What are the advantages of blended learning?
‘More is more’. With blended learning you are able to engage learning in large groups. First you will give them an instruction and after that, put the students to work. During this time you can relax…., but it’s also possible to give some more instruction in for students who are in need of more information. This is one of the main benefits of blended learning.
Participants can partly work at their own pace and still have face-to-face education. If you’re faster than the other participants, you don’t have to wait for them. The other way around, if you’re slower, you can take your time. If you are a hard working mother and decide to attend a course, beside your normal job, it may be difficult with your time management. You can, to a great extent, decide when you’re studying.
Reduction in costs
Less room, less teachers, and with that said; a less amount of money.
It’s just fun! From elementary school to university students and advanced courses, blended learning has proven to be more engaging for various participants.
What are the disadvantages of blended learning?
Lack of motivation
There are also some cons to blended learning. The type of blended learning can worsen the motivation and willingness of your participants. Not every blended learning model is applicable to every age category. Just like you don’t give young children a book with long texts and few images. When children start reading, you give them books with many images and few words. After several years you can give them a book with more words and less images. If you expect young children to do all their homework and prepare lessons on their computer at home, you are wrong.
Basic technology knowledge
You expect participants to have a basic knowledge of technology. If children don’t know what to do, because of the lack of technology knowledge, they will get annoyed. Because participants have to focus on a new system and new knowledge, it might cause a cognitive overload. That’s not what you want to happen!
Plagiarism and credibility problem
‘There is no climate change’ (…well, according to Donald Trump). Children could easily write this down, because they don’t have the knowledge of the unverified online resources. Besides this, it’s hard to withstand the temptation of looking up things on the web. Participants have to think by themselves what the answer could be and search the answer on the internet.
Blended learning vs traditional classroom
‘Take your books and read the first chapter.’ This is a sentence you must have heard a lot of times. Nowadays this sentence could be replaced by ‘click on the link and follow the instructions on your laptop’. The first situation described is a classical learning method. The second situation described, is a modern learning method. Blended learning is a mix between a traditional classroom and modern learning method.
A traditional classroom is something which you will find less and less. New technologies are taking over. It’s not scientifically proven that blended learning is better. There should be more investigation about blended learning, before you can say it will enhance learning.