Blended learning unites classroom teaching with online learning through multimedia, interactive educational modules, and more. Because blended learning uses a mix of learning methods, it provides a more effective and engaging education.
Blended learning (B-Learning) or Blended Learning is an education program (formal or informal) that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both the teacher and the student, as well as the use of remote technological tools. While students still attend physical schools with a teacher present, face-to-face practices are combined with activities carried out online.
Since blended learning uses technology to provide a more flexible education, it can offer a higher level of convenience and effectiveness for students. Students who participate in blended learning achieve better focus and better results.
In the terminology of online education, the word Blended Learning appeared a few years ago, to refer to what is apparently a new style of teaching (the combination of e-learning and b-learning). Literally it means “blended learning”, an unfortunate translation that gives the idea of an integration of two or more different things. Blended Learning is known and associated with a variety of names, such as “blended learning”, “semi-classroom learning”, “collaborative learning”, and so on. The similarities and differences of these concepts should be clarified.
Blended learning: this is undoubtedly the most appropriate translation, as it refers to the alternate use of two or more teaching strategies, integrated in a rational and planned way in a course, but not “mixed” to such an extent that they form a hybrid in the that the constituent parts are not recognized.
Blended learning: it is the one that meets face-to-face activities and online activities that require an even greater organizational effort on the part of teachers. In this cooperative activities are planned that may consist of exercises to complete the course’s face-to-face activity, or in assignments that students do throughout the course.
Collaborative learning: Blended Learning requires collaborative learning strategies, but they do not imply the same, since there can be collaborative work without the use of the internet, while BL emerges as a variant of distance education or e-learning.
Advantages of B-Learning
There are many advantages of Collaborative learning and the important thing is that we clearly know what they consist of in order to detail the analysis and convenience of where, when and how to apply it, because sometimes we try to use a tool or model just for the novelty, without get into the detail of the methodology, which is usually the main cause that these models or tools that we intend to apply do not work. Another factor would be that we copy a model that has given good results in the context of a culture or country different from ours, but when applying it we fail because we do not consider variables such as geographic location, economy, available technological infrastructure, etc.
One of the greatest advantages of blended learning is its flexibility. Since students can learn both inside and outside of the classroom, blended learning allows them to focus on their education in an environment that accommodates productivity, optimal focus, and most importantly allows them to manage their time.
The main differentiator of using technology to direct the learning process is that students can learn at their own pace. If a student needs more review to fully understand a topic or to memorize a point, they can extend their study time. Meanwhile, students who are faster or with prior knowledge can move on. This allows students to focus more of their attention on the key issues that challenge them without being rushed or delayed.
Blended learning also allows students to learn in greater detail than in the classroom. Many students are able to cover a wider range of resources using blended learning than is possible in a traditional classroom.
Bringing together classroom learning and independent learning allows teachers to ensure that students stay current on all major learning objectives, even when learning independently.
Increase the interest of students,
Promotes critical thinking,
It favors the acquisition of social skills,
Promotes communication, Promotes coordination, Promotes and favors interaction,
Improves academic achievement,
Stimulates the use of language, Promotes the use of narrative (story)
It allows to improve self-esteem, It allows to develop self-discovery skills
Synergy in the execution of certain tasks,
Forces students to be more explicit with others in their: Intentions, Goals,
Plans and Understanding of the task
Challenges of B-Learning
Since blended learning uses learning in the classroom and outside of the classroom, one of its biggest challenges is keeping students focused and dedicated to achieving the key objectives of their curriculum.
E-Learning and B-Learning
Everything evolves. Especially those ideas, processes or methods that depend on new technologies. E-learning could not be otherwise. Why? Because despite the extraordinary advances in educational platforms, the face-to-face method continues to add great value to education.
Teachers and students need each other. Students contribute to the group through their approaches, research, and documentation regarding the subject matter of learning. Individualized work is part of teamwork, and in turn, the essence of collaborative learning. At the same time, teachers exercise support, motivation and guidance functions.
And although educational platforms generate countless tools to perform this new role exclusively online, the face-to-face method promotes the better of each one. It enhances the qualities of each student and projects the ability to empathize and involve to exceed the learning objectives.
In fact, it does not appear that new technologies are moving towards replacing the teacher. Rather, it is the opposite. In short, the evolution of E-Learning is based on enhancing the presence, with the effectiveness of new technologies. That is to say, the Blended Learning.
As technology develops and becomes a more important part of education, Blended Learning is poised to become a more common learning method. The effectiveness of B-Learning has made it an excellent learning option for both students and teachers.
From in-depth online resources to interactive learning modules, blended learning gives students access to a range of educational resources that traditional education cannot provide.