The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has the mandate to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. It has brought out several key publications and guides to help its stakeholders use appropriate technologies for enhancing teaching and learning. While research shows that there is “no significant difference” between the learning outcomes of distance and campus students, blended learning environments have resulted in better learner performance. This is usually due to the additional support received by the learners through one or more of the interaction options provided — student–student/student– teacher/student–content — facilitated by the online environment. Students in blended learning environments also spend more time engaging with the digital instructional resources, leading to enhanced achievement. Recognising the potential of blended learning, COL advocates the systematic integration of technology in teaching and learning in higher education institutions through policy development, capacity building and the use of appropriate low-cost technologies. While working with partner institutions for building capacity and implementing technology-enabled learning, it became clear that a definitive source on blended learning design would help teachers to follow available best practices. The idea for this Guide to Blended Learning emerged from this need. We hope this will be a valuable resource for teachers developing blended courses for effective student learning.

As we know, a good learning environment is a true blend of learning content and interactions of various types, leading to authentic learning experiences. Technology has made it possible to provide a diverse range of learning resources and interactions to enhance student learning in both distance and campus contexts. Typically, a blended learning course will have components of both online and face-to-face teaching and the context will determine the proportion of the blend. This guide provides teachers with a framework to design and develop courses with online and face-to-face components to offer the flexibility for addressing different learner preferences.

An important aspect of this publication is the use of video introductions to each of the chapters to trigger interest and help the reader focus on specific tasks. Professor Martha Cleveland-Innes from Athabasca University has presented complex ideas in a simple manner to help teachers use this rich resource as a step by-step guide to develop blended courses. I take this opportunity to thank the author and especially the peer reviewers, who served as critical readers to enhance the quality of this publication.

I hope you will find the Guide to Blended Learning a very useful and practical resource for designing, developing and evaluating blended learning courses suitable for your specific contexts. I also hope that this guide will improve access to quality education and result in effective learning and success.

Professor Asha Kanwar
President and Chief Executive Officer
Commonwealth of Learning


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Guide to Blended Learning by Commonwealth of Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book