Blended learning is a great way to keep students interested in their education. It still has the traditional method of learning in a mortar and brick institution. However, it is integrated with computer-based activities.
In our technology-driven society, the young ones are attracted to anything that is computer-based. Gone are the days of going to the library to do research. Students today are more inclined to search online than sit among thick and dusty books that had been handled by students far too many times.
While this education program is being integrated in learning institutions everywhere, it is important to know and implement the principles that will make it a success. The four principles, as taken from an article published on KQED.com, are as follows:
- Start with a vision. According to the article, most pioneers of blended learning encourage schools and institutions to think of a vision that will define how technology will improve their learning goals. This can be implemented well if teachers and students has a strong leadership to look up to and follow. This leader can be in the form of the principal or a department head in the institution. They will take charge in removing barrier and making sure that any mistake in the implementation will not compromise the overall vision of the program.
- Accept that every digital learning initiative will vary. Regardless of how cohesive the vision is, you need to understand that there is no such thing as a one-size fits all approach. In fact, even the program itself will need tweaking in terms of the content and implementation. You need to take into consideration the actual content of the learning materials and the students who will use them. The article explained that there is a lot of room to experiment in order to determine what will work best in the classroom. Whoever will take charge of the blended learning program should have an open-mind and quick-thinking skills to incorporate changes as they are needed.
- Keep the learning goals on top of the software program. Some professionals who are implementing the blended learning initiative are too focused on the software that is being developed that they forget about their goals. We believe that these programs should never dictate or compromise how the learning goals will be achieved. In addition to that, we believe that if the current technology cannot produce a program needed to reach the goal, the traditional method should be upheld rather than altering the their intended target. This is preferable than having to alter the goal just to implement a program that is actually inadequate.
- Involve the teachers in the development of the program. According to the article, it is important that educational institutions include their teachers in the decision-making process. After all, they are the ones in the frontline and they understand the needs of their students well. As the blended learning program is being implemented, they should be allowed to give their opinion about the tactics that will be used. Even with the presence of the program, teachers will always be integral to the learning process.
All of these principles will help set up a progressive and effective blended learning program for any institution.