A New Spin on Learning and Teaching

Number of blended learning classes continues to increase in the district


Instructing at her white board, science teacher Melissa Broadfield teachers about DNA replication. Mrs. Broadfield is one of a handful of teachers in the building who teach a blended learning class, where the students aren’t always in the classroom, they’re allowed to visit with her as needed on certain days.

Blended learning has become increasingly popular at FHC after Covid in March of 2020, where teachers were forced to teach their students online. Since then, many teachers have adapted to having a lot of classroom information available online. The application of this teaching method allows teachers to teach in the classroom as well as give their students online assignments and time to catch up on their own. 

Many students are able to use this time for things such as getting extra help on assignments, catching up on missing work, or watching lectures assigned by the teacher. Blended learning also provides students with a wide variety of places to study: the classroom, the learning commons, or even off campus. With this method of learning, also comes a great deal of accountability and responsibility. The student is responsible for taking care of their work on these flex days. 

This is science teacher Melissa Broadfield’s first year teaching a blended learning course in her 14 years of teaching. She believes it is a great opportunity for students to learn skills such as time management and get more one-on-one help. 

“[Blended learning] gives the students flexibility to take control of when they are going to do their learning, especially if they are busy outside of school with sports,” Mrs. Broadfield said. 

“[Blended learning] gives the students flexibility to take control of when they are going to do their learning, especially if they are busy outside of school with sports.” ”

— Mrs. Melissa Broadfield

Senior Cameron Kelly enjoys being able to change the scenery of where he is learning for his AP Statistics class and says it reminds him of what learning during COVID was like. 

“I like the change of pace and being able to choose where I study, sometimes sitting in the room can be monotonous,” Kelly said. 

Blended Learning already goes in hand with the way Mrs. Broadfield teaches Human Body Systems since it is a PLTW class. The way the class is set up, the students are introduced to a scenario or problem and then they have to find information on their own. 

“[Blended Learning] gives them time to meet as a group, whether in class or outside of class, and gives me an opportunity to meet with another group and work with them one-on-one,” Mrs. Broadfield said. 

Kelly believes that the set-up of Blended Learning is helping his performance in the class. 

“If I’m uncomfortable with the material, then I can go back up to Mrs. Harris and I get her help with whatever I need help with,” Kelly said. 

With allowing students the chance to choose how they manage the time, come the disadvantages to those who prefer a more structured classroom or are still developing their time management skills. Mrs. Broadfield believes a blended learning class, although it has its benefits, may not be for everyone or every course. 

“ I think that getting their work turned in can be hard for [the students], there’s not a teacher reminding them every morning what is due and what they need to get done,” Mrs. Broadfield said. 

Senior Carli Mattingly enjoys having a structured class with in-person lectures, but does not mind the freedom blended learning provides.

“I would prefer in-class lectures, but the flex days give me time to watch the lecture videos and take notes,” Mattingly said.