Becta has just published the final report of a research project that myself and Cathy Lewin managed last year, which looks at the different ways in which online learning was being implemented in schools and FE colleges in the UK and their impact.
The project used a literature review and key informant interviews to identify eight case study institutions where different models of online learning were successfully being implemented. In-depth case studies in each institution (including interviews with learners, staff and parents as well as observations of the learning environments) allowed us to examine the different ways in which online learning was being used, develop a framework for analysing different implementations, and consider the benefits and limitations of different models.
Four ‘typical’ models of online learning were identified:
- Fully online – structured online resources, activities and communication.
- Independent study – extensive online resources and limited tutor support.
- Added value – predominantly face to face, with supporting online activities and resources.
- Flexible integration – timetabling to allow a mix of chunks of online learning time coupled with chunks of traditional classroom teaching and learning.