With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, several learning institutions are switching to alternative teaching methods amid the cancellation of face-to-face classes.
The Department of Education has approved three different ways of learning delivery for schools, namely online distance learning, modular distance learning, and TV or radio-based instruction.
These three modalities hinge on the tenets of Flipped and Blended Learning, two methods that are changing the education landscape by harnessing the power of technology to deliver information better to today’s digital natives.
But what exactly are these two methods?
Blended Learning is usually defined as the combination of online and face-to-face learning so that more engaging content like video, games, podcasts, and online materials are used in conjunction with physical tutoring.
However, in the current set-up where students will be taught remotely from their homes, Blended Learning is defined by the Department of Education as the “fusion of online distant learning and in-person delivery of printed materials to the homes of the learners through the barangays for those who don’t have internet access and interactive facilities in the comfort of their homes.”
In areas where students may not have access to laptops and desktop computers, radio and television may also be used to broadcast lessons and materials.
Flipped Learning, on the other hand, is a pedagogical approach where direct instruction moves from a group learning space to an individual learning space.
Under the usual classroom set-up, a teacher introduces the subject matter to the students for the first time in class, and the application of the learning is given as a take-home assignment that students tackle by themselves.
In Flipped Learning, the opposite is applied. A concept is introduced to the students through a video, presentation, podcast, or some other multimedia format before the class starts. This “gives the student the freedom over how, when, and where they learn—and it lets them engage with the video content in the way that suits them best,” according to the Flipped Institute.
Since the student is already familiar with the subject matter even before the class starts, the teacher can spend the class hour to collaborate with students and help them understand better the topic through more enjoyable, engaging, and collaborative exercises. As the Flipped Institute describes it, “Less ‘sit and listen’ equals more ‘do and learn.’”
While the new teaching environment creates many challenges for teachers, students, and parents, it also opens up a bounty of opportunities to improve the traditional ways of teaching in Philippine schools.
Using the methods of both Flipped and Blended Learning for Filipino students who will undergo online distance learning opens up new teaching and learning patterns.
According to Emelita Baylon, a faculty member of De La Salle Zobel, flipped learning benefits not only students but teachers and parents as well.
For students, flipped learning provides learning alternatives to those struggling to keep up with their classmates in the traditional set-up. Since they have the materials that they can peruse and learn at their own pace, they will have more time and resources to allot on understanding concepts needed for class time.
For teachers, flipped learning creates an avenue for growth and pushes them to explore the capabilities of technology—since what was once an optional skill has now become mandatory.
For parents, there will be more transparency when it comes to grading and student performance, especially in flipped classrooms that use a learning management system (LMS).
While there are various platforms to conduct online distance learning, a good LMS like Schoology creates the perfect environment for students, teachers, and parents dabbling in online distance learning.
Schoology is straightforward and easy to use, and can be accessed via any browser on PC and laptops, or on mobile phones and tablets via its app version.
To support all educators, parents and learners in navigating the next normal of education, REX launched the REX Academy in 2020 to help everyone address the challenges and maximize the opportunities brought about by the current situation.
REX Academy has since conducted various webinars and sessions on Flipped Learning, Blended Learning, and Online Distance Learning, among several other topics.