Blended Learning and Its Worth to Students and Teachers Essay

Introduction, background/foundation, conclusions.

The theme of blended learning is not new. Many researchers offer their ideas on how beneficial or dangerous blended learning can be. Even students do not have one similar attitude to this type of education because some of them are still eager to talk directly to their professors and discuss all the points face-to-face. The peculiarities of blended learning and its worth to students and the faculty members turn out to be the major points for discussion in this project.

Several articles are chosen for the analysis: Naaj, Nachouki and Ankit (2012) with the intentions to prove that student satisfaction in blended learning is a crucial aspect that cannot neglected because it influences motivation and the level of performance, Tamim’s desire (2012) to explain that blended learning has to be regarded as one of the acceptable delivery modes and a chance to enhance a variety of interactions, Kemp’s interpretation (2012) of blended learning as the background for uncertainty among students, and Singh (2003) with the attempt to present a clear basis for blended learning and explain that different institutions want to have options in regards to only one single delivery mode program. The levels of satisfaction among the students, who choose blended learning, are different. The articles chosen help to understand that student satisfaction is a significant factor on the basis of which the whole educational process should be based.

Due to the fact that the UAE has already established “an excellent and diversified system of higher education” in a short period (Naaj, Nachouki & Ankit 2012, p.186), it is interesting and justified to use the educational system of this country as an example to rely on. Blended learning is not only about choices; it is about the effectiveness that is necessary for tutors and students to rely on (Singh, 2003). Still, it is necessary to remember that cultural differences do play an important role in an educational process, and some students may be challenged by a blended learning option (Kemp, 2012). Blended education is still more advantageous in comparison to distance education, and students may want to enjoy the possibilities they can get (Tamim, 2012).

The authors identify several factors that may contribute to student satisfaction in regards to blended learning like technology, the role of instructor, course management, instruction accessibility and clearness, interactivity, courses choice, and even cultural preferences (Naaj, Nachouki & Ankit 2012). Tamim (2012), Singh (2003), and Kemp (2012) pay much to student satisfaction in education, the necessity to use the current technological progress, and improve the educational process.

However, is it enough to rely on a gender factor only to understand the effectiveness of blended learning like Naaj, Nachouki and Ankit (2012) did? Can it be that the age of student plays a greater role in blended learning and the attempts to measure satisfaction for students of bother genders? Naaj, Nachouki and Ankit do not even mention this possibility in their study. In their turn, the authors of other articles admit the necessity of blended learning as an outcome of the technological progress. They fail to consider the environment in regards to which students and tutors have to consider the adjustments. Is it enough to provide people with some general facts or is it better to focus on one particular aspect and develop it accordingly?

The idea of blended learning has been already implemented in several Arabian colleges and universities to understand if student satisfaction with the chosen type of education is on an appropriate level (Naaj, Nachouki & Ankit 2012), if the cultural dimension of the UAE students defines the quality of an educational process (Kemp 2012), whether individual or collective type of work is more appropriate for blended learning (Singh 2003), or if distant education can be improved with the help of blended learning (Tamim 2012).

Face-to-face education is one of the main competitors for blended learning processes, and people want to know what kind of a learning process is more effective in such gender-segregated environment as the United Arab Emirates. Blended learning is known to many people; still, not all aware people are eager to use the opportunities available. Some of them cannot understand how to communicate distantly and share their points of view. Some people just want to be encouraged to make the right choices. The rest have nothing to do but accept the requirement set by their institutions.

The purpose of the project is to understand how blended learning can be offered to students and teachers and introduced as a powerful alternative to the already known forms of education. It is an attempt to develop an instrument with the help of which it is possible to measure student satisfaction in regards to blended learning and to clear up if satisfaction depends on a gender factor (Naaj, Nachouki & Ankit 2012). As soon as the main factors are defined, other goals can be set to analyse the level of student satisfaction and cultural dimension (Kemp 2012). Therefore, such issues like geographical location, information technologies, course details, management, and even interaction peculiarities have to be regarded to understand how influential the idea of blended learning can be.

Blended learning helps to reduce the possibility of duplication and is defined as “a combination of face-to-face and video-conference learning, complemented with the use of Moodle as a learning management system” (Naaj, Nachouki & Ankit 2012, p. 187). It is clear that blended learning and student satisfaction are in relations, but these relations are not clearly identified. Learning tools, support systems, and the explanation of the essence of web-based courses help to realise that blended learning is not a simple thing. It is a complicated process that should be divided according to the stages that can be properly accepted by tutors and students (Singh 2003).

The main problem about blended learning is the necessity to understand if it is effective enough for students, and if the UAE students are more satisfied with a possibility to use video conferences or study face-to-face. The combination of different factors may have an impact on education, students, and their attitude to the necessity of starting a learning process, also known as students’ motivation.

Blended learning is not about only face-to-face education or video conferences. It is about the necessity to combine a variety of options and have access to content, instructions, and assessment via different delivery methods. It is important to clear up if students and teachers are able to combine different forms of education and benefit from this opportunity regardless the possible challenges.

In my opinion, the peculiar feature that makes the chosen topic and literary sources appropriate and strong for consideration is the necessity to combine different forms of education and learning process and choose the positive aspects of the options to enhance an educational process. A perfect picture of how blended learning is developed in the United Arab Emirates and accepted by the students is given. A descriptive survey is offered by Naaj, Nachouki and Ankie. They introduce a solid background for blended learning and combine their achievements with the investigations of Singh (2003), who discussed the peculiarities of blended learning. In his study, Singh (2003) explain that blended learning is not just a one-time event that has its definite start and ending. Blended learning is a continuous process during which it is possible to extend the read and use the experience of people from different parts of the world.

I think that the article by Naaj, Nachouki and Ankit (2012) is another attempt to explain the benefits of blended learning as the authors identify such factors like course management and instructions that can influence student satisfaction and improve the learning process considerably. In addition to the work done, it is possible to consider the achievements of Kemp (2012), who underline the presence of uncertainty among the UAE students, who are involved in blended learning. The author considers the important of such terms like exams, knowledge, material, and research sources, compares the answers of different students, and concludes that the necessity to introduce blended learning to international students is evident and cannot be extended any more. Tamim (2012) offers to enhance the learning process by means the blended learning approach and the already developed Learning Management Systems. Students are able to understand what kind of learning processes are more appropriate and convenient for them and make use of the sources available.

The UAE is the country of contrasts, and the gender difference plays a very important role among its population. Therefore, the role of gender and cultural preferences remains to be crucial for any educational process the UAE students are involved in. The problems that some students may face with choosing blended learning and understand student personal preferences in education exist. Singh (2003) explains that blended learning is the way of how students meet and solve the challenges and develop their needs with the help of the current technologies.

I like the way Naaj, Nachouki and Ankit (2012) use in their research to explain how students should cope with the challenges of blended learning: they admit that the existing blended learning systems help to change the way students can learn the material and the way teachers can teach. Nowadays, there are many options for education for the Arabian students to pick up from. Still, the surveys show that even the mature students, who are confident in what they want to become, are not ready to give the answers if they want to study face-to-face, online or try blended learning because they are not sure of their readiness to cope with the challenges.

Regarding such points like country, student background, and the reasons for student satisfaction in blended learning, the developed hypothesis was partially rejected. It was proved that male students are usually more satisfied with blended learning in comparison to female students (Naaj, Nachouki & Ankit 2012). Still, the findings from other studies specify that it is necessary to pay more attention to cultural preferences and expectations to understand why female students are more interested in their education and try to choose a form of learning in accordance with their opportunities.

Female students believe that interaction plays an important role in an educational process. They want to have a direct access to instructors and consult them as soon as they are in need of some help. Male students are not usually bothered by the necessity to discuss each detail of an educational process with the other. Tamim (2012) admits that students are eager to use the contemporary learning spaces to achieve more in their educational processes, and female students are able to develop their skills in time management, sharing ideas, and online communication.

In my opinion, literature chosen for the analysis is a good way to prove that students are eager to choose blended learning; still, the relations between student satisfaction and the peculiarities of blended learning have to be investigated deeper. The results show that the UAE students admit a number of benefits of blended learning, but they also prefer face-to-face courses during which it is possible to pose direct questions, ask for privacy, and raise different themes for discussions. Male and female students may have different attitudes to blended learning due to the cultural background and expectations society sets.

Kemp, LJ 2012, ‘Introducing blended learning: An experience of uncertainty for students in the United Arab Emirates’, Research in Learning Technology vol. 21, no. 1, p. 18461-18474.

Naaj, A, Nachouki, M & Ankit, A 2012, ‘Evaluating student satisfaction with blended learning in a gender-segregated environment’, Journal of Information Technology Education: Research , vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 185-200.

Singh, H 2003, ‘Building effective blended learning programs’, Educational Technology , vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 51-54.

Tamim, RM 2012, ‘Enhancing education in the UAE through blended learning’, in FA Albadri (ed), Information systems applications in the Arab education sector , IGI Global, Hershey, pp. 194-207.

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Essay On Blended Learning

As educators, we need to stay ahead of the pack and stay informed on trends taking place. One of the trends taking place in education is blended learning. Even though blended learning has been around for a while, it still counts as a trend because it is constantly changing and developing. The idea goes as far back as the 1840’s when Sir Isaac Pitman used shorthand and would use mail and postcards to grade assignments and make corrections. Students would make corrections if needed and mail them back to him. Obviously, technology has gone far and allowed massive growth in what is available today. In the late 70’s, early 80’s companies would use video networks to train their employees, later in the 90’s web-based instructions became a part of the classroom. By the 2000’s blended learning was becoming an integrated part of learning.  

Oxford dictionary describes blended learning as a style of education in which students learn via electronics and online medial as well as face-to-face teaching. The way that it works is that it gives the student an opportunity to go at their own pace and it is often more convenient and is often helpful for a student that is a visual learner. The instructor gives lectures, assignments, feedback, and test via on-line which for some could cause less anxiety than if in a classroom. Blended learning fosters the idea of independent learning because it allows them to learn on their own and to use the materials and resources presented to them in ways that work best for them. Another approach and there are several to blended learning is Lab Rotation Blended Learning, in which students via the computer go from one lab station to another. This set up is based on a fixed schedule to add flexibility and convenience to the students. 

