Blended learning is a modern teaching technique which blends online teaching methods with traditional classroom learning model to create an interactive learning model. It involves teachers and students physically present in a classroom and aiding the learning process through elements of online teaching methods and techniques. But this is not an exception. It may also involve students staying at their place and learning online in case of remote learning.
Features of blended learning:
Following are the main features that exist in a blended learning environment.
- Students’ engagement within the class increases to a significant level, and they actively participate in discussions which boosts their confidence.
- The interaction between students and teachers also improves with the use of different tools of blended learning.
- A blended learning environment presents an excellent example of time management through the most effective and efficient use of time possible.
- Blended learning offers time flexibility according to the ease and comfort of teachers and students. This is a significant feature that is rarely found in the traditional learning system.
- The reputation of the educational institution offering blended learning programs improves in the eyes of the public.
- Along with learning, the teaching environment is also flexible in blended learning as teachers can design the schedule as per their convenience and mutual agreement between teachers and students.
- Blended learning allows educators to incorporate various teaching techniques to cater different learning needs of students. It helps in executing a teaching strategy based on multiple learning styles so that the needs of every student are considered efficiently.
Benefits of blended learning:
Blended learning provides a number of valuable benefits to enhance the learning experience. Its services are not limited to educational institutes only but go far beyond it. Following are some of the most compelling advantages of blended learning.
Blended learning reduces many cost implications that usually occur in traditional education on traveling, boarding, and lodging, learning material, etc.
Better return on investment:
Return on investment for organizations in blended learning is quick as well as lavish. It is because it is cost-effective and proves to be more efficient by producing promising results.
Tracking of the students or employees getting training through blended learning is easy.
Students have the flexibility of time and place in blended learning. They can also monitor and control the pace of their education.
According to experts, blended learning helps build the understanding of students’ different concepts as it uses innovative and influential modern methods of teaching.
Impact on Students:
Blended learning is limited to schools and can also be used in organizations for the training of employees. However, here we are specifically discussing the impact of blended learning on students and their academic performance.
Experts at nursing essay help UK suggest that blended learning is more effective than e-learning in terms of motivating students to study. Blended learning offers a combination of best learning practices from traditional systems and modern style; it is more attractive for students. When students get to learn through different interactive and exciting learning methods, they are more encouraged to pay attention to their studies.
Due to this, they also participate more actively in classroom activities and discussions. They hesitate less in presenting their ideas in front of the classroom. They pay more attention to the lesson being taught in the class. All these things have a positive impact on their performance.
Blended learning offers a unique feature for students that is self-paced learning. Students can decide on the pace of their course of studies according to their mental capability, routine, interest, and comfort. They are not forced to follow a strict and rigid schedule irrespective of their abilities and interest. It helps them pay more attention to learning as they have to follow a plan. They treat studies more as a healthy activity than a burden.
High achievement scores:
Researches and studies show that students learning through a blended learning system perform well in the school and deliver promising academic performance. When students are self-motivated to learn and satisfied with the learning system, it improves their academic performance as well as their abilities and skills.
They know more than they do in a traditional environment using just books. When they are allowed to explore new things on the internet, their wisdom improves. Their knowledge increases and they outshine others in terms of their knowledge and insight.
Enhanced learning experience:
Blended learning uses various effective teaching techniques. Along with a traditional lecture, it also uses digital resources for images, videos, games, and activities to enhance the learning experience for students. Through those interactive activities, students understand better. They are more likely to get the actual concept accurately. The improved learning experience for them is one of the foremost learning objectives.
Achievement of learning objectives:
Research proves that blended learning is more effective in achieving learning objectives than other learning systems. It proves to be a successful method to develop a better understanding of essential concepts of students. Moreover, it also builds their cognitive and analytical abilities and enables them to evaluate facts before forming an argument. It is a necessary skill that the traditional learning system does not develop with much effectiveness.
Disadvantages of blended learning:
Along with many advantages, there are also some disadvantages of blended learning. Some of them are discussed below:
Dependence on technology:
The blended learning model entirely depends on technology. It requires a well-developed technology infrastructure to support blended learning. Educational institutions that have limited budgets and poor technology infrastructures cannot implement blended learning models in their educational system. Moreover, in case of any power breakdown or failure in design due to short-circuit, hacking, or glitches, the whole system ceases to operate correctly.
The efficient use of technology is not possible without proper training of teachers and students. This training requires a lot of time and cost. To train teachers, schools must hire professional trainers or enroll their teachers in some training program. Teachers have to spend additional time searching and understanding learning material and new teaching techniques in the beginning. They have to pay considerable time to design their unique teaching program for students. It may involve more time implication than traditional learning in the front.