Instructional Technology

Alternative Modes of Instructional Delivery in the Classroom

If you are looking for ways to maximize your classroom instructional time, you might want to consider using technology as a way to deliver content matter outside of the classroom.

Flipped Classroom Instruction

This term refers to the way that classes are traditional taught. "The flipped classroom means that students watch or listen to lessons at home and do their “homework” in class" (Fulton, 2012, p. 12). Students are able to work at their own pace and this approach allows the teacher to work more intently with the students (Fulton, 2012, p. 12). According to McNulty (2013), this approach allows the students an opportunity to become true stakeholders in their education (p. 40). "When students have greater responsibility for content, they practice essential skills, such as self-motivation and time management, which become additional assets for employability and career success" (McNulty, 2013, p. 40).

Pros of a Flipped Classroom

  • Tailored instruction (Schachter, 2012, para. 4)
  • Higher accountability
  • In class discussions drives nightly instruction (Schachter, 2012, para. 4)
  • Students who "get it" may work ahead (Schachter, 2012, para. 18)
  • Students who need listen to the instruction repeatedly if needed
  • Increase in assessment opportunities

Cons of a Flipped Classroom

  • Some students may not have internet access
  • Students may not have a computer or mobile device to use
  • Some teachers do not make a good online teacher (Schachter, 2012, para. 8)
  • Lack of professional development that will ensure success of implementation (Schachter, 2012, para. 10)


Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(8), 12-17.

McNulty, R. (2013). Old flames and new beacons: The luminosity of online learning. Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers, 88(1), 40-43.

Schachter, R. (2012). Avoiding the pitfalls of virtual schooling. District Administration, 48(9), 74-76. Retrieved from

Hybrid Classrooms

Hybrid courses combine online learning and traditional face-to-face instruction. In a hybrid course, the instructor determines which material is best presented online or during face-to-face instruction (Black, 2002). Online material presented in a hybrid course acts as "an extension of the classroom...providing students with both real office hours and virtual office hours" (Black, 2002). According to a March 2007 publication, blended or hybrid classrooms are offered by 79% of public higher education institutions (Allen et al., 2007). They are increasingly offered in K-12 education as well. The U.S. Department of Education recently evaluated online learning versus face-to-face learning and found that students using online learning performed as well as or slightly better than students using face-to-face instruction (Means et al., 2010). The study also found that courses which used face-to-face learning combined with online learning had better learning outcomes than either of those mediums alone (Means et al., 2010).

Pros to Hybrid Classrooms

  • Students' perception that hybrid mode is superior (Black, 2002)
  • Additional time to reflect in respond creating higher quality work (Black, 2002)
  • Flexibility
  • Increased collaboration (Black, 2002)
  • Allows for incremental change toward technology (varying levels of online portion can be used) (McGee and Reis, 2012)

Cons to Hybrid Classrooms

  • Requires substantial amount of work, in advance, to prepare course materials
  • Lack of internet access for some students
  • Increased work load for students in redesigned courses (McGee and Reis, 2012)
  • Delayed feedback on student work
  • Requires active learning skills - some students may not be ready for this type of learning (McGee and Reis, 2012)


Allen, IE, Seaman J., & Garrett R. (March 2007) Blending In: The Extent and Promise of Blended Education in the United States. Retrieved from

Black, G. (Spring, 2002). A Comparision of Traditional, Online, and Hybrid Methods of Course Delivery. Journal of Business Administration Online. Spring 2002. Volume 1, Number 1. Retrieved from

McGee, P. & Reis A. (June 2012). Blended Course Design: A Synthesis of Best Practices. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Vol. 16, Issue 4, 7-22. Retrieved from

Means, Barbara, Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K.. (September 2010). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. Center for Technology in Learning. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from

Online Only Classes

Online classes are a great way to get your courses done without the hassle of sitting in a classroom receiving your information.

An online class is one in which both students and instructor communicates via their computers. All of the instruction including lectures, assignments, quizzes, contact and tests are all done online. There is no face-to-face meeting with online only classes. Proponents of online classes say they are a cost-effective alternative to traditional instruction that provide students more flexibility in their learning, as well as access to a greater variety of options (Fine, 2011). Online classes can benefit a student if they normally go to a poor school with little resources. Economic isolationism becomes a thing of the past (Perry, 2012). As with most things, online classes are not for everyone.

Pros of an Online Only class

  • You can work at your own pace, taking time when you need it and speeding through courses that are easy (Littlefield, n.d.).
  • You do not have the distractions that you would in the classroom. (Peer pressure, bullies, etc.)
  • You can take classes that interest you.
  • You can work ahead and graduate early.

Cons of an Online Only Class

  • Expense (Hawks, 2009).
  • Social isolation.
  • Work can be more difficult with teach guidance.
  • Can be challenging to stay on task.


Fine, V. (2011, April 13). Online learning: The pros and cons of K-12 computer courses. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April, 22 2014, from

Hawks, R. (2009, May 1). Online education for your teen: Pros and cons Is an online high school right for your teen?. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from

Littlefield, J. (n.d.). Pros and cons of earning your high school diploma online. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from

Perry, S. (2012, April 30). Are virtual schools really an answer?. Retrieved April 22, 2014, from

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