Current Usage in Blended Learning

With today's prevalence of high technology in many countries, blended learning often refers specifically to the provision or use of resources which combine e-learning (electronic) or m-learning (mobile) with other educational resources. Some would claim that key blended-learning arrangements can also involve e-mentoring or e-tutoring. These arrangements tend to combine an electronic learning component with some form of human intervention, although the involvement of an e-mentor or an e-tutor does not necessarily need to be in the context of e-learning. E-mentoring or e-tutoring can also be provided as part of a "stand alone" ("un-blended") e-tutoring or e-mentoring arrangement. Researchers Heinze and Procter have developed the following definition for Blended Learning in higher education: Blended Learning is learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course. A major criticism of such a definition revolves around their rigid insistence upon features such as "communication", "transparency", "parties" and "courses". These features do not necessarily have clear or unambiguous meaning in environments outside that of higher (or other institutionalized) education systems. In other words, the definition fails to acknowledge environments where blended learning does not raise issues of "transparency of communication" in the way it is envisaged in the institutional definition. This might refer to artificial intelligence systems, or animal training systems, which can be involved in blended learning since they employ combined resources. More on this definition can be found at this site It should also be noted that some authors talk about "hybrid learning" (this seems to be more common in Northern American sources) or "mixed learning". However, all of these concepts broadly refer to the integration (the "blending") of e-learning tools and techniques with traditional methods. Two important factors to consider are the time spent on online activities and the amount of technology used.