Learning November 15, 2022

What is Blended Learning? A Comprehensive Guide

Writen by EditorialTeam

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What is Blended Learning?

You may be wondering about “what is blended learning?” Well, blended learning combines traditional offline and online knowledge in a way that both complement each other.

It offers individuals the best of both worlds. For instance, a learner might choose to attend face-to-face classes and then supplement them by completing online multimedia coursework. It allows learners to attend class once a week physically, and then they would be free to go at their own pace without sweating about scheduling issues.

We will discuss in detail what this learning entails and how you can make the most of it.

What is Blended Learning?

As blended learning combines traditional methods of education and eLearning to create a more flexible experience, it creates dynamic opportunities for students outside the classroom. 

Blended Learning

The classroom setting provides the opportunity for role-playing with instant feedback from instructors. In comparison, online learning allows students to have personalized, self-paced learning with interactive media like games, quizzes, tutorials, videos, and other social media components. Students can access these eLearning features on their smartphones or tablets from the Learning Management System home page.

Why Choose It?

Educators at higher and lower institutions have organically adopted blended learning to help students in and out of the classroom.

Blended learning builds a truly integrated classroom that meets the needs of every student. Keeping learners engaged, motivated, and stimulated assists educators in being more effective and efficient. Here are the apparent benefits of blended learning;

Personalized Learning

Blended learning considers every type of learner, whether they want to learn in a traditional classroom, prefer to learn online, or want to try a mixture of both. Without the limitations of in-person learning or an online course, blended learning takes advantage of various methods so that the educational content can be customized to students and optimized for the subject matter they are studying. While it is almost impossible to fully translate face-to-face training to digital content, it’s still possible to restructure the existing content for online delivery to supplement the ongoing activity.

Personalized Learning

Latest Learning Trends

The blended approach utilizes online and offline technologies to enable instructors to seamlessly adopt the latest learning trends and modalities into their curriculum. Teachers can also use built-in reporting features in Learning Management System for in-depth and data-driven insights into the learners’ progress and success.

Latest Learning Trends

For students, it provides a unique opportunity to collaborate, model, and practice their skills and abilities in a safe environment so that they are not just hearing and seeing but doing things. In addition, immediately applying the newly acquired knowledge after they leave the physical or virtual classroom helps them retain what they’ve learned.

Reduced Costs

In-person learning may seem like a cheaper option when compared to online learning, however, you need to consider the actual cost of traditional classroom sessions. For students who are also working, in-class training means time away from work, paying educators, etc. A blended online learning approach lowers travel costs and can be used multiple times, reducing educators’ burdens.

Reduced Costs

Fun & Interactive

Raising your hand and not being called on by the instructor is frustrating. In addition, it impacts the overall engagement of students in a classroom. However, blended learning offers more ways for learners to interact with educators and learning materials. It is an interactive experience in every sense of the word.

Fun & Interactive

Learners can reinforce their offline lessons by practicing online through various content media, each equipped to suit their learning needs and preferences. They can choose what type of content they want to interact with, practice what they learn, and communicate their queries and questions with educators and other students anytime and anywhere. This sense of community keeps students engaged and informs instructors about their progress and areas that need attention.

Diverse Reach & Customized Experience

Institutions worldwide are striving to make learning universal and accessible. Travel and language interpretations pose significant challenges, but blended eLearning can easily address these problems and can bring together students from different locations in its virtual space.

Diverse Reach & Customized Experience

Also, individual diversity goes hand in hand with diverse reach. Every student has a unique learning curve and thus requires different training programs. SimpliTaught offers AI-driven personalized experiences to students across the globe. It has taken blended learning to another level and is hence creating a diversified approach that allows learners to choose how and when they want to learn and interact with the study material. When students can test out a familiar topic or listen to the same podcast a few times, they get the training they want.

Learning Models

Teaching a diverse group of learners in traditional classroom learning can be challenging as it’s almost impossible to tailor the learning experience to individual needs. A blended model helps you to personalize the subject themes to time considerations, learning techniques, and personal preferences. But, to implement such models, you must change how you think about teaching and learning.

Learning Models

Here are some blended learning methods that you can use.

1. In-Person

Conventional learning sessions supplemented with technology allow students to control their learning pace. The apparent advantages are role-playing, hands-on experience, mentoring, and instant feedback.

