Since its inception, the blended learning approach has been explored and adopted as an effective learning model. Today, the pandemic has urged us to be futuristic and amalgamate technology in education that can benefit everyone.
Fusemachines conducted its 3rd webinar session on December 16th which highlighted in-depth insights on the benefits and successful adoption of the blended learning model from our two speakers, Director of Product & Business Development Parag Shrestha, and Product Manager, Miss Pratibha Shrestha. Further, the webinar covered different models of blended learning, the role of instructors in a blended learning approach, and Fuse Classroom’s philosophical approach to this popular learning approach.
The speakers discussed the strategies and challenges of the process in an interesting fireside chat and provided 5 key takeaways.
1. Benefits of blended learning
Blended learning brings a new meaning to teaching and learning using technology. With this approach, teachers can discover different ways of teaching and can personalize the learning experience for students based on their individual needs. Some benefits that can be highlighted are:
- Makes class effective
- Increases efficiency
- Higher student retention and engagement
- Transforms teaching
- Enables parent involvement to interact with teachers
- Promotes personalized learning
- Accessibility to online resources
- Enhanced communication and collaboration
“The ultimate aim of blended learning is to have students learn better.”- Parag Shrestha
#2. The importance of blended learning in schools
A combination of traditional classroom and online learning makes a viable model for the future of education. As a result, this can be a better approach for developing countries like Nepal where setting well equipped physical schools in the rural areas are tough and expensive. A recent study showed, 70% of schools were able to reduce costs by moving the data sharing and teacher/admin system to the cloud. Hence, this modality gives many options to explore the content delivery model and teaching methods for teachers. It further shifts the conventional instructor-centric approach to a student-centric making education accessible, affordable, and flexible.
#3. Two effective ways to adopt blended learning
Two ways schools can achieve a blended learning approach is through Digitization and AI.
- Digitization involves incorporating cloud-based learning platforms such as an LMS and helps streamline school operations and automating administrative tasks. Once you digitize, you can supercharge that with artificial intelligence!
- AI offers personalized learning for students, recommends material based on their individual learning style, and identifies where students can make progress. In fact, it acts as a virtual mentor to track students’ progress and provide better engagement with gamified features.
#4. The role of teachers in blended learning
Teachers play an imperative role in the blended learning approach. Rather than being the sole source of knowledge or seen as the lecturers, teachers can be active mentor/coach for their students. They can help students in enhancing their cognitive and analytical abilities. With technology blended in the learning, instructors can utilize the best tools to create impactful content and experiment with different teaching methods.
“Blended learning enables teachers to focus more towards the core concepts of the subject matter that the students must learn in order to properly grasp an idea during lectures and face to face interaction, allowing students to learn the other subject matters that they should learn, online at their own pace with content readily available to refresh topics or sate curiosity.” – Bhanu Shrestha, School Administrator at Swarnim School (Nepal) with using the Fuse Classroom platform
#5. Fuse Classroom’s approach to blended learning
Fuse Classroom believes learning is a continuous process that involves changes in knowledge, behavior, and beliefs. Learning should ultimately impact students on the ways they think and act. Technology mixed with learning can enable the student to perform better and enhance their way of thinking. Keeping students in mind is the primary focus for Fuse Classroom.
Our approach to using AI assisted blended learning is by leveraging state-of-the-art AI that innovates online learning experiences for students. It helps them monitor progress, answer questions, and makes smart recommendations. Fuse Classroom offers an Online Live module where teachers and students can interact with each other in real time with video and audio streaming. The integrated Student Information System provides a 360 view of student performance such as tracking and monitoring students’ interaction with the platform. Students, instructors, and administrators also have access to an Online Community where they can connect through groups, clubs, events, and discussions.
“For schools who are just starting their digitization journey, I would suggest using the “flipped classroom” model because it will be easy to implement which schools can gradually scale.”- Pratibha Shrestha
Webinar Q&A session
Webinar attendees were able to engage with Parag and Pratibha Shrestha through a Q&A session:
Q: Since students are habituated to a spoon-fed method of learning, they expect teachers to teach them everything, even expecting answers to be dictated. How would you suggest instructors and administrators ensure students are able to move on to blended learning methodology and are self-motivated to study? Also, how do we make sure guardians do not see this as teachers shrinking from their duties? What kind of approach would you suggest?
A: (Parag): One major challenge of the blended approach is changing the comfort zone of students from in-person learning to a mixed one. The first step to overcome this challenge is starting with awareness. Until all the stakeholders are aware and know what the benefits are, it’s really hard to put pressure on everyone. Having regular training sessions with students and parents on why blended learning is the best place to start. The second would be making small yet impactful changes that co-relate to the transformation. A good example would be giving digital report cards to students a day a two after the exam.
A: (Pratibha): Another solution would be bringing out students and parents who understand the benefits of blended learning. Schools have them share their personal thoughts and experiences in meetings and sessions which will eventually convince other parents and students to adopt it.
Q: In the context of Nepal, which digitization model would be best suited for schools to begin with?
A: (Pratibha): There are few schools in Nepal that are already using different blended learning models. For schools who are just starting their digitization journey, I would suggest using the “flipped classroom” model because it will be easy to implement and help schools gradually scale. While the rotation and flex models are impactful for students, it can be challenging for schools to orchestrate those. It will definitely help doing your research and seeing what works best for your school and students. Also, getting from students and teachers on how they view the flipped model will help use these strategies more and make it scalable.
Q: Will we be able to get an effective assessment of how to use Fuse Classroom?
A: (Parag): Yes of course! We have done many assessments and pilot projects, especially for larger organizations. It’s imperative to do a pilot session before we actually start implementing the platform. We constantly want to make sure that our customers are partnering with us with the right mindset and goals. You can always reach out to us and we can discuss in detail with our sales and implementation team.
Post-Webinar Survey Results
The post-webinar survey filled out by attendees from different parts of the world showed that the webinar was extremely helpful. The majority of the attendees were teachers and school administrators eager to learn about blended learning, its benefits, models, and ways to adopt it. All of the attendees showed interest in joining our future sessions to learn more about education digitization, AI, and Fuse Classroom.
Stay posted on our upcoming webinars for the new year!
If you want to choose us as your trusted digitization implementation partner, reach out to us here.