Blended learning refers to the blending of different learning environments. It is a term used to describe the way e-learning is being combined with face-to-face learning. The terms ‘Blended’, ‘Hybrid’ or ‘Integrative’ are often used interchangeably. Its very existence has redefined the ‘brick-and-mortar’ school structure. However, it also comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- It is less expensive to deliver. It is affordable and saves time.
- Students have 24/7 access to the learning content. The students can access the materials from anywhere and at any time.
- It enables more effective interaction between learner and educator through exchange of emails, educational videos and discussions on chat rooms.
- It makes it easier for the teachers to track the progress of their students. Similarly students can keep a tab on their performance and improve their performance overtime.
- It provides quick feedbacks and responses to any activity.
- It saves time and paper.
- Blended learning takes advantages of both, online learning and classroom learning. This need not necessarily involve use of technology; students can participate and engage in interactive face-to-face sessions. Whether to have face-to-face discussion or chat room discussions will depend on the time and need of students and teachers.
- The learners develop the knowledge to use latest technologies.
- It reduces stress and increases retention power.
- There might be little or no in-person conversations between the student and the teacher.
- A lot of resources are spent to familiarise the students and teachers with the latest technology and to ensure that there is no resistance on their part in accepting technology-based learning.
- There might be shortage of funds to purchase required technology.
- Problems with technology.
- It lacks inter-personal relations or direct communication among students and teachers.
- The learning process is less efficient as compared to face-to-face learning.
- Since the teachers do not have direct control over students, students with low motivation and bad study habits may fall behind.