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Blended Learning
Blended learning, or blended education is the term, which is used to describe the combination of a coursework in a traditional classroom (synchronous) setting with the online (asynchronous) component. While taking this course, students have an opportunity to get the sense of community with other students, although they are also permitted to complete a portion of the course work on an independent basis in a virtual environment.  

Virtual learning may take place of day – long workshops, labs, symposiums or even some class meetings;
It is extremely suitable for the courses, which involve any kind of structured exercises;
It is perfect for the students, who live far from the campus, who experience lack of transportation or hwo have problems with negotiation the campus because of some physical disability;
And, finally, virtual learning is the best way to receive education for students with little children, because with the help of it it is possible to reduce childcare course significantly. Students have less time on the road, which means they can stay more at home and spend time with their kids.     

Blended education is an innovation in the system of modern educational programs. Therefore, it should be noted that courses, which take into consideration being attended only several times a week, as well as class participation, term papers and examinations would not fit every type of learner. Students, who are married, have children and other houshold responsibilities, commuter students and those who live in remote areas proved to have somewhat different challenges, in comparison with those, who are considered to be the “traditional” residential students. Blended education recognizes a commitment to learning of students and completing course without penalizing them for factors, which are outside their control.

Nowadays, when children who attend kindergartens have complete access to computer laboratories, their older siblings spend days by watching movies on iPods the size of credit cards, and their parents are getting their headline news from the screens of their mobile phones, the time has come for the education to become ripe. That method of receiving a profession, which had been relied upon a model created centuries ago, is not considered to be as relevant today as it was even five years ago.    

In accordance with the traditional blueprint one professor is to stand in front of dozens of students and read his lectures. And each individual student, without taking into consideration his background, his personal abilities and his level of interest in a subject is expected to be in lock – step with all of the other students at any time.

However, nowadays thanks to the education, which is based on technology, it is possible for a student who may already know the material to skip somewhat ahead and to study just the issue, which is relevant, just as well as those students, who require more time are able to pace themselves accordingly.

Now it has become a wide known fact that when it comes to education, one size never fits all. There exist practically as many different learning styles, as there are students. Besides, it is also necessary to take into consideration students’ enthusiasm and attention. And even an extremely motivated student can so – to – say “shut down” after a while. And for these students a 50 – minutes lecture would be much more palatable than the one, which runs on for about two hours in a row. Therefore, there are also students, who would prefer to sit through a long lecture, in case if that meant only attending class two days a week, rather then three. And up until recently each student had only one choice – they were to attend their lectures on a Tuesday / Thursday or Monday / Wednesday / Friday schedule.

Besides, even in case a professor has a great deal of personal enthusiasm for the matter of his subject, there are students who get “underwhelmed” by the lectures, read by him. To others a “constantly talking head” becomes boring. And it is just the same with all these black letters, which are scribbled on a whiteboard. In any way, interactive text, which combines colorful graphics, hyperlinks, pictures, audio and video material sis always more interesting and fascinating.

Before you enroll:
1.    In case if it is possible you should get to know how other students rate the instructors and how much experience this instructor have with teaching online.
2.    Do not be afraid to ask questions about any type of information you are interested in and persist up until you receive definite answers.
3.    In case if you taking any kind of course of distance education, you should find out what should you do in case if your have any type of technical problem. Who should you call or email in case of an emergency, and when are they available.   
4.    In what period of time can you expect to receive a response from your instructor? Would he / she offer office hours by phone or instant messaging?
5.    Is there an opportunity to make all or part of the assignments being supervised by the instructor or a teaching assistance?
6.    How is class participation weighted? Are you going to be checked in daily, weekly, monthly basis, or not at all?
7.    In case if you have to get withdrawn, what would be the refund schedule?