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Extended Blended Learning

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Extended Blended Learning

MECCA uses the concept of Blended Learning for effective delivery of education that takes advantage of technological developments in distance education academic programs. The Blended Learning concept is used widely, often representing different approaches. The following picture presents the Blended Learning approach introduced by MECCA.

MECCA goes beyond the mainstream concept of asynchronous distance education, which mostly involves Internet-based self paced learning under the guidance of an instruction. The consortium partners maintain the belief that asynchronous solutions have disadvantages in terms of the following:

  • Instructor-learner communication
  • Learner-learner collaboration

Both of the above are important in education, which is heavily based on the social aspect of classroom teaching, which greatly benefits students who can learn from each other.

On the other hand, classroom based instruction lacks flexibility which is often necessary for learners that face time and location limitations. These limitations are best overcome through the introduction of distance learning management mostly Internet-based systems.

Based on the above observations, MECCA introduces a new concept of curricula design that combines traditional and new approaches to achieve the best level of flexibility and

In the context of this project, Blended Learning refers to a pedagogical approach that in-cludes the following:

  • Traditional classroom structured instruction
  • Video conference based structured instruction, which takes advantage of communi-cations technology developments to simulate face to face communication in distance teaching settings
  • Hands-on practical training, possibly in a laboratory
  • Self paced learning, which can be aided by educational software tools as well as improved communication, including the following:
    • Learning management systems for distance education
    • Knowledge management portals for dissemination of information and exchange of best practice experiences

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