Education researchers, teachers and methodologists are actively working to improve the transfer, acquisition and assimilation of knowledge. The eLearning model is still imperfect, and traditional education is no longer very relevant. Perhaps the truth in Blended Learning.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended Learning, or blended learning, is an educational concept in which a student/student obtains knowledge both independently online and in person with a teacher. This approach makes it possible to control the time, place, pace and path of the study material. Mixed education allows to combine traditional methods and current technologies.
The model does not imply a radical rejection of B&M education, as full-time education provides important speech and socio-cultural skills. Thus, mixed education becomes an approach that educational institutions can apply “here and now”, in the realities of an ordinary school or Institute, updating the educational process. Here it is necessary to clarify: Brick and Mortar (“brick and mortar”), B&M – English idiom, denoting something established and traditional. In the context of education, Brick and Mortar Education means the traditional model of full-time education.
Blended Learning, as in a blender, mixes traditional Brick and Mortar Education and eLearning, i.e. e-learning.
The student attends “live” classes in the classroom, but the so-called Computer-Mediated Activities are also widely used, that is, the mediator of educational activity is the computer, online mode, mobile devices and special training programs/platforms/resources.
The educational paradigm of Blended Learning is applicable to different audiences: it can be training of schoolchildren and students, and can be training and corporate training of employees.
Often used synonyms of Blended Learning, as Blending Learning, Hybrid Learning (hybrid education), Technology-Mediated Instruction (instruction through technology), Web-Enhanced Instruction (web-advanced training) and Mixed-Mode Instruction (training in mixed mode).
A brief history of Blended Learning
In fact, the concept of Blended Learning existed in the XX century, in the 60s, but the terminology was first proposed in 1999 in a press release of the American Interactive Learning Center, which decided to change the name to EPIC Learning. The media materials said: “… We are starting to provide software for learning via the Internet, using our own methodology Blended Learning”.
The interpretation of the term varied greatly, until in 2006, he published a book of authors Bonk and Graham, who said that blended learning involves a mix of education “face to face” and through the computer. Nowadays, Blended Learning means combining the power of the Internet and digital media with education in the classroom.
It is known that this approach was used in the aviation industry to control knowledge and time spent. And if in the 80’s Boeing practiced Blended Learning using CDs, in our time the approach is implemented online, through synchronous and asynchronous webcasts, broadcasts and recorded video.
How to implement Blended Learning?
Blended Learning stands on three pillars: distance learning (Distance Learning), classroom learning (Face-To-Face Learning) and online Learning (Online Learning).
Students periodically attend classes in the classroom, receive homework to work in a special program or on the online platform, in the library and test modules. Remote work on the topic can be carried out individually and with groups of students. At the same time, the teacher partially controls and, if necessary, advises them.
The main task of the teacher – to competently create a course and distribute educational material. It is necessary to decide what should be held in the classroom, what you can learn, study and decide at home, what tasks are suitable for individual lessons, and what – for group work on the project. It is assumed that the basic course is taught in full-time classes, and advanced and in-depth master in the process of distance and online learning. It is important that Face-To-Face classes take place in project protection formats, presentations or discussions between students/students or with a teacher. The remote unit should contain projects for group work, creative, laboratory and practical tasks, reference materials and links to additional materials in the Network, intermediate and verification tests, as well as tasks of increased complexity for gifted students. Knowledge testing should be carried out not only online and on a special training platform, but also in the classroom.
Advantages and disadvantages of the approach
Advantages Of Blended Learning. Proponents emphasize two main educational advantages of this approach: the ability to collect data and the customization of knowledge and assessments.
The third advantage of Blended Learning is that one teacher can teach many people at the same time. Blended learning allows teachers to reallocate resources and improve academic performance. This assumption was successfully tested in the school network Rocketship Education in the American city of San Jose (it is also known that Blended Learning practiced Nexus Academy and Clayton Christensen Institute).
Among the advantages of Blended Learning, the following is emphasized: the integration of asynchronous Internet communication technology into “live” educational courses helps to obtain both independent and collaborative learning experience. It is noted that the use of information and communication technologies improves the attitude to knowledge acquisition, as well as the quality of communication between students and teachers. In addition, a 1998 study by Alexander MacKenzie found that it was easier for students to assess their understanding of the material through computer-based assessment modules.
If we talk about specific subjects, it is believed that Blended Learning is particularly effective in teaching foreign languages, because it involves the need for live communication, and the need for online reading, watching videos, visual “memorizing” words, bringing the game moment and interactivity, conducive to memorization.