Blended, Online​, or Flipped Learning Environments
     Learning environments can be tricky; some students do not know what type of learning environment best suits their needs. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, just like anything else. A learning environment should be where students feel safe and supported to discover and be ​inspired by their surroundings​ ​(WGU, 2021​). Creating a space that impacts the student's social, emotional, physical, and psychological needs is important and can influence any learning environment. Education has changed in many ways over the years and is no longer paper and pencil and desks facing forward. There are many different models of learning, such as blended, online, flipped, and hyflex. See Figure 1, for more details on the advantages and disadvantages of each learning environment. 
     Blended learning ​is a type of learning​ environment where the ​students are​ led by the instructor, but technology and media are integrated throughout the lesson. Educators have learned that there are many ways of interpreting information, and not every student learns the same way. With blended learning, instructors can introduce and help their learners discover different methods of understanding concepts. By combining technology with in-person learning, you have a more immersive experience in the classroom. Students also can review the lectures or content at their own pace to improve their understanding. Panopto has done studies that prove that “blended learning” is a scalable model that decreases failures, enhances learning, and increases levels of engagement (Panopto, 2019). Online learning takes place fully in an online environment. Students will access their schools' learning management system to access their class content. Inside their class, they will find recorded lectures from their teachers, discussion boards, and other media aspects to help them achieve the learning goals expected. This can be accessed from home or from a learning facility, but preferably where the student feels most comfortable. In a study done by the Czech Republic, ​respondents realized that online​ ​classes​ could not ​substitute​ for a ​standard​ class. They found that online had drawbacks, such as interaction with other students, discussions, and other activities done in collaboration with other students (Pikhart et al., 2023). The students also expressed that they preferred print over digital media, which is becoming more common among students who have been inundated with digital learning. However, some students find the online learning environment a very safe and supportive place to engage. They might have shied away from interactions in person, but being behind a screen gives them a chance to feel free from risk or judgments from other students, and by feeling psychologically safe, they are more likely to engage (Fang et al., 2023). 
     The Flipped learning model emerged in the 90s by Harvard professor Eric Mazur (AU, 2020). A flipped learning environment is described exactly as it sounds, inverted from the traditional learning experience. Students access their content online in their own time. They are expected to teach themselves the foundational materials of the content to be learned so that they can practice and extend their knowledge when they enter the in-person environment. This model allows the instructor more time to help students one-on-one, reducing gaps in learning versus wasting time teaching the whole class basics, which many already understand (Panopto, 2022). This model ensures student-led active learning and enhances the learning experience for all, including providing better ability for greater differentiation. 
     Hyflex, also called blendflex, is a learning model that has recently come about; Brian Beatty conceived this idea in the mid-2000s, and over 20 institutions have experimented with variations of the model since (Lieberman, 2018). Within this educational model, students can select their desired number of in-person lectures while completing the remainder of the course online​. They​ also have the choice to move back and forth with the course delivery of their choice. The instructors record and post their lectures online; students may attend them in person, asynchronously or synchronously.  They love having flexibility and choice even if they never use all the options.  
     In conclusion, allowing freedom of choice ​also accommodates a wider variety of​ ​learning styles​. Wimsatt ​said​, "​When you allow students an opportunity to decide how​ ​they learn best, the chances of them being successful are increased greatly because​ ​it's based on their decisions, their individuality​" (Lieberman, 2018). All the learning models discussed continue to grow and adapt to innovative technology and ideas worldwide. Who knows what the future of education will look like? 

(AU) ​American University. (2020, November 3). Pros and cons of a flipped classroom:​ ​american university. School of Education Online.​ ​​/ 
Team Panopto. (2022, September 20). ​The (flipped) classroom of the 21st century -​ ​benefits & advantages.​century/ 
Team ​Panopto. (2019, August 16). Defining blended learning - what it is, and what it​ ​isn’t.​/ 
(WGU) ​Western Governors University. (2021, November 15). 3 types of learning​ ​environments.​ 
​​Pikhart, M., Klimova, B., Cierniak-Emerych, A., & Dziuba, S. (2023). A comparative​ ​analysis of perceived advantages and disadvantages of online learning. Behavioral​ ​Sciences (2076-328X), 13(3), 262.​ 
​​Fang, M., Kijung Choi, Soojung Kim, & Bing Chan. (2023). Student Engagement and​ ​Satisfaction with Online Learning: Comparative Eastern and Western​ ​Perspectives. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 20(5), 1–24​. 
Lieberman, M. (2018, January 23). ​Blendflex lets students toggle between online or​ ​face-to-face courses. Inside Higher Ed | Higher Education News, Events and Jobs.​ ​​​students-toggle-between-online-or-face-face​  
Bridges, J. (2023, September 10). ​Learning environments: advantages and disadvantages​. [Figure 1]. Miro. 

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