Blended learning is an education and training model that merges traditional in-person instruction with digital learning. It empowers students to learn at their individual speed and in a manner that suits them via e-learning, simultaneously offering them the support of an educator.
Types of Blended Learning
Various types of blended learning exist, with some of the most prevalent being:
- Flipped Classroom: In this approach, students view lectures or other pre-recorded materials online prior to class. This provides them with the freedom to learn at their pace and revisit the material as necessary. In-class time is then spent on activities, projects, or discussions that reinforce and apply the concepts they’ve learned.
- Flexible Learning: This blended learning model offers students more autonomy over when and where they learn. Students might undertake online coursework from home, at the workplace, or in a library, while also attending in-person classes that suit their schedule.
- Hybrid Learning: Hybrid learning is a variant of blended that intermingles in-person education and training with e-learning. Students may participate in some classes physically and others online. They might also be tasked with completing some assignments online and others in-person.
Advantages of Blended Learning
Blended learning offers a multitude of advantages, such as:
- Flexibility: it grants students the ability to learn in a way that’s suitable for them and at their own speed. This is particularly useful for students with hectic schedules or diverse learning styles.
- Personalisation: it permits teachers to tailor instruction for each learner. This could involve offering distinct activities and resources for different learners, or granting students greater control over their learning trajectory.
- Engagement: it can stimulate more engagement than traditional teaching methods. This is attributed to its allowance for the utilisation of various learning tools and activities, and its provision of greater learning control to the students.
- Cost-efficiency: it can be a more economical option compared to traditional teaching methods, as it can diminish the demand for physical classrooms and teachers.
Blended Learning Challenges
Despite the many benefits, blended learning does present certain challenges, including:
- Technology: Blended learning necessitates that both students and teachers have access to technology, which can pose a problem in some schools and communities.
- Instructional Design: Blended learning requires meticulous instructional design to ensure that the digital and in-person components of the learning experience complement each other.
- Assessment: Evaluating blended learning can be difficult, as it’s crucial to assess both the digital and in-person elements of the learning experience.
Blended learning is a compelling education and training methodology that combines the strengths of traditional and online learning. It has the potential to be more flexible, personalised, engaging, and cost-effective than conventional education or training. Nevertheless, challenges such as access to technology and the need for thorough instructional design are also associated with blended learning.
On the whole, blended learning presents a promising direction for education that has the potential to enhance student learning. However, it’s essential to thoroughly evaluate the challenges related to blended learning before incorporating it into a school or classroom setting.