Specific Features of Blended Learning
Blended learning solutions is a learning program that combines learning through digital media with traditional face to face training. It requires the presence of both the training facilitator and the participant. The learner has a degree of control over the time he or she can learn, at a pace of his convenience.
He also has control at the pace at which he can learn and also has the flexibility to select the order of learning according to his comfort. Blended learning solutions is defined as structured opportunities to learn, using more than one learning or training method, inside or outside the classroom. It includes different learning or instructional methods like lecturers, discussions, reading, games, case studies, simulations, and different delivery methods as live classroom or computer mediated. Hence, Blended learning solution is a mix of eLearning with classroom instructions.
The features of blended learning are its incorporation of traditional forms of teaching with active and highly customised form of learning using communication and information technology. Blended learning solutions has the following main qualities –
- Increased trainee engagement in learning.
- Enhanced learner and trainer interaction.
- More flexible teaching and learning environment.
- Offers 24/7 access to training resources.
- Provides personalized training experiences.
- Provides time flexibility.
- Reduction in training costs.
- Management of time.
- More responsibility for learning.
- Increased efficiency.
- Extended reach.
- More effective.
- Covers all learning styles.
Advantages of Blended Learning Solutions
Now that we know what blended learning is, let us get into it’s key advantages –
- Flexibility – A blended learning approach provides flexibility in presenting content. Complex topics can be presented in the classroom while the others can be accessed online. With an online component, flexibility and convenience is increased over how and when the learners participate in training.
- Effectiveness – Blended learning solutions has the proven potential to enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of meaningful learning experiences. Blended learning effectiveness may be dependent on many factors such as learner characteristics, design features and learning outcomes. Learner satisfaction with a learning management system can be a preceding factor for blended learning effectiveness.
- Efficiency – With a well-planned blended learning strategy, training can be delivered with limited resources and quickly to a broad audience and with digital assets such as videos, recordings and eBooks, the potential for reuse is huge. Blended learning offers an efficient way of training. It ensures that best elements of both instructor – led training and online learning are implemented in the most effective way possible.
- Cost effectiveness – Strategies which save money are preferred first and blended learning is one of them. Including more online options in the training program, saves on travel and missed work. A blended learning approach is more cost effective to operate and thus results in improved outcomes.
- Personalization – Well crafted blended learning solutions can provide a seamless transition from classroom to computer or vice versa. Trainers can design ways of continuing discussion themes and personalizing content to a learner’s specific needs and interests. Personalizing learning can result in increased motivation and better learning outcomes.
- Extended reach – Creating a blended learning strategy reduces classroom teaching time. More learners are reached out with high quality content at a minimal cost. This frees trainers to create more content.
- Covers all learning styles – When designing training for adults, it is important to take learning styles into consideration. Effective blended learning is the best solution that helps to cater to all learning styles through a variety of mediums and techniques.
A blended learning approach ensures that the learner is engaged and driving his individual learning experience. Since learners have unique learning styles, blended learning solutions is more likely to cater to their individual needs and interests. Blended learning solutions help faculty to engage with technology and just provides opportunities to promote interaction both in and out of the classroom. Blended learning helps learners to be confident, experimental and literate with digital technologies and thus go forth into an increasingly digital world.