The main purpose to use blended learning is that it offers students a visual to go on and allows for flexibility in a student's often busy schedule. Students learn differently and for some students this is a beneficial way of learning, and they don’t feel like they are put on the spot everyday like in a traditional classroom. The educational theory behind blended learning comes from Maslow’s and Vygotsky’s educational theory. Maslow’s educational theory has to do with blended learning by wanting to meet the students' needs to get the most out of the student. They do this by making it more convenient for students with a busy schedule to take some of the stress off so they can work to their full potential. Vygotsky’s educational trend has to do with blended learning by using the zone of proximal development to helping guide the students. There will be some assignments where the students will not need help and some where they do. The teacher will come in and guide the students to find the correct solutions to their problems. 

Blended learning is being adopted in and out of classrooms at higher and lower institutions in the past decade. Blended learning allows students to work at home or other locations and not even have report to school to get work done. This has been extremely helpful through the pandemic. If it wasn’t for blended learning and the use of technology, then students all over the world would be missing out on an education. With blended learning, teachers are able to record lectures, assigns homework, and tests online while also being able to connect with the students to provide feedback. With this approach, students learn how to become more independent and manage their time. If a student isn’t very independent and can’t make time to do the assignments, then they aren’t going to do very well in the class. 

Blended learning has its pros and cons just like any other method. Online education and face-to-face education can be very beneficial when combined, but only when applied correctly. Not all students are independent enough to support their learning needs. Some may love to do blended learning, while others are confused about it. Blended learning can help reach a larger audience in a shorter amount of time because the teacher doesn’t have to be there constantly. Blended learning helps with better preparation and feedback if the students are doing their work. When students can come to class with the same knowledge level, then there is more time for useful discussions and to practice what they have learned. If a student is lost, you may assist the student having problems and provide feedback to help them out. Blended learning also helps cut costs because there’s fewer instructors to be paid and less commuting time. 

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  • Published: 15 February 2018

Blended learning: the new normal and emerging technologies

  • Charles Dziuban 1 ,
  • Charles R. Graham 2 ,
  • Patsy D. Moskal   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Anders Norberg 3 &
  • Nicole Sicilia 1  

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education volume  15 , Article number:  3 ( 2018 ) Cite this article

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This study addressed several outcomes, implications, and possible future directions for blended learning (BL) in higher education in a world where information communication technologies (ICTs) increasingly communicate with each other. In considering effectiveness, the authors contend that BL coalesces around access, success, and students’ perception of their learning environments. Success and withdrawal rates for face-to-face and online courses are compared to those for BL as they interact with minority status. Investigation of student perception about course excellence revealed the existence of robust if-then decision rules for determining how students evaluate their educational experiences. Those rules were independent of course modality, perceived content relevance, and expected grade. The authors conclude that although blended learning preceded modern instructional technologies, its evolution will be inextricably bound to contemporary information communication technologies that are approximating some aspects of human thought processes.


Blended learning and research issues.

Blended learning (BL), or the integration of face-to-face and online instruction (Graham 2013 ), is widely adopted across higher education with some scholars referring to it as the “new traditional model” (Ross and Gage 2006 , p. 167) or the “new normal” in course delivery (Norberg et al. 2011 , p. 207). However, tracking the accurate extent of its growth has been challenging because of definitional ambiguity (Oliver and Trigwell 2005 ), combined with institutions’ inability to track an innovative practice, that in many instances has emerged organically. One early nationwide study sponsored by the Sloan Consortium (now the Online Learning Consortium) found that 65.2% of participating institutions of higher education (IHEs) offered blended (also termed hybrid ) courses (Allen and Seaman 2003 ). A 2008 study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education to explore distance education in the U.S., defined BL as “a combination of online and in-class instruction with reduced in-class seat time for students ” (Lewis and Parsad 2008 , p. 1, emphasis added). Using this definition, the study found that 35% of higher education institutions offered blended courses, and that 12% of the 12.2 million documented distance education enrollments were in blended courses.

The 2017 New Media Consortium Horizon Report found that blended learning designs were one of the short term forces driving technology adoption in higher education in the next 1–2 years (Adams Becker et al. 2017 ). Also, blended learning is one of the key issues in teaching and learning in the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s 2017 annual survey of higher education (EDUCAUSE 2017 ). As institutions begin to examine BL instruction, there is a growing research interest in exploring the implications for both faculty and students. This modality is creating a community of practice built on a singular and pervasive research question, “How is blended learning impacting the teaching and learning environment?” That question continues to gain traction as investigators study the complexities of how BL interacts with cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of student behavior, and examine its transformation potential for the academy. Those issues are so compelling that several volumes have been dedicated to assembling the research on how blended learning can be better understood (Dziuban et al. 2016 ; Picciano et al. 2014 ; Picciano and Dziuban 2007 ; Bonk and Graham 2007 ; Kitchenham 2011 ; Jean-François 2013 ; Garrison and Vaughan 2013 ) and at least one organization, the Online Learning Consortium, sponsored an annual conference solely dedicated to blended learning at all levels of education and training (2004–2015). These initiatives address blended learning in a wide variety of situations. For instance, the contexts range over K-12 education, industrial and military training, conceptual frameworks, transformational potential, authentic assessment, and new research models. Further, many of these resources address students’ access, success, withdrawal, and perception of the degree to which blended learning provides an effective learning environment.

Currently the United States faces a widening educational gap between our underserved student population and those communities with greater financial and technological resources (Williams 2016 ). Equal access to education is a critical need, one that is particularly important for those in our underserved communities. Can blended learning help increase access thereby alleviating some of the issues faced by our lower income students while resulting in improved educational equality? Although most indicators suggest “yes” (Dziuban et al. 2004 ), it seems that, at the moment, the answer is still “to be determined.” Quality education presents a challenge, evidenced by many definitions of what constitutes its fundamental components (Pirsig 1974 ; Arum et al. 2016 ). Although progress has been made by initiatives, such as, Quality Matters ( 2016 ), the OLC OSCQR Course Design Review Scorecard developed by Open SUNY (Open SUNY n.d. ), the Quality Scorecard for Blended Learning Programs (Online Learning Consortium n.d. ), and SERVQUAL (Alhabeeb 2015 ), the issue is by no means resolved. Generally, we still make quality education a perceptual phenomenon where we ascribe that attribute to a course, educational program, or idea, but struggle with precisely why we reached that decision. Searle ( 2015 ), summarizes the problem concisely arguing that quality does not exist independently, but is entirely observer dependent. Pirsig ( 1974 ) in his iconic volume on the nature of quality frames the context this way,

“There is such thing as Quality, but that as soon as you try to define it, something goes haywire. You can’t do it” (p. 91).

Therefore, attempting to formulate a semantic definition of quality education with syntax-based metrics results in what O’Neil (O'Neil 2017 ) terms surrogate models that are rough approximations and oversimplified. Further, the derived metrics tend to morph into goals or benchmarks, losing their original measurement properties (Goodhart 1975 ).

Information communication technologies in society and education

Blended learning forces us to consider the characteristics of digital technology, in general, and information communication technologies (ICTs), more specifically. Floridi ( 2014 ) suggests an answer proffered by Alan Turing: that digital ICTs can process information on their own, in some sense just as humans and other biological life. ICTs can also communicate information to each other, without human intervention, but as linked processes designed by humans. We have evolved to the point where humans are not always “in the loop” of technology, but should be “on the loop” (Floridi 2014 , p. 30), designing and adapting the process. We perceive our world more and more in informational terms, and not primarily as physical entities (Floridi 2008 ). Increasingly, the educational world is dominated by information and our economies rest primarily on that asset. So our world is also blended, and it is blended so much that we hardly see the individual components of the blend any longer. Floridi ( 2014 ) argues that the world has become an “infosphere” (like biosphere) where we live as “inforgs.” What is real for us is shifting from the physical and unchangeable to those things with which we can interact.

Floridi also helps us to identify the next blend in education, involving ICTs, or specialized artificial intelligence (Floridi 2014 , 25; Norberg 2017 , 65). Learning analytics, adaptive learning, calibrated peer review, and automated essay scoring (Balfour 2013 ) are advanced processes that, provided they are good interfaces, can work well with the teacher— allowing him or her to concentrate on human attributes such as being caring, creative, and engaging in problem-solving. This can, of course, as with all technical advancements, be used to save resources and augment the role of the teacher. For instance, if artificial intelligence can be used to work along with teachers, allowing them more time for personal feedback and mentoring with students, then, we will have made a transformational breakthrough. The Edinburg University manifesto for teaching online says bravely, “Automation need not impoverish education – we welcome our robot colleagues” (Bayne et al. 2016 ). If used wisely, they will teach us more about ourselves, and about what is truly human in education. This emerging blend will also affect curricular and policy questions, such as the what? and what for? The new normal for education will be in perpetual flux. Floridi’s ( 2014 ) philosophy offers us tools to understand and be in control and not just sit by and watch what happens. In many respects, he has addressed the new normal for blended learning.

Literature of blended learning

A number of investigators have assembled a comprehensive agenda of transformative and innovative research issues for blended learning that have the potential to enhance effectiveness (Garrison and Kanuka 2004 ; Picciano 2009 ). Generally, research has found that BL results in improvement in student success and satisfaction, (Dziuban and Moskal 2011 ; Dziuban et al. 2011 ; Means et al. 2013 ) as well as an improvement in students’ sense of community (Rovai and Jordan 2004 ) when compared with face-to-face courses. Those who have been most successful at blended learning initiatives stress the importance of institutional support for course redesign and planning (Moskal et al. 2013 ; Dringus and Seagull 2015 ; Picciano 2009 ; Tynan et al. 2015 ). The evolving research questions found in the literature are long and demanding, with varied definitions of what constitutes “blended learning,” facilitating the need for continued and in-depth research on instructional models and support needed to maximize achievement and success (Dringus and Seagull 2015 ; Bloemer and Swan 2015 ).

Educational access

The lack of access to educational technologies and innovations (sometimes termed the digital divide) continues to be a challenge with novel educational technologies (Fairlie 2004 ; Jones et al. 2009 ). One of the promises of online technologies is that they can increase access to nontraditional and underserved students by bringing a host of educational resources and experiences to those who may have limited access to on-campus-only higher education. A 2010 U.S. report shows that students with low socioeconomic status are less likely to obtain higher levels of postsecondary education (Aud et al. 2010 ). However, the increasing availability of distance education has provided educational opportunities to millions (Lewis and Parsad 2008 ; Allen et al. 2016 ). Additionally, an emphasis on open educational resources (OER) in recent years has resulted in significant cost reductions without diminishing student performance outcomes (Robinson et al. 2014 ; Fischer et al. 2015 ; Hilton et al. 2016 ).

Unfortunately, the benefits of access may not be experienced evenly across demographic groups. A 2015 study found that Hispanic and Black STEM majors were significantly less likely to take online courses even when controlling for academic preparation, socioeconomic status (SES), citizenship, and English as a second language (ESL) status (Wladis et al. 2015 ). Also, questions have been raised about whether the additional access afforded by online technologies has actually resulted in improved outcomes for underserved populations. A distance education report in California found that all ethnic minorities (except Asian/Pacific Islanders) completed distance education courses at a lower rate than the ethnic majority (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office 2013 ). Shea and Bidjerano ( 2014 , 2016 ) found that African American community college students who took distance education courses completed degrees at significantly lower rates than those who did not take distance education courses. On the other hand, a study of success factors in K-12 online learning found that for ethnic minorities, only 1 out of 15 courses had significant gaps in student test scores (Liu and Cavanaugh 2011 ). More research needs to be conducted, examining access and success rates for different populations, when it comes to learning in different modalities, including fully online and blended learning environments.

Framing a treatment effect

Over the last decade, there have been at least five meta-analyses that have addressed the impact of blended learning environments and its relationship to learning effectiveness (Zhao et al. 2005 ; Sitzmann et al. 2006 ; Bernard et al. 2009 ; Means et al. 2010 , 2013 ; Bernard et al. 2014 ). Each of these studies has found small to moderate positive effect sizes in favor of blended learning when compared to fully online or traditional face-to-face environments. However, there are several considerations inherent in these studies that impact our understanding the generalizability of outcomes.

Dziuban and colleagues (Dziuban et al. 2015 ) analyzed the meta-analyses conducted by Means and her colleagues (Means et al. 2013 ; Means et al. 2010 ), concluding that their methods were impressive as evidenced by exhaustive study inclusion criteria and the use of scale-free effect size indices. The conclusion, in both papers, was that there was a modest difference in multiple outcome measures for courses featuring online modalities—in particular, blended courses. However, with blended learning especially, there are some concerns with these kinds of studies. First, the effect sizes are based on the linear hypothesis testing model with the underlying assumption that the treatment and the error terms are uncorrelated, indicating that there is nothing else going on in the blending that might confound the results. Although the blended learning articles (Means et al. 2010 ) were carefully vetted, the assumption of independence is tenuous at best so that these meta-analysis studies must be interpreted with extreme caution.

There is an additional concern with blended learning as well. Blends are not equivalent because of the manner on which they are configured. For instance, a careful reading of the sources used in the Means, et al. papers will identify, at minimum, the following blending techniques: laboratory assessments, online instruction, e-mail, class web sites, computer laboratories, mapping and scaffolding tools, computer clusters, interactive presentations and e-mail, handwriting capture, evidence-based practice, electronic portfolios, learning management systems, and virtual apparatuses. These are not equivalent ways in which to configure courses, and such nonequivalence constitutes the confounding we describe. We argue here that, in actuality, blended learning is a general construct in the form of a boundary object (Star and Griesemer 1989 ) rather than a treatment effect in the statistical sense. That is, an idea or concept that can support a community of practice, but is weakly defined fostering disagreement in the general group. Conversely, it is stronger in individual constituencies. For instance, content disciplines (i.e. education, rhetoric, optics, mathematics, and philosophy) formulate a more precise definition because of commonly embraced teaching and learning principles. Quite simply, the situation is more complicated than that, as Leonard Smith ( 2007 ) says after Tolstoy,

“All linear models resemble each other, each non nonlinear system is unique in its own way” (p. 33).

This by no means invalidates these studies, but effect size associated with blended learning should be interpreted with caution where the impact is evaluated within a particular learning context.

Study objectives

This study addressed student access by examining success and withdrawal rates in the blended learning courses by comparing them to face-to-face and online modalities over an extended time period at the University of Central Florida. Further, the investigators sought to assess the differences in those success and withdrawal rates with the minority status of students. Secondly, the investigators examined the student end-of-course ratings of blended learning and other modalities by attempting to develop robust if-then decision rules about what characteristics of classes and instructors lead students to assign an “excellent” value to their educational experience. Because of the high stakes nature of these student ratings toward faculty promotion, awards, and tenure, they act as a surrogate measure for instructional quality. Next, the investigators determined the conditional probabilities for students conforming to the identified rule cross-referenced by expected grade, the degree to which they desired to take the course, and course modality.

Student grades by course modality were recoded into a binary variable with C or higher assigned a value of 1, and remaining values a 0. This was a declassification process that sacrificed some specificity but compensated for confirmation bias associated with disparate departmental policies regarding grade assignment. At the measurement level this was an “on track to graduation index” for students. Withdrawal was similarly coded by the presence or absence of its occurrence. In each case, the percentage of students succeeding or withdrawing from blended, online or face-to-face courses was calculated by minority and non-minority status for the fall 2014 through fall 2015 semesters.

Next, a classification and regression tree (CART) analysis (Brieman et al. 1984 ) was performed on the student end-of-course evaluation protocol ( Appendix 1 ). The dependent measure was a binary variable indicating whether or not a student assigned an overall rating of excellent to his or her course experience. The independent measures in the study were: the remaining eight rating items on the protocol, college membership, and course level (lower undergraduate, upper undergraduate, and graduate). Decision trees are efficient procedures for achieving effective solutions in studies such as this because with missing values imputation may be avoided with procedures such as floating methods and the surrogate formation (Brieman et al. 1984 , Olshen et al. 1995 ). For example, a logistic regression method cannot efficiently handle all variables under consideration. There are 10 independent variables involved here; one variable has three levels, another has nine, and eight have five levels each. This means the logistic regression model must incorporate more than 50 dummy variables and an excessively large number of two-way interactions. However, the decision-tree method can perform this analysis very efficiently, permitting the investigator to consider higher order interactions. Even more importantly, decision trees represent appropriate methods in this situation because many of the variables are ordinally scaled. Although numerical values can be assigned to each category, those values are not unique. However, decision trees incorporate the ordinal component of the variables to obtain a solution. The rules derived from decision trees have an if-then structure that is readily understandable. The accuracy of these rules can be assessed with percentages of correct classification or odds-ratios that are easily understood. The procedure produces tree-like rule structures that predict outcomes.

The model-building procedure for predicting overall instructor rating

For this study, the investigators used the CART method (Brieman et al. 1984 ) executed with SPSS 23 (IBM Corp 2015 ). Because of its strong variance-sharing tendencies with the other variables, the dependent measure for the analysis was the rating on the item Overall Rating of the Instructor , with the previously mentioned indicator variables (college, course level, and the remaining 8 questions) on the instrument. Tree methods are recursive, and bisect data into subgroups called nodes or leaves. CART analysis bases itself on: data splitting, pruning, and homogeneous assessment.

Splitting the data into two (binary) subsets comprises the first stage of the process. CART continues to split the data until the frequencies in each subset are either very small or all observations in a subset belong to one category (e.g., all observations in a subset have the same rating). Usually the growing stage results in too many terminate nodes for the model to be useful. CART solves this problem using pruning methods that reduce the dimensionality of the system.

The final stage of the analysis involves assessing homogeneousness in growing and pruning the tree. One way to accomplish this is to compute the misclassification rates. For example, a rule that produces a .95 probability that an instructor will receive an excellent rating has an associated error of 5.0%.

Implications for using decision trees

Although decision-tree techniques are effective for analyzing datasets such as this, the reader should be aware of certain limitations. For example, since trees use ranks to analyze both ordinal and interval variables, information can be lost. However, the most serious weakness of decision tree analysis is that the results can be unstable because small initial variations can lead to substantially different solutions.

For this study model, these problems were addressed with the k-fold cross-validation process. Initially the dataset was partitioned randomly into 10 subsets with an approximately equal number of records in each subset. Each cohort is used as a test partition, and the remaining subsets are combined to complete the function. This produces 10 models that are all trained on different subsets of the original dataset and where each has been used as the test partition one time only.

Although computationally dense, CART was selected as the analysis model for a number of reasons— primarily because it provides easily interpretable rules that readers will be able evaluate in their particular contexts. Unlike many other multivariate procedures that are even more sensitive to initial estimates and require a good deal of statistical sophistication for interpretation, CART has an intuitive resonance with researcher consumers. The overriding objective of our choice of analysis methods was to facilitate readers’ concentration on our outcomes rather than having to rely on our interpretation of the results.

Institution-level evaluation: Success and withdrawal

The University of Central Florida (UCF) began a longitudinal impact study of their online and blended courses at the start of the distributed learning initiative in 1996. The collection of similar data across multiple semesters and academic years has allowed UCF to monitor trends, assess any issues that may arise, and provide continual support for both faculty and students across varying demographics. Table  1 illustrates the overall success rates in blended, online and face-to-face courses, while also reporting their variability across minority and non-minority demographics.

While success (A, B, or C grade) is not a direct reflection of learning outcomes, this overview does provide an institutional level indication of progress and possible issues of concern. BL has a slight advantage when looking at overall success and withdrawal rates. This varies by discipline and course, but generally UCF’s blended modality has evolved to be the best of both worlds, providing an opportunity for optimizing face-to-face instruction through the effective use of online components. These gains hold true across minority status. Reducing on-ground time also addresses issues that impact both students and faculty such as parking and time to reach class. In addition, UCF requires faculty to go through faculty development tailored to teaching in either blended or online modalities. This 8-week faculty development course is designed to model blended learning, encouraging faculty to redesign their course and not merely consider blended learning as a means to move face-to-face instructional modules online (Cobb et al. 2012 ; Lowe 2013 ).

