Union make force”. A famous phrase scholars have focused on their way to improve the techniques used in postgraduate teaching.
Improving forced by drastic changes undergone by the market after the recent global crisis and that resulted in the Blended (B) -Learning.
This technique consists of a “blended” educational process because it combines two advantages of training: classroom and online, ideal to break the monotonous cycle that involved the teaching of the past.
Means a course at this format will include both classical classes and e-learning activities (online), tried to make the best of each. There are therefore “synchronous” classroom activities (face-to-face lectures, laboratories, field studies), activities “online” (chats, virtual meetings, receiving live events) and “asynchronous” (forums, readings , interaction with digital content).
In this way, students have a new window in the field of learning. Not only he has the relationship with the teacher, discussing important issues with their peers, but also can enter at any time of day and not move to a friendly platform to answer your questions.
The B-Learning is already being widely used in some universities and institutes in the world, but still is not well known.
The benefits are often attributed to this mode of learning resulting from the union of the two modalities combined.
1. Classes online
Reducing costs, usually caused by the displacement, housing and others. The elimination of spatial barriers as to carry out much of the course activities is not necessary that all participants agree on one place and time.
2. classroom format
physical interaction, which has a significant impact on the motivation of the participants, facilitating linkages and offers the possibility to do something more complicated than allowing purely virtual mode activities.
3. The student is the most important
The teacher now is the facilitator of the process of student learning, and does not occupy a central place, rather it becomes a learning guide. This causes the students to gain more responsibility for driving the development of the course to success.
In these courses the student gains more freedom as to when and how to study, thus a course becomes more flexible and external control decreases, giving the student a control that depends more on him than the instructor. This allows students to suit their own learning style.
5. Solutions from different approaches
By facilitating shared learning problem it may be approached from different points of view and not only from one, as normally happens in traditional courses.
6. Community Orientation
The exchange of ideas is what characterizes face teaching. In a hybrid course this communication is strengthened by new technologies, which enable the integration of groups of people for the construction of new knowledge.
7. Students with Special Needs
This type of course is of great support for students with special needs because their impairments can be compensated greatly with technology support.
Thanks to this new tool can support students to complete their cognitive tasks, which can be four types according to their functions.
Support cognitive processes such as memory processes and “metacognition”.
Share cognitive load to support high-level cognitive skills whose inputs are taken from the thought processes and finished higher order.
Allow students to engage in cognitive activities that can be drawn from their research differently.
Enable students to generate and test hypotheses to solve problems.
This new learning environment “requires transformation” of the roles that have so far played the teacher and student. Computer conducive take, a rigid dimension where the teacher is solely responsible for the direction and control of student learning, more open to a new dimension, ruled by curiosity, discovery and seeking membership in the construction of knowledge.
As can be seen, educational work in B-learning has a functional architecture that determines the relationship between the user and, at times, it is under the rules of a “logical object” (limitations of an electronic system) and “logic action “(computer skills and programming language).
First to implement
The new method is being implemented, with great results, from the University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain) which is now developing a project called “Campus Collaboration” and having the characteristics of B-Learning for students from Sierra Leone to receive classes on how to purify water.
With the help of multimedia support, participants can access relevant information and also contact local tutors who have had connections with teachers from Spain, thus closing the circle and virtual teaching.
In Mexico there are also cases. Thus the School of Commerce and Administration Unit Tepepan the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, studied the benefits of this technique with very good results.
Having implemented this resource, from 2004 to 2007, the institution has handled 193 thousand students in the subjects of greater failure rate, with an average of 77% recovery. Quite an achievement