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Teaching with Technology

Technology can be used to support learning in many ways. The three common ways that technology is integrated into teaching can be represented on a continuum that describes how much teaching takes place online or in the classroom that include technology-enhanced teaching, blended learning, and fully-online courses. Learn more about the options below.

The term blended learning is used broadly to describe any combination of in-class and online delivery. More accurately, it refers to the carefully considered integration of online and classroom instructional methods to improve student learning outcomes while providing more control in terms of the time, pace and place of learning. Blended courses (also known as hybrid courses) combine face-to-face and online teaching anywhere from 25% to 80% of teaching delivered online (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008; Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia & Jones, 2009).

Blended learning models all share key traits. Students spend more time on guided interactive learning to prepare them to use classroom time for active learning through application and discussion. Each course requires a slightly different blend of online and classroom learning. Determining the proper blend requires the expertise of a team that includes faculty and instructors, instructional designers, instructional technologists, educational developers and librarians. When done right, blended learning is a powerful tool, and empirical evidence shows it can improve learning outcomes relative to fully online or fully face-to-face instruction.

Blended learning design takes advantage of the pedagogical strengths of both classroom and online techniques and tools. Increased access, the flexibility of pace, place and time, and the demonstrated effectiveness in terms of learning outcomes are providing encouraging evidence for the value of investing in blended learning. Consideration is given to finding a mix of online and active in-class learning opportunities that complement and extend each other.

Learn more about blended learning at Ryerson.

Blended Learning Resources is a compilation of resources to assist with research about blended learning.

RULA Blended Learning Research Guide

There are many ways to enhance classroom instruction with technology. Technology-enhanced teaching focus is on using digital tools to support classroom learning. Examples include:

  • Using an open textbook or Open Education Resources (OER)
  • Posting lecture notes, readings and grades in D2L
  • Recording lectures for later viewing by students
  • Using clickers to enhance student engagement
  • Having students write blog posts in WordPress
  • Providing an online simulation that helps students practice complex tasks before class

Find out more about the tools that are supported at the university by visiting the Digital Media Projects Office.

Online courses provide students with flexibility that allows them to complete courses without the need to be on campus to attend weekly classes. An effective online course incorporates teaching strategies that enhance learner-learner interaction, learner-content interaction, and learner-instructor interaction.

Common teaching methods in online courses include:

  • Student-facilitated online discussion of a course reading or concept
  • Participation in a group presentation using a wiki or Google Docs
  • Brief recorded lectures with a group chat seminar
  • Problem-based scenarios in which students work together to develop and present solutions online

Find out more about online courses at Toronto Metropolitan by visiting the Digital Education Strategies (DES), opens in new window at The Chang School of Continuing Education.