Withdrawal (Table  2 ) from classes impedes students’ success and retention and can result in delayed time to degree, incurred excess credit hour fees, or lost scholarships and financial aid. Although grades are only a surrogate measure for learning, they are a strong predictor of college completion. Therefore, the impact of any new innovation on students’ grades should be a component of any evaluation. Once again, the blended modality is competitive and in some cases results in lower overall withdrawal rates than either fully online or face-to-face courses.

The students’ perceptions of their learning environments

Other potentially high-stakes indicators can be measured to determine the impact of an innovation such as blended learning on the academy. For instance, student satisfaction and attitudes can be measured through data collection protocols, including common student ratings, or student perception of instruction instruments. Given that those ratings often impact faculty evaluation, any negative reflection can derail the successful implementation and scaling of an innovation by disenfranchised instructors. In fact, early online and blended courses created a request by the UCF faculty senate to investigate their impact on faculty ratings as compared to face-to-face sections. The UCF Student Perception of Instruction form is released automatically online through the campus web portal near the end of each semester. Students receive a splash page with a link to each course’s form. Faculty receive a scripted email that they can send to students indicating the time period that the ratings form will be available. The forms close at the beginning of finals week. Faculty receive a summary of their results following the semester end.

The instrument used for this study was developed over a ten year period by the faculty senate of the University of Central Florida, recognizing the evolution of multiple course modalities including blended learning. The process involved input from several constituencies on campus (students, faculty, administrators, instructional designers, and others), in attempt to provide useful formative and summative instructional information to the university community. The final instrument was approved by resolution of the senate and, currently, is used across the university. Students’ rating of their classes and instructors comes with considerable controversy and disagreement with researchers aligning themselves on both sides of the issue. Recently, there have been a number of studies criticizing the process (Uttl et al. 2016 ; Boring et al. 2016 ; & Stark and Freishtat 2014 ). In spite of this discussion, a viable alternative has yet to emerge in higher education. So in the foreseeable future, the process is likely to continue. Therefore, with an implied faculty senate mandate this study was initiated by this team of researchers.

Prior to any analysis of the item responses collected in this campus-wide student sample, the psychometric quality (domain sampling) of the information yielded by the instrument was assessed. Initially, the reliability (internal consistency) was derived using coefficient alpha (Cronbach 1951 ). In addition, Guttman ( 1953 ) developed a theorem about item properties that leads to evidence about the quality of one’s data, demonstrating that as the domain sampling properties of items improve, the inverse of the correlation matrix among items will approach a diagonal. Subsequently, Kaiser and Rice ( 1974 ) developed the measure of sampling adequacy (MSA) that is a function of the Guttman Theorem. The index has an upper bound of one with Kaiser offering some decision rules for interpreting the value of MSA. If the value of the index is in the .80 to .99 range, the investigator has evidence of an excellent domain sample. Values in the .70s signal an acceptable result, and those in the .60s indicate data that are unacceptable. Customarily, the MSA has been used for data assessment prior to the application of any dimensionality assessments. Computation of the MSA value gave the investigators a benchmark for the construct validity of the items in this study. This procedure has been recommended by Dziuban and Shirkey ( 1974 ) prior to any latent dimension analysis and was used with the data obtained for this study. The MSA for the current instrument was .98 suggesting excellent domain sampling properties with an associated alpha reliability coefficient of .97 suggesting superior internal consistency. The psychometric properties of the instrument were excellent with both measures.

The online student ratings form presents an electronic data set each semester. These can be merged across time to create a larger data set of completed ratings for every course across each semester. In addition, captured data includes course identification variables including prefix, number, section and semester, department, college, faculty, and class size. The overall rating of effectiveness is used most heavily by departments and faculty in comparing across courses and modalities (Table  3 ).

The finally derived tree (decision rules) included only three variables—survey items that asked students to rate the instructor’s effectiveness at:

Helping students achieve course objectives,

Creating an environment that helps students learn, and

Communicating ideas and information.

None of the demographic variables associated with the courses contributed to the final model. The final rule specifies that if a student assigns an excellent rating to those three items, irrespective of their status on any other condition, the probability is .99 that an instructor will receive an overall rating of excellent. The converse is true as well. A poor rating on all three of those items will lead to a 99% chance of an instructor receiving an overall rating of poor.

Tables  4 , 5 and 6 present a demonstration of the robustness of the CART rule for variables on which it was not developed: expected course grade, desire to take the course and modality.

In each case, irrespective of the marginal probabilities, those students conforming to the rule have a virtually 100% chance of seeing the course as excellent. For instance, 27% of all students expecting to fail assigned an excellent rating to their courses, but when they conformed to the rule the percentage rose to 97%. The same finding is true when students were asked about their desire to take the course with those who strongly disagreed assigning excellent ratings to their courses 26% of the time. However, for those conforming to the rule, that category rose to 92%. When course modality is considered in the marginal sense, blended learning is rated as the preferred choice. However, from Table  6 we can observe that the rule equates student assessment of their learning experiences. If they conform to the rule, they will see excellence.

This study addressed increasingly important issues of student success, withdrawal and perception of the learning environment across multiple course modalities. Arguably these components form the crux of how we will make more effective decisions about how blended learning configures itself in the new normal. The results reported here indicate that blending maintains or increases access for most student cohorts and produces improved success rates for minority and non-minority students alike. In addition, when students express their beliefs about the effectiveness of their learning environments, blended learning enjoys the number one rank. However, upon more thorough analysis of key elements students view as important in their learning, external and demographic variables have minimal impact on those decisions. For example college (i.e. discipline) membership, course level or modality, expected grade or desire to take a particular course have little to do with their course ratings. The characteristics they view as important relate to clear establishment and progress toward course objectives, creating an effective learning environment and the instructors’ effective communication. If in their view those three elements of a course are satisfied they are virtually guaranteed to evaluate their educational experience as excellent irrespective of most other considerations. While end of course rating protocols are summative the three components have clear formative characteristics in that each one is directly related to effective pedagogy and is responsive to faculty development through units such as the faculty center for teaching and learning. We view these results as encouraging because they offer potential for improving the teaching and learning process in an educational environment that increases the pressure to become more responsive to contemporary student lifestyles.

Clearly, in this study we are dealing with complex adaptive systems that feature the emergent property. That is, their primary agents and their interactions comprise an environment that is more than the linear combination of their individual elements. Blending learning, by interacting with almost every aspect of higher education, provides opportunities and challenges that we are not able to fully anticipate.

This pedagogy alters many assumptions about the most effective way to support the educational environment. For instance, blending, like its counterpart active learning, is a personal and individual phenomenon experienced by students. Therefore, it should not be surprising that much of what we have called blended learning is, in reality, blended teaching that reflects pedagogical arrangements. Actually, the best we can do for assessing impact is to use surrogate measures such as success, grades, results of assessment protocols, and student testimony about their learning experiences. Whether or not such devices are valid indicators remains to be determined. We may be well served, however, by changing our mode of inquiry to blended teaching.

Additionally, as Norberg ( 2017 ) points out, blended learning is not new. The modality dates back, at least, to the medieval period when the technology of textbooks was introduced into the classroom where, traditionally, the professor read to the students from the only existing manuscript. Certainly, like modern technologies, books were disruptive because they altered the teaching and learning paradigm. Blended learning might be considered what Johnson describes as a slow hunch (2010). That is, an idea that evolved over a long period of time, achieving what Kaufmann ( 2000 ) describes as the adjacent possible – a realistic next step occurring in many iterations.

The search for a definition for blended learning has been productive, challenging, and, at times, daunting. The definitional continuum is constrained by Oliver and Trigwell ( 2005 ) castigation of the concept for its imprecise vagueness to Sharpe et al.’s ( 2006 ) notion that its definitional latitude enhances contextual relevance. Both extremes alter boundaries such as time, place, presence, learning hierarchies, and space. The disagreement leads us to conclude that Lakoff’s ( 2012 ) idealized cognitive models i.e. arbitrarily derived concepts (of which blended learning might be one) are necessary if we are to function effectively. However, the strong possibility exists that blended learning, like quality, is observer dependent and may not exist outside of our perceptions of the concept. This, of course, circles back to the problem of assuming that blending is a treatment effect for point hypothesis testing and meta-analysis.

Ultimately, in this article, we have tried to consider theoretical concepts and empirical findings about blended learning and their relationship to the new normal as it evolves. Unfortunately, like unresolved chaotic solutions, we cannot be sure that there is an attractor or that it will be the new normal. That being said, it seems clear that blended learning is the harbinger of substantial change in higher education and will become equally impactful in K-12 schooling and industrial training. Blended learning, because of its flexibility, allows us to maximize many positive education functions. If Floridi ( 2014 ) is correct and we are about to live in an environment where we are on the communication loop rather than in it, our educational future is about to change. However, if our results are correct and not over fit to the University of Central Florida and our theoretical speculations have some validity, the future of blended learning should encourage us about the coming changes.

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The authors acknowledge the contributions of several investigators and course developers from the Center for Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida, the McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University, and Scholars at Umea University, Sweden. These professionals contributed theoretical and practical ideas to this research project and carefully reviewed earlier versions of this manuscript. The Authors gratefully acknowledge their support and assistance.

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Many schools will begin this year in a hybrid situation, with students attending a physical school part time and spending the remaining hours in remote asynchronous instruction. Other districts, like ours, will begin the year entirely online, with students spending part of their time in live classes while working on their own during other parts of the day.

This series may be able to provide some support for teachers trying to figure out how to make this new learning environment work...

Today, Alfonso Gonzalez, Janice Wyatt-Ross, and Kait Gentry share their advice.

