Blended Learning

As a leader in innovative surgeon education, AOSpine has successfully begun to introduce a blended learning approach to its courses.

What is blended learning (or "flipped classroom")

Blended learning refers to an educational program or event that uses a mixed teaching methods approach, usually involving a mix of online activities, simulations and face-to-face interactions.

The rapid increase and diversification of technologies is changing the practice of teaching and learning on a global scale. Internet and computer accessibility has created numerous new educational opportunities that were not available even a few short years ago. Technology is changing how students learn, as well as how educators teach, and this evolution has made new educational models such as blended learning possible.

In practice activities in blended learning can take many different forms, but often involve learners preparing for courses by watching prerecorded lectures or undertaking assigned reading and eLearning activities, followed by class time being used for interactive discussion, problem-solving, and other activities with the faculty. Blended learning puts more responsibility of learning on the learner and allows the teacher/educator more time to interact with learners.

 

Benefits for all parties

Advantages of a blended learning approach are centered around the change of time used during class sessions and include:

  • An increase in interaction between learners and teachers
  • A shift in the responsibility for learning on to participants
  • The ability for learners to prepare at a time that suits them, and as many times as meets their needs
  • Promotes student-centered learning and collaboration between students
  • An increase in learner engagement and a shift from passive listening to active learning

Feedback from AOSpine blended learning courses

The general view is that the blended learning concept has worked really well and significantly enhanced the learning experience. It was appreciated that the precourse learning material ensures participants arrive at the face-to-face course with similar levels of knowledge, so that teaching can be focused on essential information and interactive discussions.

Some of the most significant statistics coming out of the blended learning course evaluations are: