what is blended learning and why could it transform my traditional learning course?

category: engagement
how online learning can work with face-to-face workshops for the ultimate educational experience
what is blended learning and why it could transform my traditional learning course

There’s no doubt that eLearning is quickly becoming one of the key players in the education world – but it’s by no means a one-size-fits-all approach.

For many businesses, online learning has become the sole way they teach their staff new skills, thanks to its cost-effectiveness, flexibility and accessibility.

However, for some industries, it doesn’t always meet the learning needs, meaning hands-on or face-to-face teaching is needed, too.

And that’s where blended learning comes in.

so, what is blended learning and why it could transform your traditional learning course?

Blended learning is a concept where online learning is combined with traditional, face-to-face learning.

Essentially, it requires the presence of both teacher and student in a real-life setting for some of the learning modules, while others can be done in the student’s own time from an online education environment.

And, while studies have shown it can enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of meaningful learning experiences, you do need to master the trick for getting it right.

Here, we’ve highlighted some ways blended learning could help your students, as well as how to avoid those pitfalls that can have an impact on their learning experience.

the benefits

There are a number of benefits to blended learning, all which can have a massive impact on your student’s success.

For example, while online learning allows students to work through modules at home in their own time, by meeting mentors face-to-face at various points throughout the course, they can also make the most of the opportunity to ask questions in the moment.

Other benefits include:

  • Allowing students the chance to put into practice what they’ve learnt online in real-time
  • Reinforcing what they have already studied and cementing their understanding through live discussion
  • Increasing interaction with their peers/other learners, opening up the opportunity for collaboration or shared learning
  • Allowing them to rewind or repeat learning modules where they may struggle, or learn through new techniques such as virtual reality (VR) or gamification

And it works both ways, too – because, as an educator or a business, it could transform the teaching experience and help to manage costs at the same time.

For example:

  • Face-to-face training costs can largely be reduced (e.g. accommodation, venues and travel)
  • Learning can be varied to boost engagement and satisfy different preferred learning styles
  • Teachers can keep an eye on their learners’ progress, with the chance to guide them with a supported learning plan if they notice people falling behind

These are just a few of the ways blended learning can benefit your business, students or staff – but you’ll need to consider a few factors when adapting your course, too.

things to think about

If you’ve been running a face-to-face course for some time, blended learning can be a great way to step into the new world, open your course up to more learners (perhaps who live further away) and provide more time for students to learn at their own pace.

However, here are some things you’ll need to think about:

  • Who is your course for? Think about who your target learner is and whether online learning is the right option for them. Are they computer savvy? Equally, if your course has been solely online so far, consider whether your students would be willing to travel in order to undergo face-to-face learning as well
  • What works in real life might not translate well online. It isn’t always a case of transferring your content into an online course – so, work out how you will go about doing this, as well as how you’ll keep the course engaging in an online format (consider options like gamifcation, webinars or quizzes to build learner confidence)
  • Pick the right system to build a blended learning course. This is vital to creating a smooth learning experience and our team can talk you through how to make it work for your course

For more information on building your blended learning course, get in touch with the team at thirst by dropping us a line right here.