Take note of this interesting fact –
In a traditional lecture setting, 33 minutes after a lecture is completed, attendees only retain 58% of the material presented. By the second day, only 33% is retained, and three weeks after the course is completed, only 15% is remembered. (via ref 1 below)
This does not mean that classroom education has failed us. From the age of Gurukuls, classrooms have played a crucial role in the development of mankind. As noted in my previous article, classrooms provide ultimate learning experience by enabling live interaction with teachers and fellow students. However the fact that only 15% is retained, does mean that there is a need for self-learning to retain remaining 85% of what is learnt in the class . Not just that, in countries like India where availability of teachers is a grave concern, self learning starts playing even a bigger role. Add to that, poor infrastructure or system connecting students and teachers in a classroom environment.
That is where blended learning comes into play. Blended learning (sometimes called hybrid learning) is nothing but combination of traditional classroom form of learning and technology-assisted self-learning. Classroom environment provides the live interactive experience while technology-assisted learning (e-learning/ video learning) provides course content accessible any time, any number of times. Best of both the worlds.
According to reference no. 2 below, Studies conducted by Harvard Business School have shown that a blended learning approach enables students to learn five times as much material at one-third the cost of a classroom-only approach. Surveys indicate that students overwhelmingly liked the blended approach better.
Blended learning has not really taken off in India yet. The primary reason for this has been the low technology penetration –
1. The price of point of computer has not yet reached the affordability range of average Indian parent
2. Broadband penetration is very low.
Besides these, physiologically, technology assisted learning is not perceived of equal importance to classroom learning. However, things are changing now. With mobile revolution taking over India, the day is not far when these mobile devices and tablets will start playing key role in Indian Education. In addition, with advent of 3G and Broadband, the digital barrier would keep getting lower. And hopefully, with blended learning approach, people will also start realizing the importance of video learning or e-learning.
Blended learning will take time, but will start moving soon. As Victor Hugo said “Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”
Jones, M. (2002) . “Building and Managing E-Learning Programmes: Why E-Learning Makes Sense”.
Mullich J. (2004). .A Second Act for E-Learning., Workforce Management February 1st 2004 ,Vol 83 No. 2
Shafqat Hameed et al. (2008) “Effective E-Learning Integration with Traditional Learning in a Blended Learning Environment”