Blended Learning: A glance at the current state 

In the advent of the pandemic, blended learning has become a necessity for organizations. But, it has been on the horizon for years. It came into being in the 1840s when the first distance course was introduced. Then, with the introduction of mainframe computers in the 1960s blended learning could reach multiple people at the same time. 

In the 1980s TV technology was used to impart live training to the trainees. Then, the CD-ROMs were introduced in the 1980s and the LMSs came into being during the same time. In the year 1998, the first web-based instruction was delivered. Today, after going through innumerous metamorphoses to stay relevant, blended learning has become an integral part of the training process. 

But, even after such a rich history, Blended-learning still has some challenges that it faces today. These challenges came in the way of desired education, but little attention can help bridge the gap successfully. Such as-

  • The digital divide-

Different socio-economic conditions and geographic locations can pose a threat to access to the desired education. Although these factors are generally out of the key responsibility area of educational institutions or organizations, they still carry an enormous moral responsibility for them. Local ISP providers can be partnered with, and maybe free subscriptions can be provided to the families with limited resources. 

  • Technical issues-

A few technical issues that can plague the blended learning process are the technical ineptitude of the students and sometimes even the trainers. It is necessary for all the related parties to feel comfortable using the technology in question. For this reason, prior practice can come in handy. Trying to log in beforehand to the actual session can help you get a feel of the technology and make you comfortable in using it further. 

  • Motivation and direction challenges-

It might be a challenge for both the students as well as the trainers to get the required motivation and desired direction in the distance learning scenario, as after a while, the session seems to drag on and can become drab. To counter this challenge, the preparation starts at a key level, at the time of the development of course. You can try to make your content as engaging as possible and give proper rest at regular intervals, for the included parties to rejuvenate. Also, sharing the requirements from both parties beforehand and providing them with the tips to counter this challenge at the personal level, works like a charm. Virtual small groups can be created to cater to the students requiring additional motivation and constant directional support. 

  • Collaboration situation-

The learning requires collaboration between the students and it’s no different in the case of blended learning. Online collaboration is a challenge faced by students here. This situation can be successfully navigated by using your LMS to provide collaborative groups and making use of mobile learning to be in touch constantly with other group members. LMS apps also can help solve this issue easily. 

  • Communication hurdle-

Regular communication is also a hurdle faced by blended learning. For this purpose, LMS apps can help a great deal, with the providence of regular communication through instant messaging. 

  • Time issues-

Different time zones can spell time issues for different trainees. Also, time management becomes crucial in this regard. To solve this problem, time management tips can be shared with the students, and model time and schedule samples can be shown from time to time to motivate them further. Also, tailoring the mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities can help in better time management. 

As discussed above, blended learning has many hurdles in its way but a little preparation and mindfulness can help counter them successfully. It pays to be empathetic towards the needs of students as well as trainers for successful learning. 

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