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Blended Learning

Blended or hybrid learning refers to a combination of face-to-face classroom instruction and various media, usually online. Typically, some part of the course is delivered entirely online while other parts are delivered face-to-face, in problem-solving and seminar-style discussion formats.

In a blended learning course, students are responsible for much of their own learning, and the teacher is responsible for creating those opportunities for learning (Caulfield, 2011). Therefore, thoughtful planning of course activities that help students engage with the content is essential for an effective course.

Why blend your course?

Because blended learning allows for utilizing the best aspects of both face-to-face and online learning, it has many benefits:

What does a Blended Learning course look like?

A blended learning course can take many forms. The frequency and format of face-to-face meetings and the nature of learning activities will vary greatly depending on the course goals. While there is no "right way" to set up a blended course, here are some examples of what it could look like:

calendar show weekly meetings

Weekly one-hour face-to-face session complimented with online discussions, readings and other activities

calendar show bi-weekly meetings

Bi-weekly face-to-face sessions enriched with collaborative group work the other weeks

calendar show randon meetings

A few face-to-face sessions throughout the semester with a significant part of the work being done online, in groups or in the community

Examples of Blended Courses

  1. Examples of Blended Learning Courses gives an overview of how various courses were structured into a blended format (The University of Waterloo)
  2. Queen's Experiments with mix of lectures and online learning (University Affairs)
  3. 8 Interesting Examples of Blended Learning (A crowd-sourced Google presentation started by Joyce Seitzinger)
  4. Blended Learning in Introductory Psychology at McMaster University (Contact North)
  5. Developing a Blended Learning Course for More Engaged Learning in Calculus at Queen’s University (Contact North)

Find out More about Blended Learning


Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. F., Tamim, R. M., & Abrami, P. C. (2014). A meta-analysis of blended learning and technology use in higher education: from the general to the applied. Journal of Computing in Higher Education26(1), 87–122.

Caulfield, J. (2011). How to design and teach a hybrid course: achieving student-centered learning through blended classroom, online, and experiential activities (1st ed). Sterling, Va: Stylus Pub

Garrison, D. R. & Vaughn, N.D. (2007) Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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