If you have been in the teaching/training/learning scene recently, you will know that everybody seems to be talking about blended learning. But what are the benefits of blended learning and why should you switch to this approach?
Personalized experience through blended learning
With teaching, history suggests there has been a real problem with trying to target everyone. Sadly, we have grown accustomed to leaving some behind because it is ‘impossible’ to reach everyone. This is true for businesses as well as children in the education sector.
With blended learning, the learners have a more personalized experience because they can learn in their own time at home. The time in class is now better utilized. In a physical class, time is always the limiting factor and employees or students are forced to understand every single detail within one or two hours. When blended learning is introduced, the learners now have resources to take home and continue their learning until they understand the topics. By using quizzes and tests online, trainers can see who is struggling and who is performing well.
With its open style, blended learning is best placed to deliver training and development in a more informal and relaxed style; which in turn, can foster a collaborative environment, opening the door for greater participation.
Blend your learning for increased engagement
When we were kids, the majority of books had pictures and this is because a page full of text would have lost our attention immediately. Since blended learning takes advantage of various material types, there is an opportunity to re-capture the attention of all learners whether it comes from infographics, pictures, videos, tables, graphs, or any other form. Furthermore, even audio can be helpful to retain the interest of learners and this leads to an improved long-term retention of knowledge.
Improved experience by moving away from "traditional learning"
For many years, the word ‘learning’ has been associated with boredom and it even seems to be a bit of a chore. With traditional learning, it can be hard to be imaginative when every angle seems to have been attempted before. Therefore, blended learning can make learning more fun than ever before by combining traditional learning and interactive materials. Hopefully, boring presentations filled with bullet points are now a thing of the past and we can provide learners with interactive material wherever they are in the world. When doing this, the learners are empowered and have more control as well as more fun!
Quick assessments and reactions
When it comes to traditional learning, trainers need to make assessments on people as the course progresses, but this is tough. With this in mind, more and more trainers are starting to see the benefits of blended learning because Learning Management Systems (LMS) can be used to assess just how well a learner is doing. By utilizing small tests and quizzes, trainers will have access to important data. If one learner is behind the rest of the group, action can be taken to prevent them slipping too far behind.
Over time, different tests will use different methods and nobody will get left behind as long as the trainer is willing to assess the data every so often. In years gone by, some students and employees would get left behind because they don’t like to admit to being behind or not understanding something when everyone else is doing just fine. With test results and snap data at hand, these learners can be reached privately and given suggestions on how to improve. If necessary, one-to-one sessions can be arranged until the learner is up to speed and this is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of blended learning you will ever find!
Better access to education
One of the greatest benefits of blended learning is that it gives learners access to learning content anytime, anywhere. Anyone who ever studied in a traditional teaching environment can remember rushing to the library to check out a book before closing time or having to wait your turn to meet with an instructor to discuss course content. Blended learning changes all that. Now, learners can access content on their own digital devices via interactive teaching tools. They can complete assignments, interact with teachers and receive helpful feedback all from the comfort of their own homes.
Because online learning content is easier to access, students can engage in more in-depth self-study. The time they spend in the classroom is then richer, because it gives them a chance to discuss ideas at length with peers and teachers.
Teachers and businesses love blended learning
Blended learning isn’t just great for learners – teachers benefit too. Digital teaching tools give teachers greater insight into how their learners are doing. They offer real-time tracking options to see whether students are engaging with the content and keeping on track with learning goals. This helps teachers see what’s working, so they can offer a more effective learning experience.
And finally, a blended learning approach ultimately offers real opportunities for learning departments to deliver faster outcomes at lower costs, as well as reaching a much wider audience through the utilization of digital platforms.