The educational landscape is constantly changing at an accelerated speed. The pandemic has opened the gate to a mindset and thinking beyond the traditional learning and teaching methods. Teachers have had to adapt to new technologies as digital transformation becomes more convenient and necessary than ever before.

Long before the advent of the Internet, the concept of correspondence education, and independent learning through distance education programs were prevalent. As digital platforms have become more accessible to purchase and implement, there has been more inclination towards mixing conventional and modern learning to the benefit of students.

If it weren’t for technology, it would not be possible for educators to keep education running in times of crisis – even for a short period. Traditional teaching, online learning, online classes, and hybrid classes are all mediums for knowledge transfer and contribute to the enablement of students in mastering given subjects. These terms have become synonymous with 21st-century learning and education, with blended learning being one of the most popular concepts among educators.

Blended Learning vs Hybrid Learning

The term “Blended Learning” often causes confusion – largely due to the various definitions available out there. To summarise, Blended Learning refers to “enhancing teaching with the help of digital platforms and online educational content.”

Blended learning is a form of hybrid learning that uses multiple digital resources to expand the classroom approach. Hybrid learning does it in two-parts, separate sessions of face-to-face instruction and online sessions. Whereas with blended learning, both systems are integrated along with digital modalities to create a coherent and yet varied learning environment.

What is the objective of blended learning?

Blended learning enhances access to education and maximizes flexibility. A blended learning model meets students wherever they are by delivering content in a self-directed, digital format.

Types of Blended Learning

Blended Learning is broadly classified into two categories: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. In synchronous learning, groups of people connect with coaches/ instructors in real-time discussions – similar to offline classes. It provides a sense of community and encourages collaborative learning.  With asynchronous learning, educational content is delivered to students. It is more like a distance learning program. It is more flexible and allows students to learn at their own pace.

There are various types of blended learning with different forms of usage and techniques. This includes techniques such as Remote Blended Learning, Mastery-Based Blended Learning, Flipped Classroom and Just-in-Time learning

Flipped Classroom

A flipped classroom is a teaching method that works in reverse i.e. from students to teachers. It is where teachers have questions that they share with students in advance. The responses from students guide teachers to areas they need to focus on in further discussions. This in turn helps teachers to set up instructions more efficiently for learners.

Why flipped? The student’s input comes first and the activity then follows. This is the opposite of traditional learning where the instructor will first facilitate discussion and then ask for feedback after his/her discussion.

Just-in-time learning is a method where teachers use class-time for active learning and leave any passive activities for students to do on their own, such as reviewing the syllabus.

It could also involve video tutorials and digital activities which students can complete at their own pace. It allows teachers to focus classroom time on complex concepts that could cause confusion or to lead group work or other collaborative activities.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning?

One of the biggest benefits of blended learning is flexibility for students – the ability to control the pace. It also creates a space where students can reflect on what they’ve learnt.

How does an SIS facilitate blended learning?

A Student Information System helps educators to manage all administrative tasks through a single platform. It also improves communication among all the stakeholders, and in doing so, enhances the overall student experience.

Solutions like Academia SIS also integrates with a learning management system (LMS), enabling institutions to facilitate digital education. The SIS and LMS integration make communication between teachers and students simple and efficient, both on and off-campus. It enables the entire learning process to become more student-centric, which is of course the ultimate goal of the blended learning approach.

This is even more relevant within the current context of Covid-19. Institutions were forced to take their conventional teaching methods and move them online, often implementing technology at record speeds.  We believe that the new normal of the post-COVID world of education will have EdTech embedded into its DNA, ensuring institutional continuity, helping teachers to focus on education, as opposed to stressing about systems.

Want to find out more about how an SIS can support you in a COVID and Post-COVID world? Get in touch and one of our consultants will be happy to share more information or assist with an obligation-free demonstration. Learn more here


This blog was originally published on Academia ERP, and has been adapted by Eiffel Corp, a partner of Academia SIS.