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Blended Learning vs. Face to face learning. Personal review of both methodologies

Abstract

In the last decade increasingly learning institutions from early preschool to higher education are employing a blend of Internet and digital media with classrooms that require the presence of teacher as well as students. This is referred to as blended learning. Face to face learning is the more traditional approach of teacher and students.

This essay will review the pros and cons of blended learning versus face to face learning. The review will draw solely upon personal experience. The perspective will be from the viewpoint of student as well as teacher.

Face to face learning

Advantages

  • Pace. Lesson plans are more teacher driven pace and content. Better for students who lack self-discipline.
  • Time. No time lag between question and answer. More in-depth question and answer sessions.
  • Social contact. The social presence of fellow students enable better understanding of lesson plans since the option of study group and role playing exercises is available.

Disadvantages

  • Classroom size. If the class is too big the interaction between teacher and student is lost. The teacher might as well be an automaton.
  • Bell curve model. Following the normal distribution bell curve model of population invariably the most and least gifted of your students is left out. You need to cater to the majority.

Blended learning

Advantages

  • Independence. Students are not dependent on their teacher. They are able to follow the syllabus on their own time and space.
  • Intimidation. During the chat sessions with your instructor and other students you can ask questions without feeling intimidated. The internet media providing a buffer zone.
  • Optimization. Opportunity for instructors to make use features unique to the environment to optimize learning.
  • Flexibility.v Better flexibility for teachers to work one on one with students.
  • Skills. Students develop better computer skills and greater comfort level with technology.

Disadvantages

  • Self-discipline. Tremendous self-discipline is required to comply with the online syllabus in a timely manner.
  • Time lag. Your instructor will only be available to you at a set time frame. Your questions might not be answered immediately especially if it’s asked in the written form.

Conclusion

A blended learning environment is better if the subject matter is easy or simple.

For syllabus that is difficult and complex a more face to face skewed environment with computer aided lesson plans is required.

In conclusion in my opinion both methodologies have their niche based on subject matter as well as the collective student personality matrixes.


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