Purpose – This paper seeks to outline a time‐based strategy for blended learning that illustrates course design and delivery by framing students' learning opportunities in synchronous and asynchronous modalities. Design/methodology/approach – This paper deconstructs the evolving components of blended learning in order to identify changes induced by digital technologies for enhancing teaching and learning environments. Findings – This paper hypothesizes that blended learning may be traced back to early medieval times when printed material provided the first asynchronous learning opportunities. However, the digitalization of contemporary learning environments results in a de‐emphasis on teaching and learning spaces. When time becomes the primary organizing construct for education in a technology‐supported environment, blending possibilities emerge around five components: migration, support, location, learner empowerment, and flow. Research limitations/implications – This study enables the readers to conceptualize blended learning as a combination of modern media, communication modes, times and places in a new kind of learning synthesis in place of traditional classrooms and technology with the teacher serving as a facilitator of a collective learning process. Practical implications – The major implication of this paper is that modern learning technologies have freed students and educators from the lock in of classroom space as being the primary component of blended learning, thereby emphasizing learning rather than teaching in the planning process. Originality/value – This paper proposes a new model of blended learning in which physical teaching environments give way to time. Time and synchronicity become the primary elements of the learning environments. In addition, the authors suggest that the time‐based model as an educational “new normal” results in technologies as enablers rather than disruptors of learning continuity.
On the Horizon – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 16, 2011
Keywords: Blended learning; New normal; Time‐based learning; Universities; Digital technology
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