As the combination of conventional face-to-face learning and flexible online learning, blended learning has its unique supremacy in high effectiveness, omnipresent space and flexible time. This technique of learning is generally called Blended Learning as it combines conventional live classroom methods with online activities (called “e-learning”). In the words of Picciano, Dziuban & Graham (2013), the term ‘blended learning‘ infers a combination or mixture, and it may also be referred to as “hybrid” or “mixed-mode” learning. The chief component of blended learning is to recognize what is already functioning effectively in a classroom context and what might be well-matched as online content or not. Teachers or instructors want to discern that adding digital content in the classroom never means to hurl out all the conventional face-to-face instruction. Blended learning aims to maintain, what is functioning better in a face-to-face approach what could be most effective in a digital form, which can be accessed or downloaded. Blended learning is a pedagogical method constructed on a “blend” of face-to-face learning and e-learning, which can facilitate the students to switch from passive to active learning activities, then conquer the issues of low motivation for subject completion and the minimum level of contentment. Furthermore, it has a variety of model and variations of its “blend” which permit to utilize multiple blended learning environments. Simply, Blended learning can be defined as the ‘combination of online approaches that recognize traditional pedagogies‘. Garrison and Vaughan (2008) suggested that blended learning is the thoughtful fusion of face-to-face and online learning experiences. The basic principle is that the face-to-face oral communication and online written communication are optimally integrated, such that the strengths of each are blended into a unique learning experience which congruent with the context and intended educational purpose. Another definition stated from Saliba, Rankine, & Cortz of University of Western Sydney (2013), blended learning refers to a strategic and systematic come near to integrating times and modes of learning, combining the best aspects of face-to-face and online interactions for each discipline, using appropriate information and communication technologies (ICT’s). Thus, Blended Learning as the term itself indicates it is a blended or mixed of face-to-face learning and online/elearning in such a way by integrate the best aspects to ensure effective learning process. The blending has to be made in accordance with the learners and the subject matters.
Advantages of Blended Learning
Blended learning is considered to enhance self-regulated and independent learning meanwhile, it also brings together the students to stimulate their thinking and enduring learning skills. It holds the students’ autonomy and provides more chances to seek practice and knowledge outside the four walls of the classroom are opened in blended learning classrooms. Blended learning permits more convenience and flexibility for self-study by the means to improve the efficiency of learners learning as they could control their self-learning style and pace. In classroom environment, it provides more opportunity for instructors and learners to collaborate in classroom without having to expand a lot of time on transforming the content matters. On the other hand, it gives clear data to the instructors or teachers about the part that his or her learners require to pay additional attention to. Bleed (2001) listed out the advantages of Blended learning that it can address access, convenience, and cost-effectiveness, enabling students to save a considerable amount of time and resources from commuting. Further, Blended Learning supports the institutions to reduce the cost for additional buildings and facilities.
Natalia Andrejeva and Irina Ostroverkhaia (2017) investigated blended learning application into the challenging educational context. The findings of the study listed out the advantages or positive features of the blended learning that are, ease of use; accessibility and availability of teaching–learning materials; enrichment of self-organization and learning strategies; growth of learners‘ independence and self-sufficiency; increase of learners‘ motivation; inspirational nature of the learning content; improvement of the learner‘s computer handling skills; accomplishment of certain learning objectives. Further, the study reveals the advantages of blended learning for the teacher like efficiency of monitoring learners‘ performances, most powerful logical support, and effective achievement of instructional goals. It seems undeniable that the blended learning approach has transfigured teaching-learning practices over the last two decades. Such advantages and features of blended learning methods as ―round-the-clock and round-the-world availability and accessibility of training materials, ease of usage, enhancement of learning strategies and selforganization, increase of learners‘ autonomy, eco-friendliness‖ (Andreeva and Ostroverkhaia, 2016) are almost unanimously recognized as beneficial by the pedagogical community (Neumeier, 2005; Hubackova et al., 2011).
From the aspects of the pedagogical point of view, blended learning aims to integrate the best aspects of conventional face-to-face classroom learning experiences with the finest of online and mobile learning experiences. Osguthrope & Grham (2003) listed out the reasons, why the instructors prefer the blended learning model as their choice, i) Richness of pedagogy, ii) Efficiency of learning, iii) Accessing knowledge, iv) Relevant cost, v) Easiness of innovation.
For citing this article, use:
- Selvakumar, S. (2019). Effectiveness of blended learning strategies In learning physics at higher secondary level.