David Denton (Seattle Pacific University, USA)
David Wicks (Seattle Pacific University, USA)
Vicki Eveland (Seattle Pacific University, USA)
Benjamin Bloom, probably best known for Bloom's Taxonomy, contributed significant research and theory on a wide array of educational topics, including the effects of tutoring on student achievement. In 1984, Bloom wrote an article titled The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring. Bloom found that one-to-one tutoring improved student performance two standard deviations above the mean on academic measures in comparison to students taught in conventional classrooms.
These findings are unsurprising to most educators. However, the critical question derived from Bloom's (1984) research is whether teachers in conventional classrooms can replicate characteristics of one-to-one tutoring.
The replication question persists today, regardless of level or subject area. A significant pursuit of all educators is to use the most effective instructional practices available in order to raise student achievement. One way to organize effective practice is through characteristics of teaching and learning that replicate one-to-one tutoring. Examples that qualify this pursuit in current terms include differentiated instruction and adaptive learning systems such as Khan Academy (Office of Educational Technology, 2013).
Finding ways to more closely approximate characteristics of one-to-one tutoring in conventional settings inspires educators to experiment with alternative instructional formats. One of these is blended learning, which combines elements of online, classroom, and mobile engagement techniques (Strauss, 2012). However, some have suggested that blended learning is a fad, and subject to the same kind of waning interest as other educational innovations (Strauss, 2012).
Implementing and sustaining educational innovation, such as blended learning, depends on the use of effective instructional strategies. Characteristics of one-to-one tutoring provide a set of benchmark activities for identifying and organizing these types of effective practices within the context of blended learning environments.
Instructors choose from a wide variety of instructional practices to meet their objectives. However, not all practices have the same effect. Selecting and implementing the most effective strategies is critical, regardless of learning venue. One framework for organizing blended learning methods is through one-to-one tutoring, especially since instructional practices characteristic of tutoring have an enormous effect on student achievement.
Presenters in this informational session summarize ways instructors merge characteristics of one-to-one tutoring, along with example strategies to enhance blended learning. Participants integrate preferred methods according to their contexts through discussion and small group collaboration.