinars and social networking applications.
But institutions must understand that technology in and of itself will not improve learning capabilities. There needs to be a commitment to properly implement the technology and they must avoid simply setting up the technology tools required for innovative training and then walking away. But many issues related to the design and implementation of BL environments are surfacing as technological advances continue to blur the lines between distributed learning and traditional campus-based learning.
This article address some models at the institutional level for designing blended learning environments that will help to raise awareness of the issues associated with adopting a blended approach from an institutional perspective facing the challenges of Large-Scale Adoption.
Covadonga Rodrigo San Juan
Covadonga Rodrigo received her PhD in Telecommunications Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. After working in several Spanish universities as a teacher and as a researcher, she incorporated to UNED n 2000 as a member of of the Languages and Computing Systems Department and since September 2010 she has served as Vice Chancellor of Technology in that same institution. She has participated for several years in the development of AENOR standards working groups and CTN CTN 66/SC 1/GT15 71/SC 36, groups of experts involved in the EADTU. She has recently joined as a member of the Executive Committee CRUE ICT. She is a member of the research groups ATLAS and LTSC as well, and her interest lies in research on methods of use and incorporation of ICT in blended learning methodology in order to improve reuse, interoperability and accessibility of learning systems, digital repositories and multimedia educational resources. She has participated in the scientific committee of international conferences and has worked as an evaluator of projects in regional calls and articles of related journals.
Timothy Read is Professor in the Department of Software and Computing Systems of UNED and has served as Assistant Vice President of Emerging Technologies. Since arriving at UNED, he has researched on various topics related to the development of tools and systems for collaboration and distance learning, specifically those related to second language learning. Nowadays he works on two research groups: LTCS (Learning Technologies & Collaborative Systems; http://ltcs.uned.es) and ATLAS (Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Linguistic ApplicationS; http://atlas.uned.es) and his research interests are focused on two distinct aspects of the design of second language learning distance education systems. On one hand, towards the implementation of user modeling techniques of artificial intelligence to design and develop systems for second language learning which get adapted to student progress. Furthermore, to the design of systems incorporating advances in cognitive, neuropsychological and psycholinguistic research on the nature of language acquisition and learning and memory function in order to facilitate and consolidate language learning. Timothy Read is involved in several active EADTU groups and he is also the author of publications with the results of his research activities, as well as some college textbooks. He has also participated in the scientific committee of international conferences and he has served as an evaluator of applications for research projects in national calls.