Using Blended Learning to Support Marginalised Adolescent Girls’ Education

A Review of the Evidence

Executive summary

Evidence from high-income contexts indicates that blended learning programmes with an online component can lead to a small increase in learning outcomes compared to traditional teaching. In some cases, low performing pupils have disproportionately benefited from blended learning programmes. Evidence suggests that effective blended learning programmes will have these characteristics (see Section 2.4):

  • use educational technology to supplement rather than replace face-to-face teaching;
  • promote peer-to-peer communication and offer collaborative learning opportunities;
  • scaffold the transition from traditional teaching to ensure pupils have the self-regulation and digital skills they need to perform well;
  • align content with the national curriculum;
  • support teachers to develop the pedagogical skills to facilitate blended learning activities.

In low-income countries where pupils have lower digital literacy skills and less access to devices for online learning, blended learning programmes must consider limitations in infrastructure and the existing skills base.

Blended learning that combines face-to-face and online instruction may not represent a cost-effective intervention to raise the learning outcomes of marginalised girls, given system-wide challenges that should be addressed. In this context, education decision-makers should consider blended learning programmes that integrate lower and more widely available forms of technology such as television and feature phones (see Section 2.6).

Blended learning programmes with offline components are likely to be more accessible in low-income countries. This type of blended learning may be implemented as a means to increase access to education for marginalised groups, including girls.

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