Is Blended Learning Better than Online Learning for B.Ed Students?
Blended learning is a newly emerging area of research and practice in educational institutions. It is defined as a useful and reasonable combination of online and face-to-face learning and is acclaimed as a successful mode of teaching. The recent growth of online education, which is without classroom interaction, in a developing country like India therefore presents a reason to verify the relative effectiveness of these teaching modes. This study was an experimental study spread over two years, to compare the effectiveness of the blended learning mode and the online learning modes (including their specific teaching-learning strategies) for a B.Ed curriculum. A randomly selected sample of students with a comparable level of intelligence quotient (IQ) was subjected to both controlled (face-to-face) and experimental treatments (online and blended learning). The participants were the students of a predominantly face-to-face mode of a B.Ed Course. The researcher found that the average achievement scores of the blended learning mode were higher than the online learning mode. It appears that the interaction of the instructor and the learners was a critical factor for the better performance of blended learning. This research also suggests that blended learning resulted in better learning attainment and motivation. Blended learning has potential to support learner-centric teaching-learning endeavours. It is an important finding for the emerging trend towards online learning in India. It is also relevant in the context of the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put constraints on the face-to-face mode of teaching.