If you are familiar with e-learning in any way, there is no doubt that you have heard of blended-learning. It is a concept that has gained popularity in recent years, with its benefits being touted by e-learning professionals and learners alike. Despite the acceptance of the effectiveness of blended learning, there is still some ambiguity around its definition.
Generalities about blended learning
Blended learning combines the best of two training environments: traditional face-to-face classroom training and high-tech e-learning. By covering all the bases, you can involve all types of learners: those who learn best in a structured environment that includes face-to-face interaction with an instructor, and independent types who learn best through semi-autonomous computer-based training.
How does blended learning work?
Blended learning includes a variety of teaching techniques, learning styles and delivery methods. In most cases, blended learning combines a mixture of classroom meetings and content delivered via some form of online platform. In a blended learning classroom, students have some control over the pace of their learning. In a blended approach, face-to-face meetings are often used to introduce or reinforce concepts, as well as to focus on practical skills practice and collaborative activities.
Online delivery is used to provide additional content when combined with face-to-face meetings. Although digital curriculum is often what you see in blended learning, it is not the only method. It can also use the curriculum via video conferencing, satellite television, online discussion groups, podcasts, chats and social media.
Advantages of blended learning
Blended learning offers the learner convenience and flexibility; they have the ability to control their pace of learning and to learn at a distance. Academic research suggests that blended learning gives learners a more complete understanding of the course content. Because blended learning allows learners to interact with instructors and other learners, social learning is supported.
Blended learning reduces face-to-face training costs, such as travel, accommodation and printed training materials. Companies can use different e-learning methods, such as webinars, gamification, etc., which result in better learner engagement. Since blended learning is a more efficient and cost-effective way of training, you will benefit from a faster and greater return on investment. It is also easier to know exactly who has or has not completed a course.