Blended and Online Learning


Key Points:

  • Blended learning leverages a combination of teaching/learning strategies to meet a specific instructional or performance goal
  • Blended learning strategies cannot be used interchangeably for any training. Methods used must be tailored to the desired outcome.
  • Online learning is more flexible than conventional learning (time, pace & distance) but does not mean that the coursework is necessarily any less rigorous.
  • Research has shown that there is no significant difference between traditional and distance education learning outcomes.
    • The U.S. Department of Education in 2010 found that online students outperformed traditional students on the same material.
  • Developing and implementing online coursework is more expensive than traditional coursework.
  • Online learning allows better analytics than traditional coursework.
  • Online learning provides better control of the the quality of the content presented.
  • Technology doesn't stand still. Always anticipate newer, easier and more engaging modalities to be developed.



  • Apply best practices, as appropriate, in your blended and online teaching


Recommended Resources: 

Brief Review


Blending Technology and Classroom Learning. Jessie Woolley-Wilson. TEDxRainier. 11 minutes.

8 Lessons Learned from Teaching Online. EduCause. 4 minutes.

Blended Learning and Technology Integration. Jen Jonson. 7 minutes.

Effective Online Instructional Design. David Cook. 12 minutes.


Prober CG, Khan S. Medical education reimagined: a call to action. Acad Med. 2013 Oct;88(10):1407-10. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182a368bd. PubMed PMID: 23969367.

Ilic D, Nordin RB, Glasziou P, Tilson JK, Villanueva E. A randomised controlled trial of a blended learning education intervention for teaching evidence-based medicine. BMC Med Educ. 2015 Dec;15(1):321. doi: 10.1186/s12909-015-0321-6. Epub 2015 Mar 10. PubMed PMID: 25884717. 

Reed S, Shell R, Kassis K, Tartaglia K, Wallihan R, Smith K, Hurtubise L, Martin B, Ledford C, Bradbury S, Bernstein HH, Mahan JD. Applying adult learning practices in medical education. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2014 Jul;44(6):170-81. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2014.01.008. Review. PubMed PMID: 24981666.

Lewis KO, Cidon MJ, Seto TL, Chen H, Mahan JD. Leveraging e-learning in medical education. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2014 Jul;44(6):150-63. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2014.01.004. Review. PubMed PMID: 24981664.

Han H, Resch DS, Kovach RA. Educational technology in medical education. Teach Learn Med. 2013;25 Suppl 1:S39-43. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2013.842914. Review. PubMed PMID: 24246105.

The Case of the Absentee Audience by Teresa Chan. ALiEM MEdIC Series case 1.12.

Bernstein S, Moddemann D, Bannister S. Stop Lecturing Me – How to Use Interactive Techniques (References). APPD/COMSEP 2013.


Learning to Teach Online. Podcast series. Simon McIntyre.


In-Depth Review


Competencies for Online Teaching Success (COTS). Penn State World Campus Faculty Development. 170 videos.

The Science of Instructional Design. McMaster University. 56 minutes.


Flipped Classroom Field Guide. The Flipped Classroom Field Guide is a compilation of best-practices and community resources centered around the flipped classroom and blended learning initiatives of the Coursera-partner community. In addition to the resources outlined in the table of contents (including our Three Golden Rules of Flipping which have been shown to significantly improve student outcomes), be sure to learn more about the instructors and their flipped classrooms that motivated and informed the creation of this guide. 33 pages.

CU Online Handbook. University of Colorado Denver. Free handbook of tips and strategies for online learning.

Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. Open access.

Medical Education in Cases (MEdIC) Series. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine.
The purpose of the MEdIC series is to create resources that allow you to engage in ‘guerrilla’ faculty development – enticing and engaging individuals who might not have time to attend faculty development workshops to think about challenging cases in medical education.

Kapp, Karl M. The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, 2012. $53.33


Learning to Teach Online. Coursera, The University of New South Wales, Australia. The award winning Learning to Teach Online project has been redeveloped into an innovative MOOC, free and open to all educators. This 8 week course is designed to help you develop a working understanding of successful online teaching strategies that you can apply in your own practice. It offers you a flexible, reflective and personal learning experience - enabling you to tailor your learning based upon your own goals, requirements and level of commitment.

Virtual Teacher Program. University of California, Irvine. Free access if you do not want a specialization certificate.

Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World. Coursera, State University of New York.

Foundations of Virtual Instruction. Coursera, University of California, Irvine.

e-Learning Ecologies. Coursera, University of Illinois.

iMOOC101: Mastering American eLearning. Coursera, State University of New York.

Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students. Coursera, Silicon Schools Fund.