Blended learning is a term widely used that combines online learning with traditional learning methods. It is a combination of offline teaching methods with online learning or eLearning in a way that each one compliments the other.
If you are familiar with the term blended learning, then you might also have heard of Hybrid learning, Flipped classroom, eLearning, Remote learning, and many other terms. And if you have not heard of them or are not familiar with the term “Blended Learning”, don’t worry. Take a deep breath, calm down, and read this article as this article discusses blended learning, its definition, advantages, pitfalls, and various other aspects related to it.
The definition of blended learning
So, let’s get to the basics, or in other words, let’s first start with the definition of blended learning.
To give a proper definition is a difficult task, as opinions vary widely. However, to make one understand the concept of blended learning, this definition could be quite useful for you. So, here it goes: Blended Learning is a type of learning in which students get the benefits of both things, I.e., online and offline learning and learn through online teaching methods as well as through traditional face to face teaching methods.
With the changes in the school curriculum and the development of digital technology, blended learning continues to gain momentum as a learning model. Although some debate on the efficiency of blended learning continues to challenge them to re-evaluate and re-think their thoughts on blended learning. As with the help of technology, teachers could easily reach and teach students more effectively.
Also, one might view it as a mixture of old and new. As earlier mentioned, it is a mix of traditional learning with the old, previous century face to face teaching methods and digital learning with the new, digital technology invading its way into learning that is somehow the future of learning. To conclude it is a mix of physical methods (old) and digital methods (new).
How does blended learning work?
Blended learning is also known as “Hybrid learning”. While some schools, universities, and organizations use blended learning all the time, others use it on rare occasions. Blended learning works in two parts:
- Face to face interaction between teacher and student to facilitate classroom activities.
- Providing online materials by the teacher to students could also include pre-recorded lectures.
The “Flipped classroom”, works almost opposite to the work of blended learning. In this, the student is expected to watch lectures online and do homework in the classroom.
Advantages of blended learning
You might have already found out some advantages of blended learning. But if you haven’t, here are some benefits of this learning model:
- It provides the learner with full flexibility and convenience. One could learn remotely and could even control the learning pace.
- Blended learning is a more cost-effective way as it reduces travel expenses, accommodation, less face to face interaction, and training costs.
- It also reduces the hustle and cost of printed materials.
- This learning model helps students learn more efficiently and have a proper understanding of the course content.
Disadvantages of blended learning
Blended learning has some pitfalls which you might need to know before divulging yourself into the world of blended learning. Below are some disadvantages of blended learning:
- You need to use LMS (Learning Management System) that meets your needs.
- You should know that things online are a bit different from things face to face. What works for face to face learning may not work in online learning.
- Strategize content according to the learner and learner’s needs, and plan accordingly the activities that you need to do online and offline.
If used properly and with planning, blended learning could give learners the best results. Keep in mind that try to slowly move from traditional learning to blended learning. If you are an instructor, give your students some time to adapt to this style of learning.