Blended learning is a creatively innovative combination of traditional classroom learning methods, Learning Management System (LMS) and online assessment portal. More commonly referred as “hybrid learning”, blended learning has opened a progressive path of possibilities to integrate advance forms of learning and assessment into the k12 curriculum. The concept of blended learning originated way back in the era of 1960’s when no formal term was associated with this sort of learning. Progressively it started taking over the educational system, thus being officially used in the year 1999 by interactive learning centers in a press release.
What makes it an eminent part of classroom education?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
If we put a glance on our earlier education system then it is noticeable that it gravely lacked the flexibility to cater the learners according to their unique nature of perceiving. Every learner has a different pace of grasping knowledge and processing it within a given period of time. Blended learning evolved as a source of bridging this gap between the learner and educator by introducing different types of methodologies that are suitable to approach all types of learners present in a single classroom setting. With this type of outlook towards learning, teachers get an amplified view of the strengths and weaknesses of every student which helps them in designing strategies for imparting education accordingly.
Different models in Blended Learning
Blended learning is not just a casual term that signifies some sort of learning method instead it is a well-developed concept that has been assigned with different types of models by researchers and educational experts.
Flex: This model integrates the usage of online platform for delivering the lessons and the teacher remains available during this session so as to answer the queries from the students.
Face-to-face-driver: The teacher uses different types of tech-tools to deliver lessons which enhance the quality of learning.
Self-blend: Students independently use tech tools to creatively gain knowledge on their own.
Rotational model: It proceeds in accordance with the instructions rendered by the teacher and uses both, traditional as well as digital learning methods.
Online driver: The course is delivered by using online platform with regular teacher check-ins and face to face meetings so as to resolve queries.
What makes online assessment an imperative part of blended learning?
Formative assessment is one of the most integral parts of blended learning. It is an efficient way of keeping a record of the learning and instructional process going on in a classroom. The best part of formative assessment is that they can be held on regular basis and are accordingly designed to extract the needed outcome. But if the application of formative assessments take place through the medium of manual methods then it can create a chaos for teachers as designing, evaluating and recording the grades manually on a regular basis can be tiresome. Gradually it can result in restricted use of formative assessments thus, hampering a progressive pedagogy. This is where online assessment establishes its eminence.
According to a survey conducted by Education week Research Center, 83 percent of school and district level leaders agreed on the fact that they are using digital tools for conducting formative assessments.
This research surely indicates that majority of schools are starting to prefer digital tools for creating and assigning formative assessments to the learners. But another aspect to creating a relevant formative assessment is to understand the necessity of choosing a perfect online exam portal that enhances the nature of assessment. Online market of tech-tools has numerous type of exam portal that are all unique and limited to its features. Selecting an all-inclusive and reasonable tool like Think Exam can be a difficult task out of so many options present. Think Exam is a one stop shop to cater all sorts of assessment needs and its customizable platform comes in the most affordable range making it a top choice for the ones who prefer perfection. Formative assessments created through online assessment portal have got a huge significance in the educational system as they positively affect the pedagogy in following ways:
- They clearly state the importance of learning and benchmark for success.
- Generating interactive discussions, questions and learning tasks in the classroom.
- Creating feedback that inspires the learners to move forward.
- Encouraging students to become responsible for their own learning.
- Inspiring students to become a resource of sharing knowledge with one another.
Tech-tools have drastically altered the learning and assessment methods by advancing the ways of creating, sharing and acquiring knowledge. The boundaries that have remained from so long between the formal and informal modes of learning are slowly dissolving with the advent of blended learning in the education system. The trend of online exam maker has gained its prominence because of this change in learning system, becoming the most sought after choice for the educators to conduct assessments for ascertaining learning outcomes.
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