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Is Blended Learning the need of the hour?

Are the traditional brick and mortar schools are still effective in the age when the world is going through constant change, and the job market is more dynamic? The answer to this question is quite obvious.

We are going through the fourth industrial revolution. Students must keep up with the trends. To have a successful career, they need to skill up according to the demands of the job market. The traditional learning method is not enough to have the requisite skills, and this method is not made for everyone. Blended learning is the perfect solution to fill the void.

What is Blended Learning?

It’s a concept that’s grown in popularity in recent years, with eLearning experts and learners alike praising its benefits. According to Wikipedia,

“Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or place.”

Blended learning brings together the best of both worlds: conventional face-to-face classroom instruction and high-tech eLearning. Students can engage all types of learners by covering all bases—those who learn best in a structured setting with face-to-face interaction with an instructor and those who know best with semi-autonomous, computer-based instruction.

While role-playing with immediate face-to-face feedback is available in the classroom, online learning provides personalised, self-paced learning with eLearning/mLearning components that lend themselves to interactive media such as skill-building, games, videos, tutorials, quizzes, and social media components, all of which are accessible from the learner’s home page in the Learning Management System (LMS).

Why Blended Learning?

Herbert Marshall McLuhan, a communications theorist and media scholar, came up with the theory of Technological Determinism. He said,

“We shape our tools and they in turn shape us.”

The notion that a society’s technology influences its cultural values, social structure, and history is known as technological determinism. According to the notion, social growth is a natural process that is fueled by technical advancement.

Technology is enmeshed in our lives. For instance, before the internet, people used to search for terms in the dictionary. With the advent of search engines, we hardly look for words in a dictionary.

Similarly, over the last few years, the rapid development of technology has caused an increase in eLearning practices across multiple areas. And the covid pandemic necessitated the use of technology in the education sector. We’ve been seeing more and more learning content going online and becoming available anytime and anywhere from any device.

Speaking of the job market, employers today want to recruit those employees who can adapt to the dynamic environment. Employees need to upskill themselves constantly—this is where blended learning comes into play.

People who have access to a learning platform full of relevant material always at their fingertips are more likely to be self-starters: they feel in charge of their learning and learn to organise themselves. The blended learning system helps them acquire new skills according to the need of the market.

Blended learning is undoubtedly the need of the hour. It has many advantages, which are discussed below.

How is Blended Learning better?

Schools today are gradually adopting a new method to passing on wisdom and information to future generations. Traditional classroom teaching methods are being phased out in favour of a unique blended learning approach. Teachers who embrace this new classroom style are quickly enjoying the benefits of having their traditional teaching techniques augmented by modern technologies. In the end, it is the kids who will gain from this novel approach to education.

Keeps up with the trend

Blended learning combines online and offline technology, allowing teachers to rapidly incorporate the most up-to-date learning trends and modalities into their courses. Instructors can leverage built-in reporting tools in most LMS software systems for deeper, data-driven insights into student progress and performance.

Learners benefit from blended learning because they may discuss, model, and practise their new abilities in a safe environment, rather than just seeing or listening. Learners retain what they’ve learned by applying what they’ve learned quickly after leaving the real or virtual classroom.

It is for everyone

Blended learning caters to all types of learners, whether they like the conventional classroom, want to study online, or prefer a combination of both. Blended learning uses various techniques to adapt the information to the student and optimise it for the subject matter, without the constraints of a classroom or an all-online course. While not all face-to-face training can be converted to digital material, current content may be re-engineered for online distribution in a way that compliments the existing movement.

It is accessible

Educational resources were only available during classroom hours in traditional teaching techniques. Students could take their textbooks home with them, but there was no method to connect with or engage with the content. Thanks to new learning applications and other technological advancements, they now have greater freedom to access and participate with academia from home. This accessibility might lead to a higher level of interest in learning and better outcomes.

Students can learn according to their pace

Students may interact with the subject at their speed via blended learning, which employs apps, games, or quantifiable tools to teach ideas. This helps to maintain a healthy balance in a classroom with both fast and slow learners. Every learner can practise and tackle new material at their own pace. It can help students learn more deeply, reduce stress, and feel more satisfied.

Pocket friendly

When compared to eLearning development, in-person training may appear to be a cheaper choice, but examine the actual cost of face-to-face sessions:

  • Time away from the office.
  • Paying instructors.
  • Flying in distant staff can all eat into the L&D budget.

A mixed eLearning method saves money on travel and maybe utilised repeatedly, reducing teacher time.

It is more engaging

Blended learning is an engaging experience. Learners practise online through various content mediums, each tailored to a specific learning style, to reinforce the offline courses. Learners may connect with any information, practise what they’ve learned, and communicate with instructors and other students at any time and on any device. The community experience keeps students interested and provides teachers with information on their progress and areas that require further attention.

Changing the norm of old teaching methods can be difficult, especially for experienced teachers. The new mixed learning experience, on the other hand, provides many distinct advantages. Without blended learning, students may lose out on great opportunities. Ultimately, it is in the best interests of both students and instructors to utilise all of the technology accessible in a modern classroom.

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References:

https://www.cgsinc.com/blog/3-examples-of-blended-learning-boosting-workforce

https://edynamiclearning.com/8-models-of-blended-learning/

https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2020/8/6-models-for-blended-synchronous-and-asynchronous-online-course-delivery

https://www.ispringsolutions.com/blog/blended-learning-a-primer

https://elmlearning.com/blended-learning-everything-need-know/

https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/importance-of-blended-learning-in-the-era-of-digital-education-1783488-2021-03-25

https://www.learnupon.com/blog/what-is-blended-learning/

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