While blended learning may offer a temporary solution as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to ease and students start returning to campus to complete their course, it also provides a number of benefits as a long-term solution. Blended learning can have both positive and negative effects for a learner within higher education, both of which should be considered when looking to implement a blended learning approach.
Positive effects for students
Increased student engagement
A blended learning method can make it easier for some students to engage and study at their own pace. This learning style allows students who struggle to stay engaged during in-person teaching to engage with their studies in their own time, at their own pace without the need for a teacher.
Increase student achievement
For those students who do experience increased engagement and motivation with blended learning, their achievements will likely increase too. When students are engaged with learning, they have higher chances of retaining information, understanding topics and working towards assignments and exams – this will all be reflected in their final grades for the course.
Students learn at their own pace
The beauty of a blended learning environment is that they allow students to move through tasks and learning modules at their own pace. This is incredibly helpful for students who have a slightly different learning style or may work slightly slower than others and feel rushed during in-person teaching sessions.
Classroom time can be focused on more meaningful activities
In a blended learning environment, students are able to complete tasks online or watch lectures in their own time which means that classroom time can be freed up for more interactive, instruction-focused lessons. This will make much better use of valuable face-to-face teaching sessions.
Enhanced student experience
With the help of technology, blended learning opens doors for students to be able to access professional resources, research archives and even connect with professionals in their field of study, which will help to enhance their learning experience.
Improved accessibility and inclusion
One of the biggest dilemmas faced by higher education organizations is creating an environment that all students can fully access, no matter their abilities, lifestyle, location or course.
Online resources included in a blended learning approach to learning can be accessed from anywhere in the world with a device and wi-fi connection so not student is limited to what they can access throughout their course.
Ownership of learning
To successfully commit to blended learning, students must organize their studies and interact with online materials on their own terms. This allows students in higher education to take ownership of their learning without constant instruction from an educator.