FHN Needs to Offer More Blended Learning Classes to its Students

Out of the many classes Francis Howell North has to offer its students, very few of them feature blended learning. With the benefits that blended learning has shown in its students and its teachers, FHN should offer more than just a handful of blended courses. 

Blended learning courses are unique to traditional classes because they offer students asynchronous class days throughout the school year. Asynchronous or blended days are scheduled course days where students are not required to remain in the classroom for the entire hour. Whether it’s first hour or seventh hour blended class, students are required to take attendance, but can ultimately roam or leave campus as they please. 

This flexibility can be a huge bonus for students. They can use the spare time provided to them to make up tests or classwork, leave early for after school activities or jobs, or even get an extra hour of sleep or make a quick coffee run before school. 

But blended learning doesn’t just offer free time to its students, it also teaches students self-regulation and college preparation. Students are required to manage their own time for assignments on provided asynchronous days. This is supposed to replicate class days for college students, where students show up for attendance and instruction from their professors but are ultimately self-lead in completing assignments and free to leave whenever they choose. The independence provided to students in blended learning courses enforces a sense of responsibility for these young adults. Blended learning also provides teachers with the opportunity to prepare students for college while also teaching them self discipline and self accountability, both of which are important life skills that individuals will use for the rest of their lives. 

While most blended learning teachers appreciate the ability to arrange class days to complement the pace of the curriculum as well as their own schedules, some teachers find difficulty with students taking advantage of their asynchronous days. Some students don’t show up for attendance on their designated asynchronous days, causing them to miss out on assignment instructions and due dates. However, this only really becomes an issue when students’ grade percentage drops below 70 percent, which is the only requirement for blended learning courses. At that point teachers can exercise their power to revoke asynchronous privileges and hold academic interventions until the student can meet the 70 percent grade requirement. This makes the argument against blended learning weak compared to the benefits it provides in and outside of the classroom.

Even though students find great success in blended learning, not all students have the opportunity to take blended learning courses. With FHN only offering a few courses this year, there just isn’t enough space for more students to take blended learning classes. In the next coming school year FHN should offer more blended learning courses to give students the opportunity to experience the benefits of an asynchronous classroom.