Nowadays, many students are sometimes not aware that they are using more than one learning method to achieve their learning objectives and use blended learning in their education. For example, they might listen to the lecture at university and then complete an online task at home. In that way they mix (i.e. blend) technology with face-to-face learning. Also, blended learning is commonly used among students completing their courses via distance education. The aim of this essay is to discuss the role of blended learning in distance education.
A straightforward definition of blended learning provided by Proctor (2003) is that it is “the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning.” And Perraton (1982,p.4) had given a simple definition about distance education which is “It is an educational process in which a significant proportion of the teaching is conducted by someone removed in space and/ or time from the learner” Although this description is given little bit earlier, it still works very effectively.
As technology develops, distance education becomes more and more common and blended learning cannot exist without it.
Distance education is really powerful and growing fast in universities. The diversity of distance education media guarantees that people can study more convenient. Basically, Internet being use most common in the use of blended learning in distance education. Here I am going to talk about its influence in our daily life.
As I mentioned before, Internet as the most popular and basic media for distance education do plenty of contribution in blended learning. Therefore, I would like to discuss its benefits in blended learning. Firstly, it promotes students to study independently. Because students can make self-study to assume their responsibility for their own learning without guidance. Like Otto Peters() said "Studying in this way ,the student is no longer forced to follow the lead of a teacher and is no longer subjected to the conformity pressure of the learning or peer group." Which means students can make plans on their own initiative to arrange the timetable or steps to convenient them to adjust the area limited or deficient. So they can choose the mode they are used to. In the process, they may learn about some knowledge which not covered in programs provide in that area because they will practice working with different technologies. Thus they can make enough preparation or revision to enhance their ability of independent study with their own pace.
Secondly, distance education is more freedom than traditional education. It enables people to teach or study in a convenient location which depends on the media people have. Porter, L. R. (1997) had given an evident: “Learners at home or at work can access Web-based information or use the Internet to send and receive e-mail, work with mailing lists, and download bulletin board notices.” People can download the document from e-mail on their computer, then they printed and use anywhere they need. Such as this example, numerous technologies can be choices to achieve their goal of distance education. “Because distance learning spans many technologies that can reach virtually (or virtually reach) nearly everyone in the world, learners may find that anyplace can be a learning environment.” as Porter, L. R. (1997) once mentioned.
Thirdly, the users of distance education are not only limited in students of universities for higher education, but also those people even did not finish their basic education are benefit from distance education. Otto