The Blended learning method is a hot topic in education at the moment. Digital advances have meant that teachers, tutors and trainers have far more resources to offer their students than ever before. This includes eLearning software and audio/visual technology as well as the textbooks, models and one-on-one learning techniques they’ve relied on in the past.
More and more educational establishments are coming round to blended learning models simply because they believe this really is the best method to support students’ learning.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is a method of teaching that endeavours to incorporate a range of different learning techniques. Traditional classroom learning models are still utilised, but newer methods such as online learning, digital tools and flipped classroom ideals have also been introduced.
What does this mean for students?
Students are at the absolute centre of the blended learning method and its growth in popularity. Schools, colleges, universities and adult education centres have all adopted the method for one reason: it works! Education establishments that have embraced blended learning ideals have done so in order to ensure they are offering the richest, most valuable learning experience they possibly can.
Why should educational establishments choose the blended learning method?
Students are much more likely to be successful as their tutors are teaching them to use a variety of tools. This allows them a range of possibilities when it comes to learning a new subject. There may be students who are intimidated by asking questions in class, which can prevent them from making as much progress as they could. Being able to send your doubts through a digital platform can be of great help.
Likewise, teachers can create a virtual tutoring schedule, schedule chat sessions to resolve doubts, or encourage students to send their questions privately as soon as they arise.
It offers greater value
One of the real benefits of the blended learning method is that it allows students to have access to a much wider range of learning resources. This access is often extended outside of class hours, meaning that students are able to benefit from these additional learning tools during their time at home. In this way, they can access information in a flexible way to review concepts that have not been assimilated in the classroom.
It is also possible to turn around the traditional model of the studying space using the flipped classroom model. In this model, students spend their time outside the classroom preparing the lessons and becoming familiar with new concepts through the materials found on their digital platform and provided by the teacher. With this method, classroom time is used to encourage debate around what was learned at home, carry out reinforcement exercises and work on points that need clarification or further explanation.
It gives students greater control
When students have more access to learning tools, they are able to have greater control of the entire subject and the objectives to be met. They are able to re-examine material that is most difficult for them, review all material, and catch up on classes that they may have missed. It is easier for them when they see the subject as a whole, because apart from giving them perspective, they have greater control of time management for their organization and thus reach their goal. Generally speaking, the more control over your own learning, the more likely you are to remain active in the course and complete it successfully.
The report “Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students’ Learning” (2014) carried out by the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) concluded that technology used effectively increases the participation of students and can lead to significant improvements in student achievement. These improvements were also of greater value for those students with greater risk of low performance.
It makes for easier assessments
E-learning software has many benefits, but one of the main benefits is that it can make assessments much easier. This is good for students as it makes it much easier for them to get a good understanding of how well they are doing. It is also an essential tool for teachers, tutors and educators, as they save management time compared to traditional exams or tests. The LMS (learning management system) platforms allow an automatic and instantaneous evaluation, which also offers all kinds of data and statistics of great value for teachers.
The growth of digital learning resources has been beneficial for students, teachers and educational establishments. The benefits of adopting a blended learning method can be huge, so it really is worth exploring what this technique has to offer.
Need to know more? Read a more in-depth introduction to blended learning here.
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