Planning for a Blended Future: A Research-Driven Guide for Educators

Created By: Every Learner Everywhere in partnership with Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)

While many of us through the years have experienced and witnessed the potential of blended (or hybrid) learning in the future of postsecondary education, the promise has never been more realized than in the world’s response to a global pandemic and the urgency for academic continuity through emergency remote instruction that required online learning technologies to mix or replace students’ onsite experience with a new online experience. Educators persevered through a global pandemic, a collective trauma of our lives, learning more than ever the weaknesses of technology, the strengths of togetherness, and the need for thoughtful and inclusive strategic planning. While the challenge, disappointment, and devastation is not without note, the possibilities for the strategic transformation of the future of higher education through blended learning are abundant. By thoughtfully and strategically considering design and technologies to create meaningful connectedness across distance through active learning pedagogies, real learning can be achieved.

Conceptualizing what blended learning (hybrid learning) looks like on your campus is an important step in ensuring quality learning for your students. Identifying a blended model for your courses and programs that is derived from research-based, effective practices with documented improvement of student outcomes is critical. Since many of you have had to quickly launch technology-driven blended options, it is time to strategically plan for a blended model for your campus, programs, and courses. Planning for a Blended Future: A Research-Driven Guide for Educators identifies factors and techniques to be considered for responsive planning and redesigning of courses and programs for post-inoculation education in institutions of higher education.

This guide moves beyond getting started with blended learning to help educators realize the best of online and onsite instruction and implement research-driven techniques to positively influence student outcomes.