There was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of giving students any real degree of control over their education was unthinkable. Even in fairly recent years, many educators have been bound by the limitations of the traditional classroom and syllabus, resulting in an almost shocking lack of autonomy for students.
But, with the dawn of the Knowledge Age and the evolution of blended learning, this has all changed. Education as a process is being completely reassessed and rebuilt in a dynamic and incredibly exciting way.
All of the basic building blocks of traditional learning, such as methods of communication and systems of assessment, are being considered anew and reshaped in a way that makes much more sense for students going forward.
Engagement and empowerment
Two of the key pillars of this new approach are engagement and empowerment. You don’t need to be a genius to know that higher levels of engagement can lead to major improvements in a student’s ease of learning and ability to retain information. But what is now only really starting to be understood in mainstream education is that empowering students is just as important a part of the journey – and can lead to major spikes in motivation.
Broadly speaking, the idea of engagement in education is nothing new. After all, isn’t this what teachers have been trying to do for decades? What makes the blended approach of student-centered learning so, frankly, revolutionary is the degree to which this is pursued.
Find a way to inspire
Educators in a blended environment are not just presenting dry content at the front of a classroom to all of their students at the same time and in the same way, hoping it sticks. Instead, they are looking for (and finding) ways to spark genuine enthusiasm, curiosity, inspiration and passion in their students. Boredom has no place in a blended learning environment.
Blended learning gets results
And how do we know that blended learning works? Easy – because it gets results. It’s as simple as that. From boosts in more ephemeral (but still vitally important) factors like student happiness and satisfaction, through to more measurable stats like reduced dropout rates, higher grades and stronger attendance levels.
The numbers and the feedback from both students and educators come together to form an unambiguous message: Student-centered learning is the way of the future, and the future looks incredibly bright.