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Blended Learning Essay

1121 words - 5 pages

A country’s future success in an increasingly technology-driven global economy (like the current one) largely depends on its ability to prepare its students not only for their future jobs, but also for their personal fulfilment and civic engagement in a dynamic and diverse world. As demonstrated over the past, it has become more vital for authorities concerned with education to set clear and ambitious goals in education in order to develop higher-order thinking skills among learners. However, goals and objectives alone have never been enough to set learners up for future success. The reason is that the whole learning experience of any individual comprises of support from family, emotional ...view middle of the document...

This form of learning is implemented in a number of ways, ranging from curriculum models that are fully online with face-face interactions via video links to face-to-face classroom teaching with the integration of technology, which extend learning beyond the classroom.
The Promise of Blended Learning
Many educators concur that this type of approach in teaching has significant benefits. However, Garrison and Kanuka (2004) argue that in order to maximize on these benefits, it is essential for educators to have a solid understanding of the internet properties in addition to how to effectively integrate such a technology to current teaching methods in order to achieve a desirable learning experience. It is only then that a significant change will occur with respect to the nature and overall quality of educational experience (p. 97). After refining the above argument, it is clear that in order to improve on the nature and quality of learning, there must be an improvement in the level of student-educator interaction in addition to levels of engagement between the two parties.
Arguments for the adoption of blended learning suggest that mixing traditional learning methods with online based applications gives the student the ability to personalize their learning experience. The incorporation of communication technology in teaching provides a platform for the development of virtual resources, which enhance usability and task completion by bolstering other instruction delivery techniques (Aitken, 2010, p. 84). However, it is worth noting that the whole concept was initially met with scepticism. Even today, some still believe that computer or online learning is more impersonalized. However, such thoughts are vague, considering that internet based support for the delivery of instructions simplifies the adaptation of multimedia services (sound and video) in meeting the needs of students and learning methods through personalized instructions (Aitken, 2010, p. 84). Furthermore, a closer scrutiny discloses the ability of “asynchronous internet communication technology to facilitate a simultaneous independent and collaborative learning experience” (Garrison and Kanuka, 2004, p. 97).
Clearly, blended learning facilitates collaborative learning by providing a forum type of platform in which students can participate in free and open dialogues, critical debate between themselves and instructors, negotiation, and agreement – all of which are hallmarks for higher levels of education (Garrison and Kanuka, 2004, p. 97). According to Hyo-Jeong So et al (2008), the perception of students towards the concept of...

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