Blended Learning

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All educational methods address the "4Ps" of learning: place, path, pace and period (the clock start and finish of a unit of instruction, such as a class period or a semester). In traditional educational paradigms, the path is exclusively in-person and direct, e.g., a tutor and a student, seated at the same table, working at a pace traditionally prescribed, but not often "modularized" or customized to the aptitudes and circumstances of the learner. However, the tandem, indeed, linked, growth of communications technologies, globalization and mobility has not only facilitated the emergence of non-traditional, long-distance learning, but has also necessitated it.

Blended learning is a hybrid of such old and new, direct and mediated learning and teaching formats. As a hybrid, blended learning represents an acknowledgment of the timeless importance of direct face-to-face learning in the context of the growing importance of technology-based learning, e.g., screen-to-screen.

Unlike some forms of "e-learning", which frequently replace face-to-face learning or supplement it as alternatives, blended learning combines face-to-face education with e-learning simultaneously, e.g., in a classroom with a teacher and online access during an instructional period.

Blended learning processes offer a communicative information sharing post that allows interaction with a guide or trainer on a video or other technology-based conference platforms. In effect, it is a kind of blend of conventional classroom teaching supported by simultaneous easy data transfer and collection of reference materials.

Blended learning is also called "hybrid-learning" or "multi-method learning". However, this learning process is not entirely new in the world of education. One of the main purposes of applying technology is to make a learning activity more effective and time-convenient.

The methodology features face-to face-interaction between the teacher and the student with the assistance of technology. The learning is conducted with the help of computers, cellular phone or smart phone, satellite television channels, video conferencing and other emerging electronic media.

The "blend" combination method of teaching is very useful and effective. Rather than the forced choice some e-learning models offer, viz., "live" and in person, with a teacher vs. long-distance, technology-based instruction, blended learning retains face-to-face education as one face of a technology-oriented coin.

The application of the blended learning approach in corporate contexts, as opposed to school settings, can offer a corresponding range of advantages and opportunities for in-house training and other programs.
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