Blended learning will play a critical role as higher ed leaves the pandemic behind and forges a new path forward

What will higher ed’s “new normal” be after COVID?


Top 10 of 2021: Blended learning will play a critical role as higher ed leaves the pandemic behind and forges a new path forward

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student support, retention, the post-pandemic campus, and online or hybrid teaching strategies. This year’s 5th most-read story focuses on blended learning’s role in higher ed’s path moving forward.

The past year of navigating the pandemic has accelerated many educational trends that had already been gaining speed. One of the trends most important for the future is blended learning. 

Blended learning combines face-to-face teaching and online instruction. It’s supported by a technology framework that helps teachers organize course content, communication, and common workflows. Perhaps most importantly, it builds on the strengths of both approaches — in person and online — ideally offering the flexibility of remote learning with the engagement of face-to-face interactions. 

COVID-19 was the catalyst for propelling many types of everyday activities into a solely remote realm. Now as we create a blueprint for the “new normal” of many essential functions like school, adopting a consistent approach to technology-enhanced learning across the entire college or university is critical to addressing the next wave of challenges facing education. 

The emergence of the continuous learner 

Over the past decade, higher education in North America has been battling a troubling trend–decreasing enrollment. As a result, we’ve seen school closures, leaner budgets, and a growing discourse on what steps higher ed should take to turn the tide.

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