Exploring Blended Learning
July 23, 2020

Exploring Blended Learning

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

Learning has always remained the key factor in shaping one’s future. Irrespective of colour, caste, creed, or sect, education among the masses has been considered as the cornerstone of the growth of a nation. This education, which encompasses the teaching-learning process, is the optimal building block between a learner and a facilitator. With change in lifestyle and communication status of the people, it is important that we learn to prepare ourselves for the future. Living in this period of artificial intelligence and robotics, it has become easier to continue the process of learning and teaching from our own comfort zones. It is obvious that the change in the living status would also bring a change in the teaching-learning process and thus, a new approach to learning has evolved – the Blended Learning.

What is Blended Learning?

Unlike the traditional means of teaching, where mentors used to facilitate the learning process using chalkboards, textbooks or lecturing method, facilitators today prefer multiple ways to deliver the content using various tools along with the traditional methods. This blend of modern and traditional teaching methods is termed as blended learning. In this method of teaching and learning, facilitators make use of the digital domain and prepare lessons, keeping in mind the time, place, path and available resources. With the prevalence of digital and social media, blended learning has become the need of the hour and has been a successful way of delivering and acquiring knowledge from any corner of the world.

Image Courtesy: www.staloysiusla.org

Few Types of Blended Learning Tools

Educational researchers have designed various types of blended learning tools. Facilitators and learners choose these models based on their need. Some of the prominent tools of blended learning are:

Face-to-Face Driver: This model of blended learning is quite similar to that of the traditional method of teaching and learning in a physical classroom. This model allows the facilitators to help below average or above average students to progress at their own pace using online instructional setting in the classroom.

Project Based Learning Model: This model helps students acquire knowledge with practical experience. Students are assigned individual or group projects based on the learning objectives and pedagogy in focus. This enables the learners to acquire a deeper understanding of the subject.

Flipped Classroom Model: In contrast to the traditional classroom structure where students get the first exposure of the topic through lecture, this model of teaching enables students to acquire complete understanding of the topic through problem-solving, debates or discussions. They are introduced to the topic outside the classroom, usually through videos or reading.

Flex Learning Model: In this method of teaching and learning, students are provided with self-guided instructions and are expected to work independently to get in the concepts. Students who prefer to work online and learn on their own prefer this learning model.

In addition to the above-mentioned models, there are also the Inside-out learning model, Outside-in learning model, Rotation model, Online driver, Enriched virtual model, etc., that enable the students to acquire knowledge in an interesting and engaging manner.

CHIREC and Blended Learning

CHIREC, ever since its inception, has remained the pioneer in the field of teaching and learning. It has accepted the new methodologies in the field of teaching with open arms. With the traditional ways of teaching, CHIREC has stretched its arms to deal with the need of the hour and thus, has introduced the novel way of acquiring and delivering knowledge – the Blended Learning. In the present scenario where students are not able to physically attend the classes, CHIREC has made it possible to bring the live classroom sessions in the living rooms of its students. Online face-to-face interaction with the students using interactive tools like Microsoft Teams, Sway, Class-notebook, Assignments, Flipped classrooms, Project Based Learning, Offline activities and Quiz have made it possible for the show to go on. The mentors and facilitators have been equipped with the needed trainings from time to time and are made competent in planning and executing this new method of blended learning.

Benefits of Blended Learning

As blended learning is a combination of both the traditional and modern methods of teaching and learning, its benefits are manifold –

  • Flexibility for both the learners and the facilitators
  • Permits time-bound planning
  • Enables students to access learning resources at their desired time
  • Students are able to learn based on their pace of understanding
  • Keeps the students engaged throughout the session
  • Helps in tracking the progress of the students and understand the shortcomings
  • Reflects collaborative teaching and learning
  • Enables flip classroom
  • Facilitators can use interactive tools and better projection of the idea
  • Enables effective delivery of instruction
  • Facilitators can optimize and improve learning materials based on the need of the students
  • Enhances convergent thinking among the students
  • Enhances personalized teaching and learning
  • Caters to different needs of the students
  • Cost effective

Ms. Snigdha Dhar
English Teacher, Secondary (CBSE)

Who am I?

Well, this question can hardly be answered using these twenty-six letters of the English alphabet! I am the one who too doesn’t know myself completely! Perplexed, isn’t it? Well, I am a fun-loving person, a teacher by profession, a caring wife and a doting mother of a 7-year old. Professionally speaking, I began my career as a freelance content writer and then slowly climbed the ladder and joined a reputed finance organization as a Senior Quality Assurance Specialist. Always passionate about reading, I always wanted to be a teacher and after my son was born, I decided to follow my passion. And now, here I stand – a teacher of English, teaching in CHIREC.