Blended Learning – Challenges Ahead: Teachers

By Gemma Creagh - Last update


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Last week, we took a look at the challenges facing students dealing with the online element of blended learning, in particular those challenges that involve self-regulation and the use of technology for studying. 

In this second part, we focus on the challenges facing teachers experiencing the particular online element of blended learning.

Blended learning is widely regarded as a method of education in which students learn via a combination of electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching. While it has been around as a concept and an educational method  for some time, it is only really now in light of Covid-19 that blended learning has become a term familiar to everyone’s ear as it is set to become a part of every student’s experience in some shape or form. 

Ultimately, the goal of blended learning is to provide students with a richer learning experience integrating face-to-face and online learning components.

While there has been much written on the virtues and worth of blended education as a learning tool, there has also been some valuable research undertaken on the challenges the education industry faces integrating blended learning as a mode of education (RA Rasheed. Computers & Education.Volume 144, January 2020 provided important findings). 

Over the course of this series of articles, we map out the challenges that exist in the online element of blended learning for 

  • students 
  • teachers
  • educational institutions

Below we take a look at the challenges that are unique to teachers’ experience of successfully adapting to providing the online element of blended learning  .

Technology 

For some teachers, IT literacy and issues of capability can provide a serious challenge when it comes to providing the required online element of blended learning. It can be difficult for teachers to take on board the new technology necessary to manage and deliver online classes.

Teachers can lack experience, and in some cases confidence, when it comes to taking on new technology for teaching a blended course. This can sometimes lead to feelings of anxiety that teachers can struggle to overcome. On top of this, teachers can often encounter difficulty finding the time to learn the new technology that needs to be put in place to deliver a blended course.

Some reports have also suggested another technological challenge that teachers face is the very use of technology itself whereby in some cases teachers are unwilling or resistant to make the jump to using new technology for online teaching. 

Teachers have remarked on the challenge they have come up against of dividing the required time between teaching and dealing with technical problems, with the latter proving to be quite time-consuming and bleeds into the former.  

Online video 

Creating quality online video is proving to be a major challenge for teachers and they often struggle to provide the necessary quality of educational online content. On top of this, it creates a further challenge for teachers to find the time and put in the effort to create these instructional videos. 

For teachers with slow internet connections, uploading and sharing online video content present their own set of challenges that teachers can face when working with the online element of blended learning

Operation

Teachers can find it challenging to operate and use educational technologies to the level required to maximise the effectiveness of the online element of blended learning. 

Also there is the added challenge of keeping students up to speed with the online materials available to them and in many cases having the further challenge of instructing students in the proficient use of the online materials.

Designing, managing and delivering the online elements of blended learning is an operational challenge teachers face and it can put a particular strain on a teacher’s time and ability. 

Beliefs 

In some cases it is teacher’s belief that can be an obstacle to overcome when adapting to blended learning. There have been reports of teachers’ being skeptic about the effectiveness of online instruction and such negative perceptions can prove to be a serious challenge a teacher him/herself face when it come to adopting the online element of blended learning to their teaching methodology

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Next up in Part Three we take a look at the challenges that exist in the online element of blended learning for education institutions.

 

 

 

 

 


Gemma Creagh

Blended Learning - Challenges Ahead: Students
Blended Learning – Challenges Ahead: Educational Institutions


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