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Blended learning

Blended learning is a concept and form of teaching that has become increasingly popular. Blended ("mixed") means that a course mixes learning activities on campus with activities in a digital learning environment (online). Read more about how you can blend your course and about the support given to KTH's teachers.

What is blended learning?

A course that applies blended learning is a course in which learning activities and assessment activities are carried out in both the physical and the digital learning environment. This means that the students can participate in a seminar or carrying out laboratory work on campus. They can also participate in a discussion forum in the Learning Management System, watch a video, read an uploaded text or attend a webinar. Assessment activities (where a student demonstrates that they have achieved the learning outcomes) also take place in both the digital and physical environment.

Benefits of blended learning

The great advantage of blended learning is that you can better optimise learning environments by creating courses that suit you as a teacher, your course and your students, while using activities in and outside of teaching that are both integrated and complementary.

Advantages that are highlighted:

  • By blending traditional campus teaching with online teaching methods (distance, digital learning objects), time can be used in other ways.
  • Focus on depth-focused learning.
  • The time spent with the students in the classroom can be designed for more interaction.
  • More opportunities for collaboration.
  • Improved time management.

Example of course structure

  • In the digital learning environment, video or texts are used to explain and tell the basic concept of the subject. The time in the classroom is used to discuss the subject content. This approach leads to you as a teacher being able to focus on important areas students often have trouble with. The students are then able to learn the basics of the subject at their own pace and in a place that suits them.Video is often highlighted as positive in educational contexts because the student has the power to decide when and where to participate, and because of the option for the student to control the tempo and watch it several times.
     
  • Conduct formative assessment of students’ knowledge of a subject in the digital environment (such as using a quiz or assignment) and then use the physical meeting to focus on the parts that students have found to be difficult to do.
     
  • Introduce a topic in the physical meeting, use discussion forums or chat to discuss the subject and then end the discussion in a physical meeting or web meeting ( KTH offers you as a teacher the web meeting tool Zoom ). Research has shown that asynchronous text-based communication (for example, a discussion forum) has a positive effect on learning. Students then have time to reflect more widely because they do not have to answer at once, and there is a tendency to reflect more when formulating their thoughts in text.
     
  • Invite a guest speaker who can attend via Web meeting tools (for example Zoom). This makes it easy to get subject experts from all over the world to participate in your course. Web meetings are also very easy to record and share as video afterwards.
     
  • Conduct group work in which students both meet physically and have their own digital workspace where they work together.
     

Film: KTH teacher on blended learning

In this film, Pernilla Ulfvengren (School of Industrial Engineering and Management) talks about how she uses blended learning and Flipped Classroom  in her courses.

To think about when designing distance courses

At KTH there are also courses that do not have any physical meetings but the whole course is conducted with digital learning activities and assessment. These are usually called distance courses or web courses. This form of course opens education up to new target groups as there is no requirement to get to the KTH campus to participate in the course. Often they are also more flexible, which makes it easier, for example for people who are professionals. When designing a distance course or web course, it is especially important to have learning activities in which students can interact with each other, both regarding the course content and socially. This is because the natural interaction that we have when meeting in person is absent.