When I was trying to rebuild my qualifications after my son was born, not one for sitting around in the sand pits talking about nappies, I took a course in Digital Pedagogy. The course was created in collaboration with a Finnish University and was a vocational degree (which was a form of post-secondary education designed to meet current competence needs in working life) and was organised in close collaboration with companies.
I had 2 industry placements during the course in Elearning companies and was sure that this would be my next career move, alas, the dot com crash arrived just as I graduated and the Elearning companies that I had worked for could offer me no work.
When I saw this article from elearning Industry newsletter:
http://elearningindustry.com/history-of-blended-learning I realised that not a lot has happened in the university I am working in and all the other universities in Sweden for the past 15 years.
- 1840’s: First Distance Course.
Sir Isaac Pitman launches the first distance education course.
Pitman sent shorthand texts to his students via mailed postcards and they were required to send them back to be graded and corrected. Even though computers and mobile devices weren’t involved, and wouldn’t even be invented for roughly a century, effective feedback and assessments were still an integral part of the process.
- 1960’s & 1970’s: Mainframe Computer-Based Training.
It was the first time that training could be deployed to countless workers within an organisation without having to rely on printed materials and face-to-face instruction.
- 1970’s to 1980’s: TV-Based Technology to Support Live Training.
At this stage in the blended learning timeline, companies began using video networks to train their employees. Learners were able to communicate with their peers, watch the instructor on TV, and even address any questions or concerns sending them by mail.
- 1980’s & 1990’s: CD-ROM Training and Rise of LMS.
As technology evolved, so did blended training strategies and applications. Schools and organizations began using CD-ROMs to deliver more interactive learning experiences, This is also when the first learning management systems (LMS) were introduced, though they didn’t offer the same functionality as the solutions available today.
- 1998: First Generation of Web-Based Instruction.
Computers were no longer just for organisations and the wealthy few, but for the masses. More and more households began purchasing personal computers for their families to enjoy, other than having to distribute CD-ROMs to learners, organisations could simply upload material, eLearning assessments, and assignments via the web, and learners could access them with a click of a mouse button.
- 2000 until today: Blended Learning Integration.
Technology is rapidly changing and an increasing number of organisations and private learning institutions are beginning to see the benefits of a blended learning approach. Gradually, the union between face-to-face instruction and technology-based learning is producing new and creative ways to enrich the
educational experience and make learning fun, exciting, and even more beneficial.
The revolution had started 15 years ago; blended learning or “Hybrid Learning” is what they call it today, will I believe be the defining education philosophy for the next 20 years as well, because blended learning helps student to achieve deep learning and to be better learners.
[Gar04] D.R. Garrrison, and H. Kanuka, “Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education”, The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 2004, pp 95—105.