Blended Vs Flipped Learning
The terms Blended and Flipped Learning are often used interchangeably by educators but, despite having similar connotations, they are actually two very different types of eLearning.
Before we can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type of learning, it’s important to differentiate between them. Blended Learning utilises both online and face-to-face instruction in order to provide a broader learning experience whilst Flipped Learning requires the learner to study an online element before coming to class and then using their class time to delve deeper into what they’ve learned.A typical example of a Blended Learning exercise might be an online quiz – such as those found on Kahoot! or Socrative – where the students answer questions virtually and then discuss the outcome in class, building upon their knowledge by taking into account each student’s thoughts. This type of learning is beneficial because it helps maintain student interest and allows them to discuss their own opinions and thoughts with each other.
The major drawback of Blended Learning is that it can hamper and alienate students that get overwhelmed by the use of technology which could also give some students the opportunity to pretend to be working harder than they actually are. In a recent paper investigating the impact of Blended Learning by Hernández-Nanclares and Pérez-Rodríguez on The Journal Of Interactive Media In Education, the conclusion was that students generally had a positive attitude towards a Blended design and found using technology in the classroom to be motivational.In contrast, an example of Flipped Learning would be watching a video before class at home and then discussing the results as a group. This type of learning means that a student can watch the video in the comfort of their own home, taking in the information in their own time and space and this allows for class time that is focused on detail and discussion, rather than just outlining basics. In 1998, Richard Hake tested 2084 students using Flipped Learning and discovered that those taught using a Flipped method exhibited learning gains almost two standard deviations higher than those who were taught in a more traditional method.
Aside from the many benefits of Flipped Learning, there are some drawbacks which include the fact that all students learn at different paces making it difficult to test them. This type of learning also gives some students the chance to relax at home by not doing the work in the first place.When it comes to answering the question: ‘Which of these two learning styles is better?’ there really is no black and white answer. Depending on what the desired outcome is, the two learning styles offer two very different solutions. In a classroom scenario, the best option is to use both styles at different times for different lessons and then analyse how the class responds. Some students favour learning everything in a classroom setting, others like to concentrate on the material at home. It’s up to the teacher or tutor to determine the style that best suits their students and whether one learning style might be better for a particular subject or lesson.