The Core 4 of distance learning

Alfonso Gonzalez has been teaching grades 4-8 for 29 years. He is a national-board-certified teacher in the area of early-adolescent generalist with a master’s of arts in teaching and has completed two ISTE Capstone certifications. He tweets regularly at @educatoral and blogs often at Mr. Gonzalez’s Classroom :

With schools all over the world redesigning because of COVID-19, blended learning is becoming a new normal. Blended learning has been around for a while and is the combination of traditional face-to-face instruction with aspects of online instruction all while students are in the classroom with the teacher. Blended learning strives to provide students the best of both face-to-face and online learning experiences. Blended classrooms include face-to-face instruction techniques such as direct instruction or lecture, group discussions, and small-group work while also using technology to provide in-class online learning that students can do at home provided they have access to necessary technology.

Online instruction is often facilitated by a Learning Management System or LMS. An LMS is where the instructor puts all the lessons and activities that students must work through to successfully complete the course. Typical LMS’s that schools use include Canvas , Schoology , Blackboard , and even Google Classroom . If you’re looking for an LMS that can support gamification , check out Classcraft . Just as whole-class discussion and small-group work are staples of face-to-face instruction, discussion forums and asynchronous learning are staples of online learning. Blended classrooms can empower students who are introverted or shy to share their ideas and learn from others using discussion forums where conversations that were started in class can continue well after the class ends.

Teachers who never taught an online course, never used an LMS, and maybe even hardly used technology in their classroom with their students had to learn how to use an LMS and put their often analog or nondigital work, assignments, activities, labs, etc., on an LMS, and they had to do that very quickly. Now that many of us have some time before school starts up again, we can better prepare.

During the spring, as we were offering 100 percent online education to our students, many teachers from my district and all over Washington state took an online course to learn how to teach online. The course, offered by Reimagine WA ED, a Jeff Utecht Consulting Co ., called Shifting School: Implementing Distance Learning, gave us strategies to support our students during their forced at-home-online-learning.

One of the big takeaways for me from the course that applies to online learning and therefore blended learning is what they call the Core 4 of distance learning. School districts, or at least schools, should agree on what systems they are going to use to provide online learning. First, schools need to determine which LMS they will use so that all students, regardless of grade level or teacher, are using the same system. Many schools that already used Google Education tools chose Google Classroom . Second, schools need to determine what teachers and students will use for file storage and sharing. Google Education schools used Google Drive, for example. Third, schools need to determine how teachers will connect with students synchronously for online meetings. Many schools used Zoom or Google Meet . Fourth, schools need to determine what teachers will use for recording video lessons for asynchronous learning. Chrome users use Screencastify for screencasting (recording what you are doing on your computer screen), but services such as Loom and Screencast-O-Matic were also quite popular.

With your Core 4, you can provide your students online learning experiences when they are with you in class, and if or when schools have to shut down again and go 100 percent online, your students will be ready because they will have learned how to use the tech tools needed to learn at home! Now that schools and teachers are being forced to incorporate educational technology and seriously implement blended learning because we will have students working from home, all students will have access to this learning model. Even before COVID, kids were very likely to learn, get higher education degrees, or do on-the-job training through blended learning or online learning, so the sooner kids are exposed to those modes of learning the better prepared they will be for their future learning. It is my hope that two of the many good things to come from this pandemic are more equitable access to technology and connectivity as well as more teachers incorporating technology in their courses.

500 words essay about blended learning

Flexibility is key

Janice Wyatt-Ross has a bachelor’s in special education from the University of Central Arkansas, a master’s in special education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a doctorate in urban educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Her career began as an elementary special education teacher, and she has held such positions as a consulting teacher, compliance specialist, field-service assistant professor with the University of Cincinnati, gap-reduction specialist, associate principal at Bryan Station High School in Kentucky, administrative dean at Cardinal Valley Elementary in Kentucky, assistant professor at Asbury University, and director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She is now the program director for the Success Academy of the Fayette County public schools in Kentucky :

In recent years, it has been harder and harder to educate students in the age of social media. Gone are the days when students would be docile and compliant while sitting and listening to a teacher lecture for an hour. How do teachers in the classrooms compete with upbeat music, realistic photos, flashy videos, and friends there to like and share content with all from the palm of students’ hands? How do you harness these features and bring all of this to the classroom? Now add the barrier of high school students who are delayed in their progression toward graduation and a diploma because many of them got caught up in the frenzy of being social. As the director of a dropout-prevention and re-engagement center, I am addressing this dilemma every day. One way we address re-engaging students in school is through blended learning.

Blended learning for our program is a combination of digital learning, which can be accessed anywhere the student has internet access, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; face-to-face instruction with a certified instructor; and project-based community-service learning activities. Combining all of this with a staff who is persistent in making sure students visualize the goal of completing high school and beyond, there is no justification for students being left behind. Students are attracted to this model because they can work at their own pace while having teachers on hand to give guidance in the areas that they need help, and they can give back to the community. Students receive grades based on a combination of their completion of coursework through the digital learning system and lessons teachers create based on standards addressed in the community-based projects. We have developed a curriculum framework around five elements that are the foundation of our blended learning model. The most energizing aspect of this framework is that teachers have the autonomy to take risks and be as innovative as they can think to be.

We plan to continue this model even in the era of COVID-19 with virtual instruction. As we plan for what school will look like this year, we will incorporate live virtual instructional sessions with recorded on-demand lesson presentations. Students will still have access to their digital learning program, but this will be supplemented with live sessions and prerecorded teacher mini-lessons that students can also watch if they are unable to attend the live sessions and need additional help. Each teacher will have virtual office hours to answer student questions and to provide feedback on assignments. Community members will be invited to speak with students during virtual sessions to aid students in their project-based learning activities.

This framework is not for everyone. Teachers and administrators have to be willing to be flexible and be vulnerable enough to admit mistakes and not take it personally when an idea is not successful. Re-engaging students back into school does not lend itself to following a prescribed pacing guide or teacher’s manual. This framework requires lots and lots of planning, reflection, and sometimes revising on the spot. Did I mention that this framework requires flexibility? Every new group of students will have a new set of needs and interests. To be student-centered, culturally responsive, and tailored to student interests, this framework has to be flexible. Our framework is individualized, intervening, intensive, intentional, and immediate.

500 words essay about blended learning

The flipped-classroom model

Kait Gentry is the middle school learning and support coordinator at Calvert School in Baltimore, where she has taught for 12 years in both middle and lower school. Kait has overseen the development and expansion of Calvert’s Lyceum learning center, which serves the entire middle school student body through both structured and optional enrichment and support periods:

Like many educators, I leapt into the world of virtual learning last spring due to COVID-19 school closures. While some teachers have spent years immersed in the world of technology, many of us were adjusting to sitting behind a screen and figuring out how to best translate the benefits of in-person learning to the virtual world and how to use technology-supported instruction to enhance student learning.

Blended learning, in the traditional sense, combines in-person teacher-student interactions with online learning tools to support overall instruction for both the teacher and student. And with the widespread use of technology in teaching and learning, there are numerous ways to approach blended learning today.

However, as we shifted to distance learning last spring, we had to take the best of blended learning and adjust it to exist in a completely virtual world. Prior to COVID-19, we had explored the flipped- classroom model, which is a popular form of blended learning that typically layers instructional videos to be consumed independently at home, with time spent in the classroom focused on working through assignments, extension activities, or application problems. As we transitioned to remote learning, we worked to capture the benefits of “traditional” in-person learning through live, virtual small-group classes, which allowed students to ask clarifying questions in real time and to provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities, as well as critical social interactions. While there were so many educational losses this spring, this virtual flipped classroom provided opportunities for students to engage in discussions and instruction in smaller groups than would normally occur in a classroom setting. I found that this was ideal for our quieter students (who loved using the chat feature to share ideas) and also allowed teachers to connect with students in even deeper, more authentic ways despite the distance.

The flipped-classroom model, whether virtual or in person, has been a gift for many of my students, most notably those with learning differences or more introverted kids. This model provided the opportunity for students to review new learning materials prior to class beginning, which increased their confidence in the materials and academic engagement during live discussions, as well as encouraged all students to process new material independently. One of the biggest challenges that some students face is relying on peers and teachers to do the work of content “digestion” for them—making connections to prior knowledge or predicting future connections or patterns. The flipped model places a greater emphasis on the student putting in more of their own intellectual effort, leading to greater retention of the material and a significant increase in confidence.

Blended learning also incorporates online learning tools, whether it is in class or at home, that can offer more personalized learning experiences for students. For example, vocabulary development can vary drastically among individual students. Using an online tool like InferCabulary allows my students to work through developing new vocabulary words at their own pace and level. Over time, the program learns what words a student has mastered and which words still need additional work, providing a more customized learning experience than traditional pen and paper vocabulary assignments. This leads to greater retention as well as broader extension and usage of the words in a variety of contexts. Furthermore, the program incorporates gamification to keep students engaged and motivated.

As teachers work through the unknowns of the 2020-21 school year, educators will have to continue to examine and evaluate how to maximize teacher-student interactions as well as online learning tools to support instruction and student development. While this year is sure to bring more challenges, it is equally likely that there will be incredible growth and development along the way.

500 words essay about blended learning

Thanks to Alfonso, Janice, and Kait for their contributions!

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CHAPTER 1 : Blended Learning

This chapter is an introduction to blended learning: how it is defined, how it emerged, how it is being used and what it has to offer, as well as challenges you may encounter when implementing a blended learning approach in your teaching practice.

The Growth of Blended Learning

This guidebook presents new ways of thinking about teaching and learning to help you better prepare your students to learn and develop into 21st-century global citizens.

According to the U.S. Department of Education (Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones, 2009), a blend of classroom and web-based teaching and learning offers access to the widest range of learning modes and methods for developing student skills and expertise as learners (Cleveland-Innes, 2017). Many findings on blended learning show an increase in learners’ ability to learn collaboratively, think creatively, study independently and tailor their own learning experiences to meet their individual needs.

This guidebook also provides information about some of the technology tools you can use to support in-person delivery in a seamless, truly blended way. Through careful, thoughtful blending and with consideration for technological skill levels and Internet access, learning for anyone can now take place with greater flexibility and convenience.

Innovative educators have for many years been creating new delivery methods in education by combining elements of in-person teaching with technology-enabled learning to bring people together virtually. Since the late 1990s, when simple learning management systems began to emerge, blended learning has grown very quickly. There are now many possible combinations and permutations, but it took time for this to occur.

