If you’re familiar with or work in the education industry, you might have come across the terms of blended learning or personalized learning. Even if you’re not familiar with it, chances are, you’ve probably heard the terms somewhere.
The Oxford Dictionary defines blended learning as:
A style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.
Additionally, in this era, blended learning doesn’t only include just online and face-to-face learning, it also now integrates social learning such as networking and workshop activities.
Blended learning is also known by other names such as personalized learning and hybrid learning, and they all pretty much mean the same. It’s a learning approach that is neither this nor that, rather, it combines different learning approaches to match the needs of the learner.
Here’s the thing – blended learning may sound interesting but it is quite difficult to implement as an organization, and even as an individual. There are so many things to consider, even more, if you’re in a team or organization.
Integrating blended learning itself is time-consuming, but what takes the most time is developing the right blended learning approach for your organization or yourself. We must consider so many elements such as the learning needs, the goals and what type of learning we need.
Whether you’re creating a plan to integrate blended learning for yourself or getting into a platform or school that already provides this service, it does take up resources that many of us cannot afford, such as time and money.
You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone or your usual way of learning to implement blended learning. Some elements may stay the same, but you’ll have to test out different learning approaches to understand what is truly effective for you.
Yes, if we want to bring out the best in our learning. Blended learning is a great approach to nurturing lifelong learning – here are the reasons why:
This means that you’ll be more engaged with the learning content because it’s not fixed to one approach. You’re actively engaging in different types of learning and this is great for better engagement and also recalling learning content.
With blended learning, you can access learning anywhere and at any time. This is especially convenient since we all don’t always have the time and money to spend on learning.
Unlike traditional classroom settings, blended learning calls for different learning approaches – this means that there are more interactive learning among the learners whether it’s online or in-class sessions.
Blended learning is quite difficult to implement, especially at a larger scale. The good news is, you may have already integrated blended learning into your life but just haven’t noticed it or seen it in a more structured way. Here are steps that can kick start your journey with blended learning:
There are many different types of ways to learn, different types more effective than others depending on your learning preference and the learning content.
List down the goals you want to achieve through your learning. This way, you’re able to keep track for later and also be able to assign the type of learning for those goals. For example, if I wanted to get better at speaking English, the best way to learn would be practicing face-to-face with a native speaker, rather than simply reading a book about it.
Some of us may have time to spare while others may not, so assigning some time in a week and scheduling what you should learn to achieve your goals is key to keeping up and creating that habit for learning. Additionally, not all learning is free, so assigning some spending money on learning could be beneficial for you and/or the learners.
Always refer back to your goals and measure your progress. The great thing about blended learning is that some aspects of it could be online and that means it can automatically track your performance.
Blended learning could be a crucial part of our future very soon. But like anything else in our world, it does its downsides. At the end of the day, blended learning is effective because everyone has different learning styles. If you put your time and effort into it, it’ll become an effective tool to keep you ahead of change.
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