With the rapid development of the Internet, blended learning (online learning plus face-to-face learning) has become a model that more and more higher education institutions are intending to adopt. This chapter first compares various forms and expressions of blended learning adopted by different institutions around the world, and then reports on how blended learning has been implemented and promoted in the English Department at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) using a variety of approaches. Here, a number of projects have been carried out over the past seven years, focusing on the conversion of traditional face-to-face modules into partly face-to-face, partly online modules. In addressing these developments, the Blackboard online learning management system, which has been adopted as the main platform for the delivery of blended learning at HKIEd, is first examined. Then the design of a series of subject-specific Web sites to supplement the Blackboard system and facilitate blended learning is introduced. Finally, the implementation of innovative Wikibook projects is illustrated and discussed. Such Wikibook projects, where students are required to work in groups to write an academic textbook collaboratively online, are highly effective in promoting not only autonomous yet collaborative online academic reading and writing, but also online peer editing. This adds a new dimension to blended learning. Feedback from students shows that they greatly enjoyed the experience of collaborative academic writing through the Wikibook projects, and found that the wiki technology made peer editing much more efficient and effective. All the evidence suggests that blended learning has great potential as a vehicle for teaching and learning and is a notable current trend in higher education. Copyright © 2010 IGI Global.
|Title of host publication||Comparative blended learning practices and environments|
|Editors||Eugenia M. W. NG|
|Place of Publication||Hershey, PA|
|Publisher||Information Science Reference|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|