Blended Learning: The Right Mix for Imparting Education

‘Innovation’ is the key to success in any field. Technological advancements are very much on the forefront in the era of globalization. Every industry has felt the need to align itself to the technologies for better production and provision of products and services respectively. Pertaining to the field of education, technological innovations had helped a student and a teacher to learn and teach using the wide world of Internet. Not only this, it has become easier for professionals to enroll for a course, without leaving their job. Thanks to the available distance learning and online courses.

Though there has been an onset of virtual classroom, online courses, elearning etc. But the importance of traditional classroom and learning just can’t be ignored. Therefore, what is required is an apt ‘mix’ of traditional as well as modernized approach of imparting education. Blended learning is the answer for this! Blended learning as the name refers to is a blend of the learning approaches; wherein traditional classroom (face to face) learning is combined with Computer based training approach.

Why the Need?

Though traditional learning pedagogy cannot be completely substituted by the computer mediated learning, but the ‘right mix’ of both the approaches can do wonders both for the learner as well as the teacher. The aforesaid approach enhances the efficiency of the students; as they will find it extremely easy to memorize a given complex concept.

For teachers as well, lesser effort would be required to bring out the desired efficiency in a child or a learner. They do not have to repeatedly make a student understand a given concept, as the concepts would be readily made available to the students online. If the concept is still not clear then a detailed description could be carried out in the classroom.

Learners and teacher throughout the globe have welcomed the integration of traditional approach and the modernized approach. There has been quite some time since this approach has been adopted in the developed countries of the world. Developing countries are also witnessing a tremendous increase in the number of institutions implementing such an approach.

Not only educational institutes, but there is also an increase in the number of corporates who are paying heed and benefiting from such an approach. Blended learning would definitely result in enhanced learning and competent individuals who are benefited with its incorporation.

Approach towards transitional learning trends

Before integrating computer based learning to traditional learning it is absolutely essential to analyze the people who would be using the technology. It is also essential to evaluate the resources that are required to carry out such integration. This is because, blended learning requires lot of information to be uploaded online. The institute must therefore have the requisite resources for the timely update of the necessary curriculum related information.

How Blended learning benefits ‘one and all’?

  • Time and energy saving: The time required by a learner to comprehend a concept through blended learning is less. Thus one can save in on time and energy.
  • Thorough understanding of intricacies.
  • Higher interest levels of those involved in blended learning.
  • Global integration: A person can imbibe learning sitting anywhere in the world.
  • The returns on investment for any insitute or a company are high as blended learning enhances the efficiency and competence of the individuals.
  • Chances of disinterest are low when traditional classroom approach is integrated with computer-based trainings.
  • Enhanced learning of the learner as well as the teacher/professor.
  • Synergy ‘TWO PLUS TWO IS FIVE’: the combined effect of class room learning and computer mediated learning is quite high as compared to the learning brought about by only one (classroom or computer mediated) of them.
  • This type of learning has proved to be a boon for those professionals who want to have a degree while still on job. So learning and earning goes hand in hand.

Counterarguments Towards Bended Learning

Though there are advantages of blended learning but there are also certain counterarguments, which arise every now and then.

  • It is known that for blended learning, computer mediated training is required. There may be instances wherein the teacher or the student may be reluctant to adopt the new learning approach. It is human tendency to raise voice against change.
  • Unfamiliarity to Computer mediated learning may result in decreased interest level and the individual efficiency may decline.
  • For developing and underdeveloped countries it is still a ‘Herculean task’ to instill resources to bring about this type of learning. This is because; huge funds are required.

Despite all the counterarguments it is important to say that the appropriate mix of both the types of learning may bring about positive results and would lead to a better and a competent learner. Blended learning is thus the ‘next big thing’ indispensable for the individual as well as for national development.

Makeover of the Education Pattern: Thanks to Elearning

Education in today’s world is just not limited to a small classroom and access to information had never been so easier than today’s times.  A simple click on the computer helps one to avail information. No more is education confined to the limits of a room, with elearning on the forefront; one can enhance learning and have a better understanding of varied subjects. Elearning has righteously brought about a change or to be more specific a revolution in the field of education.

Elearning: ‘Realistic, Effective and Interesting learning’

The widespread reach to the ‘many’ all over the world has helped elearning to earn the repute of a ‘trendsetter’. Education has truly undergone an alteration, wherein online learning, computer aided simulation and usage of graphical features has helped in making elearning realistic and all the more interesting. Online learning emphasizes on two-way learning, wherein, both the student and the teacher find it easy to ask or answer a question.

The effectiveness of online learning as compared to the conventional learning is quite high. ‘Effectiveness quotient’ of elearning is high as it makes usage of varied software applications, tools and integrates rich multimedia that ensures that the student grasps a particular concept easily. The ‘monotonous’ course or concepts are made lively utilizing the multimedia. This not only helps to induce better learning but also motivates the learner as one has a ‘better know how” on a particular concept or subject.

Elearning: A Boon to the Rats and Guinea pigs

It is better known that though theoretical knowledge is essential it is also important to possess practical knowledge. This is the reason why schools and colleges require students to conduct dissection of lab animals so as to get a better understanding of the internal structure. But, killing animals just for ‘better understanding’ is not ethical. Dissection of animals at the school and college levels can be reduced and this can only be made possible when the respective authorities introduce computer aided learning in their campuses.

Charts, Asynchronous learning CD’s, films, online learning etc should be widely used by the schools so as to put an end to the dissection of animals. Computer based trainings will not only help a student to get a better insight into the subject but it will also help the institutions to spend less money on purchase of animals used for dissection. Moreover, the same film or other learning tools can be repeatedly used to display dissections. Thus the cumbersome task of dissection will be simple and no more will the procedure result in killing of guinea pigs or rats.

 Computer Aided technology /online learning can do wonders

  • Computer aided technology proves to be beneficial for the learner as the ‘grasping’ of a particular subject or concept is high as compared to the conventional class room learning .
  • The interest level of the learner is maintained and thus the involvement of the learner or student is high.
  • With lesser devotion of time, Learning through computer aided technology is high.
  • Concepts are well understood by making use of the aforesaid technology and will be memorized by the learner soon.
  • With enhanced learning, the motivational level of the learner is high.
  • It can help save in energy of the teacher or trainer.
  • Online Learning can reduce the overall costs incurred in imparting education.
  • Omnipresent: reach to the ‘many’. Online learning will help in imparting knowledge to many people located all around the world.

 

Computer Based Training (CBT) approaches

There are various approaches as to how computer based training can be used to facilitate enhanced learning to a student. In the more developed nations of the World, it has been quite some time, since computer based technologies are used in cohesion with education. The need for this has been recently felt in developing countries like India. The top-notch educational institutions in India have adopted some of the approaches. They are enlisted as follows:

  • Interactive Curriculum CD’s.
  • Installing computer in a Classroom.
  • A video display of a difficult to understand, for instance, dissections.

Besides this, online integration of the classroom material and syllabi by educational institutions prove to be of immense help to the students. Though, in India, Elearning is prevalent but is not on the forefront as compared to the traditional classroom learning.

With exponential growth in the elearning field, careers related to this field are also observing an upsurge.  Content writers, content developers and web developers all work in cohesion to develop meaningful and righteous information for enhanced learning. Content writers should be articulate in writing. Whereas, people engaged in graphics should instill graphics that catch the attention of the learner or the student. There are thus varied job options available in this field.

Thus, it can be appropriately said that elearning has changed the way of how education was once perceived. With the advent of elearning the education pattern all over the world has undergone a makeover, much to the delight of the student or the learner and the teacher.