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What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning, also known as hybrid learning, is an educational approach that combines traditional, in-person classroom instruction with online learning activities. Discover why the blended learning approach is becoming the new normal for teaching worldwide in the eLearning space.

27 Sep 2021 by Ryan Macpherson

Blended learning offers a balance between the structure of traditional classroom learning and the convenience and interactivity of online education. This approach has gained popularity in various educational settings, from K-12 schools to universities and corporate training programs, as it allows for adaptability, engagement, and the integration of technology into the learning process.

Today, we'll discuss what blended learning is and how it could help you become a better educator. More importantly, you'll soon discover how learners can become more equipped to gain knowledge and skills in the best way possible.

So, let's get straight into it.

What is blended learning?

The definition of blended learning is relatively a new teaching method that combines traditional classroom teaching with online teaching. This is also known as teaching offline and teaching online.

While many households and teachers worldwide may not have been ready to teach online when the pandemic started, many students slowly became used to learning in the comfort of their own homes. And now that students have returned to the classroom, it's become adamant how a blended learning model could easily be applied to keep students socialized face to face while spending some of their time online learning as well. In an ideal world, blended learning will complement online and offline learning to help strengthen learning for anyone and everyone.

In the words of Coassemble Founder Ryan Macpherson:

Blended content just means adding online content to your teaching process to improve your learning outcomes.

A common misconception of blended learning is that it requires an entire online classroom. In reality, that doesn't have to be the case - in a simple blended learning model; online material is intended to complement traditional teaching rather than replace it. Class runs as usual, with e-Learning content given out as homework or tasks to be completed on computers during school hours. No significant changes to the traditional teaching model are required.

Examples of blended learning

Sometimes it's easier to understand e-learning methods when you've got some examples to relate to. Blended learning models don't just apply to teachers and students at schools; they can also apply to many company training courses. We'll share a couple of examples for each learning process!

Blended learning example for teachers and students

Students go into school, which requires face-to-face learning. This could be for working together with classmates. When they get home, their work in person could need a test, quiz, or even a video to send back to the teacher. This type of learning might not require them to be in a classroom to complete.

Blended learning example for corporate companies

Boeing, the aviation company, applied a blended learning model to several training challenges. They launched online training lessons before a four-day training course in person. By bringing the team together through a series of online educational materials, they were able to prepare for the course content before the live training face-to-face. It turns out that over 80% of the employees rated the blended learning program as fantastic.

This is called a 'flipped classroom', whereby learners learn the course content in their own time before the training actually takes place.

Benefits of blended learning approach

Now you understand what blended learning is, let's dive into the benefits of blended learning programs. The advantages of blended learning help the student, but it will also help the teacher and organization. Here's why.

Organizations love blended learning for:

  • You are saving time and money on face-to-face learning, which could include travel costs.
  • Evolve learning engagement with a fun approach to learning styles such as tests, quizzes, slideshows, webinar training, and podcasts to create engaging learning experiences.
  • If you're using Coassemble's authoring tool, you'll be able to track exactly who has clicked on your training and how engaged they were during the course. Information like this is gold dust for any company looking to expand.

Learners will love blended learning experiences for:

  • Enriched virtual experience gives the learner more flexibility during class time to learn when convenient for them, giving them remote learning opportunities.
  • Learners will still be able to enjoy the benefits of socializing with their colleagues or classmates in person and will be able to ask questions face to face with the trainer or teacher if needed.

Downsides to blended learning

There aren't too many downsides for most blended learning programs, but you need to know a couple of things first.

  • It will take time to get your head around teaching online and in person. It might be best to transition so the student learning won't feel too overwhelmed slowly. Incorporate one day a week, for example of remote learning first, or put together one online course first before you dive right in.
  • Make sure you choose a good authoring tool like Coassemble so you can create an excellent online training course and track your results quickly. No one wants to spend more time than necessary to develop a training course that includes the right digital tools for the perfect learning experience.

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Types of blended learning models

You can try different types of blended learning models to make sure you can nail the prospect of teaching in-person and include online learning too! While it might feel like you've got a lot to get your head around executing a blended learning course, there are some tremendous blended learning environments you could easily incorporate.

Let's get into it and share some of the various integrated learning environment techniques you can get started with now to increase student engagement.

Gamification learning

Online learning doesn't need to be boring! Interaction online can be engaging when you have the right tools. With Coassemble's authoring tool, you'll be able to diversify course content with fun quizzes, tests, timelines, and so much more! Why not try Coassemble's easy-to-use Course Builder for free today?

Flipped classroom learning

As we mentioned before, flipped classroom learning is where the learners spend their own time learning the course content before working through it in the lesson with the teacher. This gives the learner time to digest the content and have any questions prepared for the teacher before the class begins.

Rotation Blended Learning

Usually held in elementary schools, rotation blended learning prepares students to learn from one learning station to another in a structured learning setting.

Face to face learning

We're all aware of face-to-face learning, whereby students learn in person but are supported with technology to allow them to learn at their own pace.

Hybrid learning

I you're wondering what is hybrid learning mean, it is where some students attend the class in person while other students join the class virtually.

Flex learning

Flex learning provides students to choose their learning path, giving the student control. This means they can choose what they want to learn, which is monitored by the teacher.

Remote blended learning aka enriched virtual learning

Students only meet with the teacher as and when needed to take accountability and complete their online coursework in their own time. Online driver learning is almost similar, but the learner only communicates with the teacher through online chat or email.

Self-blended learning

Self-blended learning helps individual learners dive deeper into the course with supplemented content such as webinars, blogs, lecture videos, etc to improve the learning experience. This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight additional content with remote learners.

How to be a better teacher with blended learning strategies

If you want to become a better teacher or boss, here are a couple of blended learning strategies which might help you onto the path to nailing blended learning.

Make sure the learner understands

One of the most crucial elements for higher education learning or corporate learning is to put the learner first. Make sure they totally understand why you are taking a blended learning approach. While most students love the flexibility of online learning and in-person instruction, you might like to give them positive examples about how they can learn in their own time.

Make your content engaging and insightful

Whether you need to train employees on new policies or procedures, or you need to educate your students on their next assignment, don't make it boring! People of all ages love a gamification element, and you can easily pick from some of our popular quiz options to make it more fun!

How to get started with online learning

Now we've covered everything; you might like to know how to get started by incorporating blended learning into your new training program.

While the approaches to online and in-person teaching may differ, initiating your journey with Coassemble today ensures you have access to a library of course templates, making the process of building your training course swift and efficient. If you've got loads of documents floating around on your desktop or in drawers, combine them and drag and drop your content into our clean and concise templates, helping the learner digest the content easily.

Embrace the blended learning revolution

Blended learning represents a powerful fusion of traditional teaching methods and modern technology, offering a flexible, engaging, and effective approach to education. As we've explored the various aspects of this dynamic learning model, it's clear that the future of education is taking shape before our eyes.

By leveraging the best of both worlds, educators and learners can adapt to their needs, offering a personalized, interactive, and enriching educational experience. Blended learning isn't just a trend; it's a transformation of how we acquire knowledge, enabling us to reach new heights in our educational journeys.

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