While growing up, probably the only way of knowledge transfer from teachers to students was through a traditional classroom setting. As kids of the 90’s, we hardly had any access to computers at school let alone having one at home. The dawn of the new millennium brought us much closer to desktops and laptops. Now, these devices were being used to complete assignments, do research and swimming through a vast sea of knowledge. Higher education institutions saw this change and adopted it fervently. The concept of Blended Learning also started gaining prominence during this time. Blended learning as a concept is often mentioned in the same vein as personalized learning and hybrid learning sometimes even interchangeably so. It would actually be better if we try to define blended learning to understand it better.
It is an educational approach that combines the brick-and-mortar classroom setting with online learning medium. Unlike popular beliefs, blended learning doesn’t do away with teachers or instructors. In fact, it is imperative that both the instructor and the student are physically present. The online learning medium provides some element of student control over the time, pace, place, and path of study. This mix-mode of learning is what is being considered as a benchmark by educationalists.
This is where blended learning becomes a bit more complex. Educationalists and researchers alike have found it difficult to agree on a common definition for this term. There is even a bit of disagreement on the number and type of models. The reason is actually quite simple - just like the term itself, various models of blended learning can be used together. Here are the six most widely agreed upon models of blended learning:
Some key advantages of blended learning are:
Just like other educational theories and models, blended learning would be unsuccessful unless proper tools are used for implementing it. For instance, if the Learning Management System used for delivering course content is not up to date, reliable or easy to use then it would have a negative learning experience on individual students.
Here are some tools that would help your K-12 or higher education institute in implementing blended learning effectively -
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