Blended learning solutions is an educational program that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both a trainer and learner, with some elements of learner’s control over time, place, path or pace. More simply, blended learning solutions is a learning modality that combines offline and online aspects to get the best possible results for the learners. The learner is actively engaged in blended learning and has control over individual learning experience. Blended learning solutions is a term increasingly used to describe the way eLearning is being combined with regular classroom procedures and independent study to create a new methodology. It represents a significant change the basic technique than just adding computers to classrooms.
Characteristics of blended learning solutions
Blended learning is a mix of a classic and modern learning method. Trainees are learning from their computers as well as they get instructions from their trainers. Blended learning, which combines the best of face to face and online instructions in ways that can help personalize training for learners, often look very different from one classroom to the next.
But when it is done well, blended learning solutions typically involve some common characteristics –
- Online and offline learning – Blended learning combines some form of online learning with some type of offline learning. Learners may take classes over the internet in a classroom with one or more trainers standing by to help them complete their work.
- Instructor involvement – Those who take online learning from home can interact with their trainers online through message boards and emails.
- Independent learning – Another feature of blended learning solution is that it fosters the idea of independent learning in trainees. Blended learning programs allow learners to learn on their own and to use the materials and resources presented to them in ways that work best for them.
- Peer interaction – Another key characteristic of blended learning is peer interaction. Those learning in traditional classrooms will have their peers sitting right next to them, which lets them work together on assignments. Trainees who take classes online can interact with others via the class message boards or forum.
- Support for learners – Another characteristic that blended learning programs share is the support available for learners. Trainers working in these programs offer learners all the help and support they need both through offline meetings and online solution.
Desirable qualities of blended learning solutions
The most obvious reason why blended learning is enjoyed is because it increases engagement. Most of the learners nowadays, have a smart phone, which is like having a handheld computer. With blended learning learners can use their smartphones and learn online at their own pace. This may sound like a matter of convenience, but engagement is a powerful technique. Mixing technology with tradition is the essence of blended learning solutions which is far more than an education industry buzzword. While technology is treated as a solution to a problem, it is just one component of a much bigger solution that always requires good teaching practices. Blended learning makes strong use of technology in the learning environment, but this is not the only way in which this takes place. Learners are constantly reminded that these tools are no substitute for the hard work of learning.
Strong interpersonal skills are needed to succeed in today’s world. Along with these group skills, learners must have the ability to work alone to complete the tasks – a quality blended learning solution will support learners as they develop these internal and external traits. The traditional mode of education relies on the finished product as proof that the learner has acquired a certain skill. The blended learning classroom enables the learner to lean heavily on the process. Issues like how the learner used the appropriate tools to create the product and how many changes and edits were required, help to focus on the process. Through blended learning, the trainees get the similar experience and support as they would in a traditional classroom.
The increasing awareness and availability of internet services has contributed much to the growth of blended learning. Although implementing blended learning solutions is a complex process because trainers must determine the perfect blend of face to face activities and online learning when designing courses, blended learning is an important part of the learning landscape. A number of researchers have shown that learners favour blended learning to traditional classroom. Blended learning should continue to implement technologies that are affordable and thus provide engaging and effective instructions that personalize learning for all.