Blended Learning: The Best Solution for Learning in the New Normal Era

Parlindungan Pardede

parlpard2020@gmail.com

Universitas kristen Indonesia

Blended learning, a system that combines online learning and face-to-face instruction is the most inventive learning method in the 21st century, and the best option to facilitate learning in the new normal era. Our entry to the new normal is the best opportunity to build Blended Learning.

Introduction
Since last March, COVID 19 has suddenly moved students to learn from the classroom to their living room or bedroom. UNESCO estimates that around 1.6 billion (90%) students in 191 countries, including 68.2 million students from all levels of education in Indonesia have been learning from home. The majority of students learn online, and some others learn offline through television or radio or books and worksheets.

In Indonesia, it soon turned out that online learning does not work. It even emerged problems for many students. Although it has consumed many students’ energy and internet quota, it does not help them achieve their learning objectives. The 213 complaints received by KPAI (The Indonesian Child Protection Commission) concerning the implementation of online learning during the pandemic revealed that most students grumbled how boring, tiring, and ineffective it is. Some of them, for example, disclose that: (1) some secondary school teachers regularly assigned students to summarize a textbook chapter in every learning session; (2) some elementary school students were assigned to copy up to 83 pages of a textbook; (3) some teachers assigned grade four students to write prayer verses in many languages, including Indonesian, Latin, and Arabic, although the verses are available in their textbooks; (4) many students are assigned to write each question before answering it, even though the question is accessible in their textbooks; (5) many high school and vocational students were instructed to write an essay in almost every subject they were taking; (6) some junior high school students had already forced to deal with 250 questions from their teacher on the second day of their online learning; and (7) some elementary school students were instructed to compose songs about the corona. They should also sing the song accompanied by musical instruments, record it in video and send it to the teacher.

The aim of this article is two-fold. First, it discusses the nature, strengths, weaknesses of online learning to see why its implementation in Indonesia during COVID 19 is problematic. Second, it introduces blended learning (BL) and shows how it is the best alternative to facilitate learning in the post-COVID 19 or the new normal.

Online Learning

Online learning has been in practice for more than 30 years. Since CALCampus launched its first generation of in 1986, it has been massively implemented at universities due to the many benefits it offers, such its great support for student-centered implementation, the flexible learning time and place, the ease for accessing the information available on the internet, the opportunities for students to use their learning style and speed, and the opportunities to interact and create a network with other students and other parties from around the world. NACOL (2006) stated that online learning also hones the 21st Century skills, such as global awareness, information technology literacy, and the 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). 

Realizing the many advantages it offers and its increasingly improved implementation thanks to the continuous enhancement based on the experience and research results, middle schools and elementary schools have eventually begun to implement online learning. In many countries, more and more elementary school students have employed online learning, ….

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