In the current work environment, time has become even more precious. People are finding it increasingly harder to balance work, family and social time. Add to the mix an evening class and night course which involves attending 4 nights per week of evening classes . Add to that another 8 hours per week minimum study time, then you may find yourself struggling to meet the demands expected of you.
When friends and family begin to tell you, they haven’t seen you in a few months and when you need to schedule meetings with them according to free time in your study calendar then you realize, you really are up against it. Maybe there is a solution.
Traditional face-to-face classroom methods have been around for years, but now with the daily use of computers supporting learning, learning is taking place outside the classroom also. Blended learning is the participation in learning not just in the classroom but also through online learning.
According to many researchers, this type of learning strategy creates a more integrated and rewarding approach to learning. Learners enjoy the obvious benefits of not having to attend evening classes 3 – 4 times a week. Instead they are required to attend one or two evening classes per week mixed with online learning which makes up for any lost classroom time.
A blended learning approach, allows learning to be more dependent on technology. It offers students feedback on assessments, grades, exams and most importantly provides a ‘treasure trove’ of information. Information and knowledge provided through blended learning allows access to video, audio, traditional pdf and word documents as well as access to superb study databases which is not available by simply clicking on Google.
Learning activities that otherwise would have taken place during classroom, can now take place online. Blended learning classes allow you to log on from the location that suits you. Provided you have Internet access, you can access classes from wherever you choose with little disruption to your other commitments.
There are some other benefits:
Participating through blended learning means you can control interactions with greater ease and have more time to think about how to phrase the questions you wish to ask.
2. Extra support is available online
Chat rooms and forums help you and your fellow learners with your studies outside of class time without disrupting your respective schedules.
3. Constant, convenient availability
Course material is accessible online at any time of the day, at any point in the week. This means you can review your notes whenever it is convenient and you are feeling alert and focused. It makes catching up on missed lectures easy as well.
4. Increased computer literacy
Another benefit of blended learning which is online learning mixed with traditional classroom learning is that many learners become more ‘tech-savvy’. Online interactions mean learners have greater dependence on the internet which helps creative personal development.
Blended learning can take many shapes and forms, but it appears that the classroom approach mixed with online learning, is perhaps the best. As of now, there is still no consensus on a single agreed-upon format to deliver blended learning. Different educational institutes deliver courses in different formats.
In the current busy work environment, any clever options to receive the best education has to be looked at.