Events over the past two years have made learners and teachers interested in online technology. Online learning has become the go-to solution for continuing to learn despite difficult times. This gave rise to what people today call blended learning.
Despite the loose use of the term, what does blended learning mean? What are the benefits of this learning model that you don’t find in the typical face-to-face learning environment? This article will discuss all the essential information about blended learning and its benefits for college students.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is the combination of onsite or synchronous learning with online sessions. This teaching method presents parts of the course curriculum online, leaving the rest for class discussion.
This learning method encourages students to take responsibility for their learning while allowing them more flexibility. Students can talk to their professors and classmates in face-to-face meetings. It provides a common learning environment that allows them to communicate openly and ask for help.
With the availability of technology, teachers can use tools like the Kami app to implement a blended learning approach. This makes it easier for teachers to find a wider range of students. According to the College Crisis Initiative, 21% of colleges use blended learning.
This blended learning method sparks student engagement through modern learning tools like Kami, video conferencing, learning management systems and many more. Meeting teachers, whether online or in person, has never been easier.
Why should you choose blended learning?
There are many benefits to going hybrid, and these include the following:
Improved student engagement
In traditional education, students become passive recipients of information, leaving them bored, disengaged and indifferent. Students are more engaged in blended learning because they can collaborate and apply what they learn.
The immediate application of the concepts makes them feel invested in their education. It can help them process information, including its connection to real-life scenarios.
More options on learning resources
Blended learning allows students to use a variety of tools to learn new concepts and expand their understanding. Students can create a study plan based on their needs and preferences. They can also use the tools to work on this plan. By exploring different sources of information, students can better understand concepts.
Flexible environment for teachers and students
Educational institutions can implement blended learning in a variety of settings, including at home, in the workplace, or at school. This setting makes learning and teaching flexible for students and teachers. It allows teachers to use multiple modes of communication with their students.
Students can choose from several different learning modes. These include online lectures, videos and presentations, group discussions and hands-on projects. They also have access to manuals, workbooks and other materials available in print or digital format.
Teachers can also use the same technology as students to provide valuable feedback on assignments and lessons. This allows teachers to help students reach their full potential by giving them immediate feedback. Thanks to this, students can improve their performance and results.
Students can make a more personalized connection
Blended learners connect with their teachers and classmates in a variety of ways, including online and offline interactions (and there are many templates and resources teachers can find online to make this easier, like this one provided by Kami). Students can build stronger relationships with their teachers and peers through these interactions. These relationships help students feel more comfortable in the classroom, encouraging them to ask questions or seek clarification.
Blended learning also opens up the possibility of discussing lessons outside of the classroom through group projects or assignments. This helps them relate lessons to real-world situations, making learning more personalized.
Tips for making blended courses more effective
Blended learning can be a great way to improve student engagement and retention. But there are some challenges with implementing these courses. These include the need for a dedicated space for in-person learning and a teacher for online and offline settings. Here are some tips teachers can follow to make blended lessons more effective:
Make sure you have the right technology in place
Blended courses require students to interact with their instructors and each other through different types of technology. You’ll need chat rooms, video conferencing systems, and other tools that allow students to communicate face-to-face with their peers.
It will be difficult if you don’t have the right tools before your course starts. You will waste valuable time trying to install them during the first week of class.
Choose the teaching methods that best suit your subject
You must choose a format suitable for your subject. Suppose you teach history or literature classes. It is best to use flip charts or overhead projectors during lessons. This can improve student engagement.
Provide sufficient support when students need it
Although you don’t want students to become completely dependent on you, you would still like to provide them with sufficient support. The least you want your students to feel is that they can’t do anything without you. Too much help can make them feel like there’s nothing more they can do once they’ve figured it all out.
Make sure you are available to answer questions and provide feedback on assignments. Also, make sure students have enough time to complete the tasks. Otherwise, they will feel rushed or stressed.
Blended learning is the way to go
The blended learning environment offers many benefits to students. The ability to work in groups and receive individualized feedback from professors is something students need more than ever. Through technology, they can connect with other students and teachers at home or on the go.
Students can also get help from their peers if they need it. This learning environment can be beneficial because it gives them more options when trying to learn something new.
These benefits are why schools are increasingly offering college courses online. With this, you can say that the hybrid learning environment will become more prevalent in higher education in the coming years.