What is B-Learning? Our lives have itinerated online because of the covid pandemic. Various sectors were forced to migrate online especially the education sector. The ever-rising tech penetration in this particular domain augmented outrageously. Now byjus and unacademy are widely known Edu-tech giants, if anything it showcases the profound impact of e-learning in India. All of this shift was fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. In order to be a part of the social and economic system of society, digital literacy and connectivity are the mandatory prerequisites.
With the upliftment of lockdowns and things seemingly going back to normal, Universities schools are coming up with blended learning. In this new UGC(University Grants Commission) proposal, 40% of the course will be taught online while the rest 60% offline. The aim is to coalesce e-learning methods with traditional classroom ones. This model will for sure facilitate a more personalized form of education and a richer learning experience.
WHY THE SHIFT FROM E-LEARNING?
Govt is pushing forward this initiative for various reasons, one of the prime reasons being children are being treated as a market and their pre-mature exposure to technology. Apart from the known ills of online mode (deteriorating mental health & rise in cybercrime), it also exacerbates inequality making the digital rural-urban divide further inflame. Electronically supported learning that relies heavily on the digital medium cannot be accessed and afforded by many students. There’s a lack of proper policy and regulation. Also, our country’s infrastructure lacks broadband connectivity and the required necessary internet bandwidth.
Still, nonetheless, it was a necessary shift as we go by history. During the Ebola Pandemic in West Africa in 2014, students have pulled out of schools and countless of them never returned. This wasn’t exactly the case in our country with this ongoing pandemic for a large section of the society. But for those who aren’t able to avail online education, opening up schools would somewhat help them reclaim and revindicate their education.
MERITS OF HYBRID LEARNING
This hybrid (online+offline) model will pave a uniquely exciting way to impart knowledge to students. Blending face-to-face and online learning activities meet students’ needs and expectations as well as the pedagogical requirements of teachers. Thus students and teachers are both beneficiaries of this model. Flexibility and reusability of resources is one such positive aspect of blended education. Usually, in traditional classroom education, the pace and level of training are the same throughout. Hence the gifted/fast learners advance more quickly while the students who require extra help lack behind. Both instructor-led learning and online engagement where the student has control over the pace and path of content are vital components of this model. Moreover, online learning and in-person traditional learning complement each other rather than mutual exhausting one another. India needs to come up with its customized form of blended learning where there’s multi-stakeholder support (the state, private sector, and NGO). Undeniably with time and practice, blended learning (this hybrid model) will become a standard and expected method of education and instruction delivery.