While computers became part of everyday life for most in the early 2000s, education was slower to integrate computer technology. When it did, technology use was often limited to supplementing the usual teach-by-telling approach. As computers and the Internet demonstrated opportunities  for connecting people in multiple locations as well as for more interaction, more visuals and greater access to information, innovation increased but in fragmented, uneven ways.

Soon, Internet connectivity and browser development allowed broader and more user-friendly resources for anyone wanting to learn. Web-based learning replaced CD-ROM materials. “Rather than having to distribute CD-ROMs to learners, organizations could simply upload material, e Learning assessments, and assignments via the web, and learners could access them with a click of a mouse button” (Pappas, 2015b).

Today, computers, tablets and smartphones are available to the majority of the world’s population, and technology-enabled learning has become more varied and accessible. More and more institutions and teachers are adding web-based learning to their delivery methods, and learners have access to many applications to support their learning. The mantra “anytime, anywhere” has been taken up to describe the new wave of education. However, this notion is being challenged by education practitioners and researchers, who know that learning competence is not universal, student skills are very different from skills needed to participate in social media, and access to broadband Internet is not evenly distributed.

Teachers are still a key part of blended learning — teachers who have subject-matter expertise and basic technology skills, along with the new pedagogies that go with technology, such as constructivism and collaboration. Blended learning expertise provides  both.

What is Blended Learning?

The simplest definition of the term blended learning is the use of traditional classroom teaching methods together with the use of online learning for the same students studying the same content in the same course. It is a “thoughtful fusion of face-to-face and online learning experiences” (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008). There are also blended programmes , in which students study some courses in face-to-face classrooms and other courses are delivered fully online.

In other words, blended learning is a term applied to the practice of providing instruction and learning experiences through some combination of both face-to-face and technology-mediated learning. During the technology-mediated components of these learning experiences, students are not required to be physically together in one place but may be connected digitally through online communities. For example, one blended learning course could involve students attending a class taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting while also completing online components of the course independently, outside of the classroom, on an online learning platform.

Classroom instruction time may be replaced or augmented by online learning experiences, and online learning can include varying degrees of interaction or just time alone in independent study and learning activities. However, in a quality blended learning experience, the content and activities of both in-person and online learning are integrated with one another and work toward the same learning outcomes with the same content. The various learning experiences are synthesised, complement each other, and are planned or orchestrated to run in parallel.

Blended learning is sometimes called hybrid or mixed-mode learning . These systems of instructional design use many types of teaching and learning experiences and vary in design and implementation across teachers, programmes and schools. The potential variations of mixed-mode learning are virtually endless; a good way to get a sense of the range of possibilities is to consider some examples:

  • In one school, a few teachers create mixed-mode delivery in their individual classrooms. In another, a whole programme chooses to make blended learning its choice of delivery for all students; all teachers work together to learn how to teach in a blended delivery system.
  • Video recorded lectures, live video and other digitally enabled learning opportunities can be a student’s primary instructional interactions with other students and the teacher. In some cases, students may work independently on online lessons, projects and assignments at home or else- where, only periodically meeting with teachers to review their learning progress, discuss their work, ask questions or receive assistance with difficult concepts. In other cases, students may spend their entire day in a traditional school building, but they will spend more time working online and independently than they do receiving instruction from a teacher.

Blended learning can be divided into three main models.

The first model, blended presentation and interaction, has classroom engagement as its primary component, with support from out-of-class, online exercises. The flipped classroom or flipped curriculum approach is a common example of this model, with students viewing podcasts or other online resources independently, followed by classroom-based tutorials or seminars for group learning based upon these resources.

The second is the blended block model (sometimes called a programme flow model), in which a sequence of activities, or “blocks,” is structured to incorporate both face-to-face learning and online study, usually with consideration for both pedagogical goals and practical constraints. For example, a course for geographically distributed learners or working professionals may have limited opportunities for classroom-based learning and therefore begin with a block of intensive face-to-face sessions, followed by blocks of online study and collaboration through online tutorials, possibly followed by a further block of face-to-face learning or group presentations.

The third model is fully online but may still be considered blended if it incorporates both synchronous learning (for example, online tutorials) and asynchronous activities (for example, discussion forums). Thus, blended learning covers one or more of the following three situations:

  • Combining instructional modalities (or delivery media).
  • Combining instructional methods.
  • Combining online and face-to-face instruction.

Table 1.1 Three models of blended learning.

Source: Hannon & Macken (2014)

Blended Learning Uses

As we saw above regarding the blended block model, there are often practical considerations leading us to choose blended learning. In addition, many policy makers and post secondary leaders believe that replacing some components of a learning programme with online or distance education is a cost-effective way to deliver post secondary education.

Our focus in this guidebook is on professional development and the effective introduction of blended learning to improve instructional practice and learner outcomes, not solely to introduce a blended learning resource. While some efficiencies might be created through online delivery, there is increasing evidence about its effectiveness in delivering instruction.

Two recent studies provide different views of whether online education will increase student learning and success. Nevertheless, over the past several years, perceptions of online learning have been shifting in its favor as more learners and educators see it as a viable alternative to some forms of face-to-face learning. Drawing from best practices in both online and face-to-face methods, blended learning is on the rise at colleges and universities as the number of digital learning platforms and ways to leverage them for educational purposes continues to grow.

The opportunities for learning or the affordances blended learning offers are now well understood, and both educators and students find its flexibility, ease Opportunity for collaboration at a distance: Individual students work together virtually in an intellectual endeavor as a learning practice of access, and integration of sophisticated multimedia and technologies highly appealing. The current focus of this trend has shifted to understanding how applications of digital modes of teaching are impacting students. Findings are showing increases in learner creativity, independence and self-direction.

Benefits of Blended Learning

The advantages of blended learning for students include increased learning skills, greater access to information, improved satisfaction and learning outcomes, and opportunities both to learn with others and to teach others. Recent research identifies the following key benefits of blended learning:

  • Opportunity for collaboration at a distance: Individual students work together virtually in an intellectual endeavor as a learning practice.
  • Increased flexibility: Technology-enabled learning allows for learning anytime and anywhere, letting students learn without the barriers of time and location but with the possible support of in-person engagement.
  • Increased interaction: Blended learning offers a platform to facilitate greater interactivity between students, as well as between students and teachers.
  • Enhanced learning: Additional types of learning activities improve engagement and can help students achieve higher and more meaningful levels of learning.
  • Learning to be virtual citizens: Learners practice the ability to project themselves socially and academically in an online community of inquiry. Digital learning skills are becoming essential to be a lifelong learner, and blended courses help learners master the skills for using a variety of technologies.

Making Blended Learning Work

Technology integration in itself is not necessarily blended learning. If online learning is only a minor component of a classroom-based course, without offering students the independence, convenience and interaction opportunities of being online, it may not really be a blended learning system but simply a case of technology integration.

Creating an effective blended learning environment means making appropriate choices and overcoming the challenges that come with the use of technology. The following challenges and recommendations were identified in recent research on teacher perspectives, conducted by Athabasca University and the Commonwealth of Learning (Cleveland-Innes, Ostashewski, Mishra, Gauvreau, & Richardson, 2017):

  • Technology access: A critical first step is to know which resources are available to your students. Is there limited bandwidth, unreliable Internet connectivity, or lack of devices such as laptops or smartphones? Once you are clear about access, you can choose learning activities with the technology in ways that allow all to participate.
  • Design: Creating the appropriate in-person and online activities means designing courses with the pedagogic principles of both and integrating technology in a way that supports meaningful learning.
  • Safety and security: Create awareness of cyber-malice and ensure security interventions against unethical learning practices, academic dishonesty, identity theft and bullying are in place.
  • Skill development, support and training: Both students and instructors must have technological literacy and competence with technology applications.
  • Motivation: Students need adequate motivation when engaging in a wide range of often shifting learning modalities, some of which may require significant skill development.

Later chapters will provide further guidance on using technology to create your blended learning environment.

This first chapter has introduced blended learning as an important and rapidly developing form of education, with an emphasis on the benefits it offers to both educators and students, including greater flexibility and convenience, as well as potential increases in learner creativity and independence.

Blended learning can be defined as the combination of face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning within a course or programme — a definition broad enough to include a wide range of variations appropriate to the individual needs and contexts of a school or course.

One key concept is that blended learning is not merely the addition of some technological element to an existing course but rather is an integrated plan utilizing the best of what both face-to-face and online learning have to offer. The blended presentation and interaction model, the blended block model and the fully online model provide initial frameworks for the deliberate structuring of blended learning to improve learning outcomes.

The next chapter will expand on this idea by considering additional models and frameworks for developing effective blended learning, including the Community of Inquiry framework and a systems-based  approach.

A Blended Learning Programme for Teachers

A blended learning programme including the following components was designed to provide teachers in a rural area with the knowledge required to implement technology-enabled learning, as shown by the following blended block model.

Pre-workshop preparation: A questionnaire was sent to participants before the online phase, asking them to describe their role in the educational system and their particular skills. The questionnaire helped facilitators adjust activities to the participants’ backgrounds.

Online workshop (core component): The workshop included individual study with online lessons and activities supported by facilitators. Both synchronous and asynchronous communication were used for online discussions and group work. The main outcome of the online component was an individual activity plan to help participants reflect on their teaching situation and to serve as a resource for the later face-to-face activities.

Bridge period: During this period between the two core components of the course, online support was provided to participants as they prepared for the face-to-face component.

Face-to-face workshop (core component): The face-to-face workshop consisted of classroom activities where participants presented and discussed their activity plans, practiced teaching principles and techniques, and further developed their activity plans.

Online resources: After completion of the course, additional online resources were available to help teachers transfer their new knowledge to their individual teaching settings.

(Adapted from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [2011],p.19.)


  • What access to technology do your students have?
  • How are your technology skills? Do you need technology support? Where is it available?
  • What tools would you use to decide which learning activities to offer in person and which to offer online?
  • What is the nature of blended learning? What are the different components of your blended learning?
  • Do you need instructional design support?