2. Flex Learning

Flex learning is a form of personalized learning. It is the next step in the evolution of blended education. Students can control their learning path and choose what to learn through the smart integration of learning in a Learning Management System (LMS). The instructor serves the purpose of a mentor; answering questions.

3. Rotation

Learners get to choose how they want to study. They can go from one learning activity to another in a self-directed online approach or structured instructor-directed learning session. Examples of this blended learning method include labs, learning stations, and flipped classrooms where students practice the study material before attending an in-person session.

4. Self-Blend

The self-blend model of blended education relies almost entirely on online learning. For example, students might use computer labs in their colleges or schools and receive assistance from educators about how to access these resources, but what they want to access and when they want to do it depends on them.

In other words, self-blended learning is supplemental content in the form of webinars, video tutorials, white papers, or industry blogs that empowers students to delve deeper into the subject matter. Education stakeholders can achieve this by building a robust LMS that combines diverse content sources under one platform to spark curiosity and growth.

5. Online Driver

This learning model happens in a digital environment and is self-directed. Students may engage with teachers through emails, message boards, or chats. The online driver provides a flexible and personalized learning environment but lacks conventional in-person interaction.

An LMS comes in handy to enable students to take charge of their educational journey but still monitor their process as they enjoy learning and eventually engage in classroom activities and discussions.

6. Online Lab

Like an online driver, this blended eLearning model is entirely digital. Also, there is little to no instructor interaction. Instead, it takes place before, during, or after the classroom session, and learners can access content on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. As a result, this modality engages learners in learning and solidifies their knowledge.

7. Gamification

Students learn the best when they are playing. So, one of the most effective ways to motivate them is by letting them play. This feat can be achieved by developing platforms that use gamification in the learning modules. Using gamification elements such as levels or points, students feel competitive and more motivated to experience the learning resources at their own pace and will.


Blended Learning: Best Practices

Blended learning is effective for covering a lot of courses material with independent and engaged students. But how do you encourage students to take charge of their education? You can maximize a combined at-home and in-class effort by putting best practices and blended learning strategies to work with the rest of your program.

A. Explain The Importance of Blended Learning

If you do not tell students the reasoning behind why you combined independent and face-to-face learning, you run the risk of losing them from the get-go. Therefore, stakeholders involved in the educational process should take the time to explain why they chose blended learning as a mode of knowledge delivery. For this, you also need to respect every student’s individual journey to fully engage them in the learning process.

Explain The Importance of Blended Learning

B. Activities for Everyone!

To make the blended approach successful, you must have diverse activities for every student. To make this happen, try to have everything for everyone. For example, some learners prefer to learn by reading, while others learn best when doing things. You cannot use one one-size-fits-all approach, rather, you must pay attention to individual details and consider the needs of each learner. So include diverse activities like group discussions with or without tools for collaborative learning, games, online quizzes, role-playing drives, and every other method you can think of that will enhance user engagement.

Activities for Everyone

C. The Tool of the Century!

Learners today have the most powerful tool at their disposal; the internet.

Why would you write questions on a whiteboard when you can show an engaging video? Also, ask learners to watch videos on their own time and then engage them in class discussions the next day. Learning becomes more interactive and practical when students explore stuff on their own, so why tell them a fact when they can actually research it and report it back in class?

The Tool of the Century: Internet

Moreover, you can pair an online module with a quick in-class session. This way, students can apply their freshly gained knowledge; increase their retention and overall understanding of the concepts.

Blended learning offers solutions because students are not just watching or hearing, they are actually doing. Applying the knowledge shortly after they have learned it, students better retain it, making it a win-win situation for all.

How To Implement Blended Learning?

Pause and consider the benefits of your training and what you want the students to learn. You most likely already know this since you created instructor-led sessions. Then, use the experience and instructors’ knowledge to ask important questions like; where the problem lies.

Think of the aspects of your program that are difficult for you and your students and require practice to master. For example, dry, factual information, technical specifications, and compliance information. This is your opportunity to get a foot in the door and take instructor-led sessions to the next level by developing blended eLearning techniques for students to learn and practice on their own time.

How to Implement Blended Learning

Moreover, moving course content to eLearning platforms also benefits teacher-led classroom sessions, allowing them to focus more on the knowledge application or other complicated tasks. Online learning can offer the “what” while educator-led content can concentrate on the “how.”

To implement both online and offline training interventions set up a Learning Management System that can track the progress of students and the success of learning interventions.

When you will implement your blended learning program, your students will thank you for offering education that best suits their needs.

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