Learning is a subjective art where everyone has a different approach of imbibing things. There are students who just listen to lectures in the class and learn enough so much so that they open their books one day before the exam and score good grades. On the other hand, there are some children who spend all their time being a book worm and still luck doesn’t seem to bring them what their labours deserve. Therefore, it differs from person to person on how they extract knowledge from the resources provided. One of the major loopholes of digitizing education is that it is increasingly impersonal, the one -on- one interaction between a teacher and a student appears to be diminishing. The instructional matters are to be forgotten by the students and what remains is the image of a teacher that would reverberate through their minds. Therefore, to conserve the traditional methods of teaching from lapsing and at the same time to move with modern age, a type of learning has emerged which is an amalgamation of face -to-face instruction and online teaching. A blend of traditional and modern educational methods is called blended learning where both the teaching practices are performed simultaneously to create a new integrated teaching methodology. The fundamentals of education remain the same but the style would differ. Blended style does not only mean installation of computers in classrooms but represents a big change in teaching-learning approach and the learning experience. A wide variety of terms for blended learning such as ‘hybrid’, ‘integrative’ or ‘mixed’ have come into existence in K-12 education system.
According to a general consensus among education innovators, components of blended learning can be divided into following:
Emphasis on in-person classroom activities assisted by trained educators.
Availability of online materials such as recorded lectures of the instructor.
A well-planned schedule to complete the lectures, courses in a time- frame.
The remarkable trait of blended learning is that it uses classroom activities more for the overall growth of a child, due to which it outshines traditional classroom learning. In the latter method, the focus is more on delivering lectures and providing materials to students where they are actually spoon-fed without allowing their brains to observe analyse and interpret. Blended method of education seems more affable for children as it can be video-taped for them to see it as per their convenience. The classroom time is for various curriculum related exercises for students to work through their tasks.
Redefining the Traditional Teaching Practice:
Blended learning has redefined teaching roles in diverse ways and this has brought a term in currency called “facilitator”. So, the fundamental difference between a facilitator and a teacher is that facilitator is involved in empowering students with various skills and knowledge and also slot schedule for independent study time. Basically, the practice of rote learning gets lessened with this type of format.
What are the Important Components that a Facilitator Focus On?
Developing online and offline course related content.
Facilitate communication through online mode and guide them by giving hints without the textual clues that students would get in person.
Giving an enhanced and meaningful education experience by strengthening the process of practising customised learning.
A drift away from the traditional assessment and grading system.
Diverse Range of Blended Learning
Station Rotation Blended Learning: A class will be having a group of students with different abilities, talents and skills. Some students would grasp quickly and some relatively take more time. So, mere group instruction seems to be insufficient to meet the needs of the students. Therefore, teachers form small groups or stations and assist students exclusively on weaker areas. It allows students to keep rotating through stations after they are clear with the concepts and one of the stations include online learning model.
Lab Rotation Blended Learning: This kind of blended learning is similar to station rotation but it is practised in computer labs which enables schools to make use of the computers.
Remote Blended Learning: Here, student’s main focus is completing online coursework and only depending on teachers intermittently. It is also called Enriched Virtual.
Individual Rotation Blended Learning: The Individual Rotation enables students to rotate individually through stations but the schedule will be fixed by the teacher or some kind of software. It is not compulsory to rotate on every station but only ones which is scheduled for them.
A good blend of various pedagogical tools has been incorporated in modern learning system which has resulted in the trending of blended learning. The launch of a well-crafted education system would definitely witness the rise of new scholars in the future.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.