What is Blended Learning? A Beginners Guide to the Future of Learning
Unsure what is blended learning? Discover why the blended learning approach is becoming the new normal for teaching worldwide in the eLearning space.
If you're new to Learning Management Systems and unsure of some of the language used to describe teaching methods, we're going to break it down. You'll understand what blended learning is and how it could help you become a better teacher. 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.
Since the pandemic started, families worldwide will have experienced online teaching, and many teachers might not realize that they are probably already a pro at teaching online already, with plenty of new blended learning methods up their sleeves.
While many households and teachers worldwide may not have been ready to teach online when the pandemic started, many students can learn in the comfort of their own homes now.
But, as students return 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.
💡 Pro Tip: Try Coassemble for FREE and build your online course easily!
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.
💡 Pro Tip: Check out our guide on What are Authoring Tools, and Why you Should Use Them?
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 LMS 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.
💡 Pro Tip: Try Coassemble for FREE and build your online course easily!
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.
Online learning doesn't need to be boring! Interaction online can be engaging when you have the right tools. With Coassemble's LMS, you'll be able to diversify course content with fun quizzes, tests, timelines, and so much more! Why not try Coassemble and sign up for your FREE trial now!
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.
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 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 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 templates to make it more fun!
💡 Pro Tip: Discover 3 Ways to Deliver Blended Learning for Remote Teams!
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 teaching online and in-person will vary, get started today with Coassemble's Learning Management System, which includes plenty of templates so you can build your training course quickly. The tools you'll have access to are so good; everyone will think you had it professionally designed!
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.
You'll wonder why you didn't get started before!
Once your content is finished, click on the 'Share' button at the top of your dashboard and activate the content you'd like to share. You'll then be able to click on 'Get Link', where you can choose between public or private URL links to share with your students. They can then access your content from home or whilst using their mobile on the go.
We hope our guide for understanding what blended learning is has helped you onto the path of trying a new Learning Management System so you can meet the needs of your learners and become an exceptional trainer or teacher.
Enjoy spending time getting to know how Coassemble works with our Free Trial, and our excellent Customer Service team will be in touch to help guide you into building fantastic online training for anyone and everyone!
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