ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Blended Learning in Indian Higher Education

Are We Prepared to Set the Ball Rolling?

The University Grants Commission had proposed up to 40% of online teaching mode for any course in higher education in India, in the concept note on “Blended Mode of Teaching and Learning,” in May 2021. While the unprecedented pandemic situation recognised the urgency of implementing the online mode of teaching, with already persisting structural bottlenecks in the system, serious introspection is required on the preparedness of the country to adopt such a technology-driven learning approach.

The authors thank the anonymous referee for the constructive comments, which immensely helped them improve this article.

The Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent waves opened up a Pandora’s box of social and economic insecurities in the lives of the people. It toppled the formal learning process across the globe, with the constant closure of institutions and cancelling of public examinations. The countries which had already set off paradigm changes in their educational systems, imbibing tech­nological transitions, suffered less compared to those who had relied completely on the conventional mode of teaching and learning. India as a developing nation has traditionally followed face-to-face pedagogical approaches at the higher education level. The pandemic-induced shift from classrooms to computer screens, accelerated the implementation of technology-driven remote learning. Even in the post-pandemic era, the remote learn­ing culture has continued and gained traction. People have got accustomed to the non-conventional learning process as it proved convenient and uninterrupted in many respects. Therefore, the entire teaching–learning philosophy underwent a massive change.

With the changing landscape of the educational system, the University Grants Commission (UGC) rolled out a draft on “Blended Mode of Teaching and Learning,” recommending up to 40% of online teaching mode for any course in higher education in India. The concept was originally mooted through the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, underpinning multimodal education by blending face-to-face and virtual modes. The document invited mixed reactions from the academic fraternity expressing apprehensions on its implementation, success, future course, and repercussions. Amid the evolving deliberations on the blended learning approach, the important questions to be examined are whether India is equipped for such an implementation at the higher education level and if so, what are the potential challenges and how it needs to be addressed for effective implementation?

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Updated On : 3rd Apr, 2023
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