The blended learning approach: how it works
Nowadays, the innovation in the technological field and the increasingly widespread connectivity to Internet have not only changed the way we communicate, but they have also deeply influenced the development of education.
And all the educational methods have necessarily to evolve, to keep up to date with the new technologies and with the new communication codes that today’s generations are accustomed to use. Blended learning, which aims to find a point of contact between e-Learning and the traditional frontal lesson, is a necessary step in this evolution.
What is Blended Learning
Blended Learning is a mix of learning methods that contain many ways of teaching, combining online digital media with traditional classroom methods. So, this new learning method can develop the interests and individual skills of any student much more than the classic top-down lessons.
One of blended learning strengths is its modular structure that can adapt according to different needs:
- Online lessons with periodic lectures
- Online lessons alternated with lectures and self-learning
- Online lessons with teachers who give instructions to small groups
- Students take online courses to refine the lectures
- Mainly frontal lessons integrated with technological supports.
What are the benefits of Blended Learning?
Blended Learning has the great advantage of being able to customize the teaching approach according to the students’ needs, exceeding the limits of the “one size fits all” education methods that are adapted just to some individuals inside a classroom.
The new technologies and the new devices make possible a high customization of learning times in the classroom, allowing everyone to follow their own rhythm. This means that teachers can determine whether to accelerate the learning process or integrate the program with advanced elements to align with the keenest students.
In addition, teaching is less expensive and it’s available anytime and anywhere, because – thanks to cloud technologies, students can access teaching materials from anywhere and at any time they want.
It has also been found that students who can establish their own pace of learning with technology are less susceptible to stress or frustration, and their capacity for retention of acquired information increases.
And the benefits are also on the side of the teachers, who can take advantage of more committed students, better feedback, and the possibility to deepen the topics of study.
What skills does a Blended Learning approach develop?
There are also many skills that this method allows to acquire. Students using technology, an instrument with which they feel more comfortable than previous generations, increase their ability to concentrate and their interest, allowing them to learn through data research; even their autonomy increases, empowering them to find the most appropriate learning methods.
Blended learning also helps students to develop a sense of ownership of their studies, helping them to understand that teaching is not something imposed but an instrument that they must exploit for their own benefit for the sake of their future. Another strength to remember is that blended learning allows constant monitoring of one students’s progress.
Summing up, these are the main skills blended learning help to develop:
- Data Search
- Decision-making processes
- Overall IT skills
- Greater concentration
- Decreased stress and frustration
In few words, blended learning aims precisely at eliminating the rigidity of traditional teaching methods, stimulating a more personalized learning method, in order to best develop the potential of each individual.