Blended learning is one of the most unconventional methods of learning. It is also one of those methods that many educational institutions are resorting to as of late. Before we head into the intricacies and further discussion on blended learning, we should know some basics. Therefore, let’s begin with a simple yet comprehensive definition and meaning of the concept.
Blended Learning Definition
Blended learning is an non-traditional method to education that combines both:
- Online educational materials.
- Opportunities for online interaction along with the traditional classroom method.
It requires the physical presence of both – the teaching faculty and the student. However, some students still attend “brick-and-mortar” schools with a teacher present. But face-to-face classroom practices with computer-mediated activities is a winner combination. Blended learning is very popularly prominent when it comes to professional development and training settings as well. Blended learning is often seen together as personalized learning along with instruction differentiation.
Significance and Importance of Blended Learning
There are a few set of reasons as to why educational institutions adopt this approach of learning. Therefore, some of the critical significance and paramount importance of this method is as follows.
- Blended instruction is all the more efficient when in comparison with purely face-to-face or purely online classes.
- Moreover, this learning method can result in high levels of student achievement. Therefore, this is more effective than face-to-face learning.
- Further, this learning method also has the capability to reduce educational expenses. However some do dispute that blended learning is less expensive than traditional classroom learning.
- E-textbooks, which can be accessed digitally, may also help to drive down textbook budgets.
- Blended learning can lower costs by putting classrooms in the online space. It essentially replaces pricey textbooks with electronic devices that students often are more comfortable with and bring with themselves to the classes.
- This method also allows students to work at their own pace, ensuring that they fully understand new concepts before undergoing the pressure of moving on.
Demerits of Blended Learning
Since we have already seen the benefits, the importance, the significance and scope of the approach of blended learning, it is important to learn a little about its shortcomings as well. Therefore, following are a few demerits of blended learning approach of education.
- This method of learning will provide means to be a major distraction to students in the class.
- Although blended learning is proving to me a boon, it also tends to weaken the concentration of students.
- However, let’s consider that students are allowed to bring their gadgets to the classroom and in fact use them. This is only one of the most liberal way of permitting students to divert from the actual concept and lessons.
- Moreover, diligent and sincere students will make the best of this method of unconventional learning. However, there are a handful of those students who would take advantage of this. Accessing social media and something as simple as checking their messages could kill the whole purpose of this method.
- The society, the students and other institutions often frown upon a curriculum that make use of this method of learning.
FAQ on Blended Learning
What are some of the most famous of blended learning models?
- Face-to-face driver models includes a teacher that drives the instruction and augments with digital tools.
- Flex models deliver most of the curriculum via a digital platform. However, teachers are available for face-to-face consultation and support.
- Labs deliver the entire curriculum via a digital platform but in a consistent physical location.
- Self-blend models refer to those models where students choose to augment their traditional learning with online courses
- Online driver models refer to those models wherein the students complete the entire course through an online platform. However, there are regular teacher check-ins. Also the entire curriculum is delivered through a digital platform. And face-to-face meetings are available only if necessary.