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Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Laura Fuller is an Associate Professor of English and the Faculty Department Chair of ENF/EDE/ENG/HUM at the Virginia Beach Campus of Tidewater Community College.

Abstract

Blended learning has a muddled history but is still evolving. Technological innovations and the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 led higher education to create a new blend to blended learning, one that did not follow the generally accepted and most numerous definitions or previous examples of blended learning. This new blend of blended learning lacks the physical environment and face-to-face instruction and consists of all computer-mediated instruction in the form of both asynchronous online instruction and synchronous instruction via videoconferencing and computerized webinar tools. This arrival of a new blend of blended learning requires educators to develop and implement a new instructional mode. This paper aims to assist educators with their pursuit of effective strategies for the successful design and implementation of this new blend of blended learning by providing an overview and discussion of how research on blended learning may be interpreted and applied to equip educators to be more prepared to design and to implement their own new blend of blended learning courses. The origins of distance learning, the development of blended learning, blended learning’s links to technological development, the ambiguity of terminology referring to these learning forms, and the advantages and drawbacks of blended learning are presented through a review of published research.

Keywords: blended learning, history, asynchronous, synchronous

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