Resources for Further Reading

The following examples are in-practice blends of technology-enabled learning with in person teaching:

Bowman, J.D. (2017). Facilitating a class Twitter chat. Edutopia . Retrieved from

    All steps you need to prepare for and use Twitter as a way to engage students in learning activity discussions.

Wolpert-Gawron, H. (2017). Extending classroom management online. Edutopia . Retrieved from

    A case example of management strategies when you are using a blended classroom.

Guide to Blended Learning by Commonwealth of Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Write a 500 Word Essay

500 words essay about blended learning

Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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500 words essay about blended learning

Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

500 words essay about blended learning

Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Write a 500 Word Essay

With only about a page and a half to get your point across, every word counts in a 500 word essay. A succinct response packed with impactful examples can easily put you ahead of the crowd!

Follow our concise step-by-step guide to write an effective 500 word essay:

Start with an outline

Applying the outline to an example.

  • Deciding on how many examples to use

Don’t worry about the word count in your first draft

Don’t forget to proofread.

Keep reading to learn how to write the best 500 word essay you have ever written!

Don’t miss:  Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

Writing essays with word limits can be a balancing act. You may have a lot you want to say, but not enough space to sufficiently explain each point that you want to make. That’s why it is a great idea to start by outlining the 3-4 main ideas you’d like to address in your essay. Trying to pack any more than four main ideas into a 500-word essay could prevent you from effectively explaining your examples.

We suggest making a bullet point list for your outline, which could look something like this:

  • Hook the reader with an engaging first line and introduce your response.
  • Expand on your first point or example
  • Elaborate on your second point or example
  • Expand on your third point or example
  • Expand on your fourth point or example
  • Tie your examples together and conclude your essay with a meaningful last line

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Let’s try using this outline to respond to a prompt: Please describe your commitment to working within your community . With a prompt like this, you could hook your reader with a sentence emphasizing what community work means to you on a personal or emotional level, or how you first started working with your community.

Each body paragraph would be a description of different experiences you’ve had working in your community, and what they taught you. And you could use your conclusion to point out a common thread between these experiences; now that the reader has read all about your involvement in the community, you can use this opportunity to describe how the experiences have come together to reshape your relationship with community work. 

See more : How to write a winning scholarship essay

Comparing essay lengths

As you sit down to write your essay, you might wonder how you should adjust your approach to a 500 word essay as opposed to a 250 or 1000 word essay. 250 word essays are expected to be extremely brief, with only minimal elaboration on each point, and 1,000 word essays are expected to be more thorough, and might even include citations. A 500 word essay falls in a grey area between these two; it gives you the freedom to elaborate on the details you find to be the most important.

Will an admissions officer keep reading my essay if I go over?

You might be wondering “what happens if I go over the word limit? Will an admissions officer still read my essay?”

As with many topics related to the admissions process, it depends. If you have gone way over and wrote 2,000 words, it is possible that the admissions officer will not continue to read your essay or may just skim it. Remember, admissions officers and scholarship essay readers are busy people who have to get through many applications and essays.

So if you go over by a few words or sentences, you are probably fine and the admissions officer will likely not even notice. However, if you go over the word count in an obvious, noticeable way, this is something that is unlikely to help you (even if the writing is excellent).

Also see: How to write a 250 word essay

Deciding on how many examples you should use

A common question for writing a 500 word essay is whether or not you should include a fourth example. If your examples require a lot of thorough explanation in order to be impactful, it might be best to only include three. It’s better to have three impactful examples than four examples that don’t resonate with the reader. However, if the prompt is straightforward and you can explain your examples quickly, go ahead and add that fourth body paragraph!

Recommended: Wondering how to format your essay? Scholarships360’s guide will tell you all that you need to know!

Try writing out a first draft without worrying about your 500 word limit! This is a great way to get all your thoughts down on paper. It’s easier to cut the extra content down at the end than it is to keep interrupting your writing to edit it as you go. This can take you out of your writing flow, and make the essay take longer

A 500 word essay requires a lot of editing in order to make a point effectively in a limited number of words. It’s a great idea to ask a friend or family member to proofread your final copy. They can catch simple mistakes that you have been glossing over, or come up with new ways to reword your essay and slim it down to fit the word limit.

With this said, it’s important for you to maintain ownership over the voice of your essay. The job of the proofreader or editor is to catch mistakes and give general feedback–it is not to rewrite the entire essay.

A few more resources

Learn how to effectively conclude your scholarship essay by reading our guide on how to end scholarship essays . Many scholarships want to know more about you, so it’s important to know how to write an essay about yourself . If you are looking for additional scholarship opportunities that involve writing, check out our list of top writing & essay scholarships .    

Remember, writing scholarship essays is an opportunity to show exactly why you are deserving of a scholarship. Learn to write in a way that puts your best self forward, and  win all the awards that you qualify for!

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Frequently asked questions about the 500 word essay

How many pages is a 500 word essay, how long does it take to write a 500 word essay, how many paragraphs is in a 500 word essay, scholarships360 recommended.

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What is ‘blended learning’ and how can it benefit post-secondary students?

500 words essay about blended learning

Associate Professor of Teaching, Geography Department, University of British Columbia

500 words essay about blended learning

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia

Disclosure statement

Siobhán McPhee receives funding from internal teaching and learning grants within the University of British Columbia.

Micheal Jerowsky receives funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

University of British Columbia provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.

University of British Columbia provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA-FR.

View all partners

Blended learning combines face-to-face and virtual instruction through the use of online learning technologies . Post-secondary students attend lectures in real-time, either virtually or in person, and this is accompanied by online learning activities completed outside of class time.

These blended classrooms can help support the educational needs of university students. When combined with traditional instruction, a judicious use of digital tools can encourage collaboration and personal responsibility for learning while allowing students to work at their own pace and adapt to rapidly changing technologies.

Incorporating technology into teaching and learning doesn’t mean throwing out previous approaches. The key is to adapt and create a new system of learning by designing classrooms that are more reflective of the world students will engage in once they graduate.

For universities to be more relevant to people’s daily lives , the walls of the university lecture room must be more porous, as students begin making critical connections between theory and application.

By adopting a blended approach to learning, educators support students’ transitions into the world of work, and how students draw upon and consolidate their learning in meaningful ways.

An instructor sits on a chair and students are seen on a videoconferencing screen.

Best practices in blended learning

While many educators have embraced blended approaches to classroom design , this shifted to large-scale emergency remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some discussions about emergency remote learning in the pandemic focused on different online tools and how or whether these tools can compensate for the loss of regular in-person education .

But in ordinary times, and when relying on best blended learning practices , teaching approaches should be rooted in learning objectives or students’ experiences — and these considerations aren’t the same as whether course components are online or in-person.

Read more: Machines can't 'personalize' education, only people can

Embracing a creative and flexible approach to learning can enable a new ecosystem of learning to develop, but this should be supported, rather than defined by, an instructor’s mode of delivery.

We advocate for empowering students by helping them to learn how to use new digital technologies so they can critically integrate and construct new knowledge for themselves while communicating their thoughts with teachers and peers .

Students’ responses to a blended classroom

We conducted a survey of university students taking a first-year geography course at the University of British Columbia . Instructors used different platforms / softwares to support ways of teaching (pedagogies) in the classroom:

Microsoft Teams supported student collaboration by providing a platform through which they could co-create and share documents, or video-conference with one another;

Tapestry , a platform that allows professors to create dynamic websites that link together media to help students learn about interconnected concepts, encouraged students to engage in self-directed learning;

Through Echoes , we created self-directed field trips students could run on their mobile device, and we used this to encourage students to explore course concepts in their local community;

We used Voice Flow to support students through the interactive chat bots that could help them navigate topics (like plagiarism or developing term paper ideas).

Real-time and self-paced course components

An entry survey of 332 students revealed the majority of students had used learning technologies before — overwhelmingly for communication or accessing course materials.

Generally, they were excited by learning new technologies and eager to develop new expertise. However, a lack of experience was also a source of stress and anxiety for some students who were concerned these might require additional time to learn and navigate.

Charts shown against a blue background, with one pie chart showing 62 per of students were looking forward to using new technologies.

The exit survey of 189 participants showed a blended approach to learning gave students a strong motivation to learn while working at their own pace. Overwhelmingly, a balance of real-time (synchronous) and self-paced (asynchronous) delivery helped reinforce course learning objectives.

Students found all of the tools relatively easy to use. They rated Microsoft Teams, used to navigate arranging meeting times and work on a weekly shared assignment, as most challenging. We believe these challenges were due to the nature of group work and collaboration, as our past experience indicates no matter what tool is used, students usually struggle with group assignments. Yet students said the most common benefit of Microsoft Teams was collaboration and social interaction outside of class.

Chart showing the different ratings that students gave to software (Microsoft Teams, Voiceflow, Tapestry, Echoes) on a scale of five: and student responses to questions: Was software easy to learn and navigate? Did they engage students? Did they let students work at their own pace? Should they be used again?  Most ratings being quite high and the lowest rating is 3.5 for Microsoft Teams, pertaining to whether it should be used again.

The results of the exit survey provided a heartening picture of how educational technologies can support more student independence and responsibility. Overall, students felt there was a good balance between asynchronous and synchronous learning, and this helped them make connections between lectures, assignments and course learning materials while collaborating.

Insights for designing a blended classroom

It’s important for instructors to choose digital tools that are easy to use and navigate;

A blended classroom should be student-centred. The tools used in our course allowed students to work at their own pace, improved their ability to collaborate and communicate with others, and encouraged them to explore course concepts more fully;

Instructors should choose digital tools that support course learning objectives. A common trap is adapting a course to a specific tool. But in a successfully blended classroom, digital tools should enhance learning rather than restrict it.

Consider how to enhance students’ ability to use different tools so that they can adapt to rapidly changing labour markets and classrooms.

A blended approach to teaching and learning does not mean less teaching because now technology does it. Rather, educational technology can help foster better learning environments, and more engaged and flexible ways of teaching.

