Blended learning is a hybrid of traditional face-to-face and on-line learning so that instruction occurs both in the classroom and on-line. It is the process of incorporating many different ways in which people learn through the use of “blended” virtual and physical resources that contain a variety of learning activities with the use of technology, lecturer and peer interaction. As such, more than one delivery mode is being used with the objective of optimizing the learning outcome, efficiency, flexibility and cost of program delivery.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Noor Aziah Alias, the Head of i-Learn Unit, UiTM, successfully conducted an introductory workshop on the benefits of using Blended Learning as an instructional medium to the academic staff of Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM Shah Alam. The i-Learn Centre, together with Academic Affairs Division, are gearing towards the Blended Learning concept by introducing it to UiTM students and lecturers since 2009. The workshop received overwhelming response from all the lecturers. Although skeptical at first, most of them opined that blended learning could contribute to an efficient and flexible learning experience to both facilitators and learners alike.
Professor Dr. Rozainun Abdul Aziz, the Dean of the Faculty of Accountancy, in her sharing session with the faculty members, said that blended learning does not replace the tutorial session but rather an extension of the learning time enjoyed by the students. This approach is actually an asynchronous learning time for the students to be able to continue with their learning and communicate with their respective lecturers beyond the classroom time. As such, it enhances the learning experience of learners. She also believed that with the coming of the information age, technology has the potential to transform the classrooms on a bigger space and platforms. Blended learning is thus a flexible approach to course design that supports the merger of different times and places of learning, offering some of the convenience of fully on-line courses without the complete loss of face-to-face contact. This is one of the reasons that blended learning courses have been well-received.