Definition: Blended learning is an integration of traditional face to face learning along with online learning, it’s a mix of old and new as much as combination of physical and digital learning and blend them together.
In higher education blended learning is stylish and glamorous and still a new tool that is being experimented, but with limited usage as it stands today, most of the teachers in the blended classroom use the course management system applications to connect with the students the best used application as of date are the blackboard and the modular object Oriented dynamic learning environment (Moodle).
This breaks down the traditional walls of teaching and learning which don’t work for everyone and with technology it can be tailored to each individual as per his needs and requirement, its provides larger flexibility enabling anytime, anywhere learning, eliminates need to attend classroom, enhances geographical reach, cost effective, effective, and enhanced efficiency.
There are various models of blended learning –
- Face to face model is one sort of blended learning where in both technology as well as traditional teaching model is utilized to enhance the success in the education, it allows traditional classroom experience coupled with individualized teaching and learning. This allows students who are performing better to progress at their own space using the technology in the classroom. Study has revealed that this approach has enhance the scores of students in Math’s and English, these were the students who use to struggle in English as a language, not because they were in capable in understanding the concept but lacked being native speakers.
- Rotation Model – Like the name suggests it’s a type of blended learning where in the students rotates between online learning and face to face learning as per the schedule fixed with the teacher, this is mostly used in elementary school, it is an effective mean to increase the achievement of the student, a study at IDEA Public School in Texas who implemented this revealed that there was a mass improvement, here the students interactive adaptive learning software to understand Math’s concepts and also used traditional classroom, this lead the students to be more active and would dare themselves to work hard learn things which were still not introduced in their classroom.
- Flex Model: Under this model the students work at their own pace with prearranged set of study materials, the contents here are mostly online, which is taught in a traditional school, here the teacher’s guide students through learning and also help explain them in small group may be one on one, if need be, the learning here, is self-guided, where in they learn and practice concepts in a digital world. The results where this is run has been encouraging, this is model of learning is specially meant for students who are non-traditional or at risk, and the outcome has been encouraging those enrolled about 90% are either graduated, moved to other schools for completion their studies or about to complete their graduation.
- Online Lab Model : In this model, the student completes the course entirely online and need to travel to a lab which is provided with computers and supervisors, however, these supervisors are not trained teachers, such model helps schools to offer courses where they don’t have teachers for the course and help student to learn at their own pace and in the subject of their interest without affecting the other students. This model is good for schools who are facing budgetary and staff shortfall, school can set up labs and provide quality digital learning experience with fewer teachers.
- Self-Blended Model: In this model the student takes online courses in addition to the traditional classroom session, of the face to face learning, here they opt for an online course or a brick n mortar class. This is opted by students to take more than what is already provided in the school, it is a sort of supplementary learning via online courses offered remotely, but this calls for self-motivated students, keen on taking additional advanced placement course, and for those who have varied interest or on subject not taught/covered in the school.
- Online Driver Model: As the name suggests it’s a online platform the material is delivered via online platform, the students here work remotely there is a face to face chat with the teacher online, basis the doubts or questions that the students might have, such a model is best for students who require independence and flexibility of learning specially for professionals or the working class. There is a spike in this model of learning and on an average an addition of 15% every year.
So, the question is do the blending learning really work? It is important and powerful facilitator for student centered learning, produce strong student learning outcome, these days even schools are testing and refining the blended learning model to ascertain and achieve not only learning but outcome and results, all said and done the outcome of the program will depend on the design and implementation and marrying the elements like, teacher, facilities, culture and of course the curriculum. At empower tutorials we use a mixture of learning that will help students to explore and help learn both the traditional way of understanding concept and clearing doubts as well has advance learning thorough online courses.