  • Universities
  • Online learning
  • Digital literacy
  • Post-secondary education
  • Post-pandemic planning
  • Blended learning
  • Emergency remote teaching

500 words essay about blended learning

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Essay Writing Guide

500 Word Essay

Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023

Writing a 500 Word Essay - Easy Guide

By: Nova A.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Jan 8, 2019

500 Word Essay

Are you staring at a blank page, trying to write a 500-word essay? Don't worry, you're not alone! 

Many students face this challenge when tasked with writing a concise yet impactful piece. A 500-word essay is a common task often assigned to high school and college students. 

Writing a 500-word essay can be quite difficult as you have to cover all the important points in a few words. However, this is where you can show all your potential. 

Read on to learn how to write a perfect 500-word essay with this step by step guide. You will also get to read some good example essays to help you out. 

Let’s dive into it!

500 Word Essay

On this Page

500 Word Essay Definition

A 500-word essay is a short length academic essay. It provides a writer’s perspective on a particular topic. It is usually assigned to high school and college students to teach them necessary essay writing skills.

Every type of essay can follow the 500-word essay format, including:

  • Persuasive essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Argumentative essay
  • Expository essay
  • Narrative essay

This means that you can write any type of essay in the 500-word format.

How to Write a 500 Word Essay

A 500-word essay is an opportunity to show and improve your writing skills. Here are the steps you need to follow to write your essay:

Make an Essay Outline

An outline is a roadmap that guides you through the different sections of your essay. It is important to make an outline before you start writing. This ensures a well-structured and coherent piece. 

A 500-word essay is usually composed of five paragraphs. Here’s what you need to create an outline:

  • The main topic of the essay
  • The central thesis statement
  • The main point or topic sentence for each body paragraph
  • Supporting points for body paragraphs

This is what your outline will look like:

Write a Good Introduction

An introduction plays an important role in making an impression on the reader’s mind. The readers decide on the basis of the introduction, whether they want to read the rest of the essay or not. 

Here is how you can compose the introduction paragraph:

  • It should start with a strong hook that grabs the reader’s attention immediately.
  • Provide a little background information that helps the reader understand the topic
  • Conclude the intro with a compelling thesis statement that you will support in the body.

Here is an example:

Compose the Body Paragraphs

The body section is intended to provide a detailed description of the topic. It gives complete information about the essay topic and presents the writer’s point of view in detail. Following are the elements of the body section:.

  • Topic sentence

The first sentence of the body paragraph. It presents the main point that will be discussed in the paragraph.

  • Supporting evidence

It could be any points or evidence that support your main thesis.

  • Transition statement

This statement relates the body paragraph back to the thesis, and also connects it with the subsequent paragraph.

Draft a Compelling Conclusion

The conclusion paragraph summarizes the whole essay and presents the final thoughts on the topic. It is as important as the introduction paragraph. Below are the things you include in the conclusion paragraphs:

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summarize the essay
  • Provide final thoughts or a call to action

Want to become a master at writing essays? Check out our essay writing guide to become an excellent writer who can craft all types of essays!

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500 Word Essay Format

Here is how you format a 500 word essay in general:

  • A common font style like Calibri, Arial, or Times New Roman
  • 1” margins on both sides
  • Line spacing: double-spaced
  • Alignment: Left 

Remember, these are general guidelines. Always follow the specific page formatting guidelines provided by your instructor. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Writing a 500 Word Essay

Many things come up in your mind when you get to write a 500-word essay. You might want to know the length, outline, time required to write the essay, and many more things.

Below are some common questions that you may ask yourself while writing a short essay.

How Long is a 500 Word Essay?

“How many pages is a 500-word essay?”

An essay length of a 500-word essay is usually 1 to 2 pages. If it is single-spaced, it covers just 1-page. When double-spaced, it covers 2 pages. 

When it comes to spacing, stick to the instructions given by your professor.

How Many Paragraphs is a 500 Word Essay?

The standard 500-word essay template has 5 paragraphs. It has one introduction, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. 

The word count is divided into 5 paragraphs evenly. The introduction and conclusion are 100 words long each. While the body paragraphs need to be 300 words long.

How Long Does it Take to Write a 500 Word Essay?

It would take no more than an hour or two to write a complete 500-word essay. Especially if you have enough information about the topic, you can easily write your essay within an hour. 

What is the difference between 500 words essay vs 250 words essay

The word count of an essay plays a significant role in shaping its structure, content, and depth of analysis. A 500-word essay is a bit more detailed and longer than a 250-word essay. A 250-word essay is composed of three paragraphs maximum. Meanwhile a 500-word essay should contain at least five paragraphs.

What is the difference between 500 words essay vs 1000 words essay

Here is a major difference between 500-word essay and a 1000-word essay: 

With a 500-word essay, you have a limited word count, which necessitates a concise and focused approach. You must carefully select your arguments, provide succinct evidence, and present a coherent analysis. 

On the other hand, a 1000-word essay allows for a more extensive exploration of the topic. It provides the opportunity to delve into multiple subtopics and offer more supporting evidence. 

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

500 Word Essay Topics

Below are some interesting topics to help you get started on your essay.

  • Should gun ownership be restricted
  • My Favorite Place
  • Should healthcare be free? 
  • The benefits of volunteering in the local community
  • Is hunting for food moral? 
  • The importance of personal responsibility
  • How I spent my summer vacation
  • Describe an ideal personality
  • What is Climate Change?
  • The importance of sports for teenagers

Need more ideas? We’ve got you covered! Check out 100+ amazing essay topics to help you out!

500 Word Essay Example

Now you have a guide for writing a 500-word essay, have a look at the following example to have a more clear understanding.



500 Words Essay on Why I Deserve a Scholarship






With the help of this step by step guide and essay examples, you can easily craft a perfect essay. However, if you need more help, you can contact us anytime. is a legitimate paper writing service that you can rely on to do my essay for me . We offer academic writing help for each category, i.e. research paper, scholarship essay, or any type of academic paper.

Place your order now to get unique and original essays at affordable prices. Or if you need quick writing assistance, try out our AI essay writer now!

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Essay on Importance of Learning

Students are often asked to write an essay on Importance of Learning in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Importance of Learning

The value of learning.

Learning is a crucial part of our lives. It helps us understand the world, make informed decisions, and grow as individuals.

Knowledge and Skills

Learning equips us with knowledge and skills. It makes us competent and confident, enabling us to face challenges and solve problems.

Personal Growth

Learning stimulates personal growth. It encourages curiosity and creativity, fostering a lifelong love for exploration and discovery.

Building Connections

Learning helps us connect with others. It promotes empathy and understanding, strengthening our relationships and communities.

In conclusion, learning is essential for our development, success, and happiness.

250 Words Essay on Importance of Learning

The power of learning.

Learning is an integral part of human existence. It is a process that starts at birth and continues throughout our lives, shaping our understanding of the world and our place within it. Learning is not confined to the acquisition of knowledge in a formal education setting. It extends to our daily interactions, experiences, and the continuous process of personal and professional development.

Learning and Personal Growth

Learning is the cornerstone of personal growth and self-improvement. It broadens our perspectives, fosters curiosity, and encourages us to question the status quo. Our ability to learn and adapt is what has allowed humankind to evolve and progress over time. Learning cultivates critical thinking skills, enabling us to analyze situations, solve problems, and make informed decisions.

The Socio-economic Impact of Learning

Learning also plays a significant role in socio-economic development. Education equips individuals with the skills needed to contribute to the workforce effectively, thereby driving economic growth. Moreover, it promotes social cohesion by fostering a shared understanding of societal values and norms.

Learning and Technological Advancements

In the era of rapid technological advancements, the importance of learning cannot be overstated. With the advent of AI and automation, the job market is in a constant state of flux, and the ability to learn new skills is more crucial than ever. Lifelong learning is now a necessity, not a luxury.

In conclusion, learning is a powerful tool that not only enriches our personal lives but also contributes to societal progress. It is the key to unlocking our potential and adapting to the ever-changing world around us.

500 Words Essay on Importance of Learning

The essence of learning.

Learning is a fundamental aspect of human life, serving as the foundation upon which we build our understanding of the world. It is an ongoing process that begins at birth and continues throughout our lives, shaping our perspectives, abilities, and actions. This essay explores the importance of learning, delving into its impact on personal growth, societal development, and the broader global context.

Personal Growth and Development

Learning is essential for personal growth and development. It equips us with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate life effectively. Through learning, we acquire the ability to think critically, solve problems, and make informed decisions. It fosters creativity and innovation, enabling us to generate new ideas and solutions. Learning also facilitates emotional growth, helping us understand ourselves better, manage our emotions, and build strong interpersonal relationships.

Contributions to Society

On a societal level, learning plays a crucial role in driving progress and development. It is through learning that we gain an understanding of societal norms, values, and structures, enabling us to function effectively within our communities. Additionally, learning fosters social cohesion by promoting mutual understanding and respect among diverse groups. It equips us with the tools to challenge societal injustices and contribute to social change.

Global Impact

In the broader global context, learning is indispensable for addressing complex global challenges. It equips us with the knowledge and skills to understand these challenges, develop innovative solutions, and drive sustainable development. For instance, through learning, we can gain an understanding of climate change, develop sustainable technologies, and promote environmentally responsible behaviors.

The Role of Lifelong Learning

In an era marked by rapid technological advancement and societal change, lifelong learning has become increasingly important. It enables us to stay relevant and competitive in the evolving job market, adapt to technological advancements, and navigate societal changes effectively. Lifelong learning fosters resilience, adaptability, and a growth mindset, qualities that are crucial for success in the 21st century.

In conclusion, learning is a vital aspect of human life that shapes our personal growth, contributes to societal development, and drives global progress. It equips us with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to navigate life effectively, foster social cohesion, and address global challenges. In the face of rapid technological and societal change, lifelong learning has emerged as a critical component of learning, enabling us to adapt and thrive in the evolving world. Therefore, it is essential that we embrace learning as a lifelong pursuit, striving to expand our knowledge, enhance our skills, and deepen our understanding of the world around us.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on Impact of Digital Economy on Student Learning
  • Essay on Learning From Others
  • Essay on Tuberculosis

Apart from these, you can look at all the essays by clicking here .

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