When I started reading this article by Jim Shimabukuro, I didn’t agree with its premise. “Still, he states, the biggest problem with blended approaches, innovative or not, isn’t as much its effectiveness but its impact on completely online courses.” No, I thought. That’s not right. Blended courses are, in terms of efficacy research, optimum but really modality and delivery should not matter at all. A course is a course – it’s the pedagogy that matters. Whether a course is online or face to face – the same problems and challenges exist. Good learning is good learning. And then he said, when referring to blended learning:
“This seemingly innocuous perception is arguably the greatest impediment to the development of completely online courses and programs. The F2F imperative, whether 20 percent or 1 percent, instantly eliminates the possibility of disruption that defines online learning. In other words, the door for nontraditional students who cannot, for whatever reason, attend classes on campus remains closed. ”
And that statement is absolutely right. Even when an online program has a small residency component, there are some people who will not be able to participate. In terms of quality of course, modality doesn’t matter. Access is a different story.