Why and how Blended Learning may Offer Outstanding Resources for Deep Learning

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Providing high quality, effective learning experiences is the important aspect of education. However, today’s students’ lifestyles preclude them from attending full face-to-face education courses.

So how can we offer learners more authentic and richer engagements with content and each other without hindering them from professional activities? Unlike, traditional distance learning, in blended learning environment, learning occurs online and in person, enhancing and supporting teacher practice. Blended learning is a combination of multiple deliveries of online, self-paced learning and face-to-face classroom instruction that allows students to have some control over time, place, path, or pace of learning. Blended learning means strategically integrating technology with in personalized learning in a powerful way in order to make deep learning a reality for students. 

Deep learning is a concept in the transformation and personalization of the learning process controlled by learner. It focuses on the creation of knowledge through the demonstration of understanding; the analysis and synthesis of facts; integrating prior learning to other subjects. Deep learning occurs when students look for meaning in their learning, interact actively and relate new and previous knowledge.

So how may blended learning offer resources for deep learning and what are ways blended learning can be used to enable the goals of deep learning?

Blended learning can help free up time or prepare students for activities that fostered deep learning which focuses on the meaning of the learning material. Every individual has unique features and a wide range of needs. Students come into school with a wide range of needs, many of which can prevent deeper engagement with material and full expression of ideas. In traditional classroom, addressing every student’s needs is an incredibly time intensive and difficult task for a teacher. Blended learning approach provides an ideal environment for teachers to address and diagnose needs of learner through a mix of assigned and adaptive digital content.

Students spend less time on skills instruction such as engaging core skills in reading, writing, and math, and then spend more time on engaging in project-based quests and deep learning activities outside of school. Deep learning requires that learners reflect on their own understanding and their own process of learning. In blended learning, learners get some form of choice over how, when, and where to engage. These choices help them think metacognitively about what works for them as learners and find different pathways to mastery. Moreover, blended models capitalize on technologies that connect students to help them learn with as well as teach each other. 

So, can blended learning support deep learning? Yes, absolutely. It's all a matter of designing the instruction and creating the flourishing environment for learners.


Muhammet Demirbilek, PhD

Muhammet Demirbilek is currently an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the School of Education at Suleyman Demirel University. He worked as a graduate faculty and visiting research scholar in Digital Worlds Institute at University of Florida (UF) between 2013 and 2014. He taught “Video Games & Startups” course and advised several graduate students. His study and mastery of computer games and simulations, mobile media, social networks and virtual worlds have taken him all around the globe. He earned his doctoral and master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Florida has worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Games, Learning, and Society (GLS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electronics engineering from Istanbul University.

Dr. Demirbilek serves on the editorial board for multiple prominent gaming and simulation journals, including Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice and Research and associate editor of Journal of Simulation/Gaming for Learning and Development. He joined several European Union founded projects as the partner and IT expert of Implementing Learning Game Resources Based on Educational Content project (ILGRECO: Grundtvig 1: European Union Cooperation Project) and European Union Lifelong Learning program project titled Increased Mainstreaming of Games in Learning Policies (IMAGINE: Multilateral project. EU Lifelong Learning Program: Key Activity 4). Currently he is a partner and country coordinator of OnCreate: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, Erasmus+: KA2 – Cooperation and Innovation for Good Practices project.

He is faculty affiliate of Games, Learning and Society research group and faculty adviser of Gator Gaming student organization at the University of Florida. Furthermore, he is region vice president of APAMALL (Asia-Pacific Association of Multimedia-Assisted Language Learning) and International Associate of The Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS). Demirbilek founded The Games, Learning & Society (GLS) EURASIA game research group and current director of the GLS EURASIA: www.glseurasia.org

Providing high quality, effective learning experiences is the important aspect of education. However, today’s students’ lifestyles preclude them from attending full face-to-face education courses.

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