Different learners have different needs and expectations because everyone’s learning style is unique. The focus has shifted from the traditional teacher-centric approach to learner-centered education. By addressing the needs and expectations of students, modern learning approaches personalize the learning experience. Technology has been instrumental in transforming the learning landscape.
Blended learning is one such approach that’s not only innovative but also advantageous. It has become popular in recent years and continues to be one of the most effective learning methods in current times.
What Does Blended Learning Mean?
Before we explore the importance of blended learning, let’s understand what it stands for. As the name suggests, the blended learning approach makes the best use of two educational environments—traditional face-to-face classroom training and high-tech virtual learning. Therefore, it helps engage all types of learners—those who learn well in structured environments as well as those who enjoy semi-autonomous (independent) training.
There are various types of blended learning methods, including:
Face-to-face model, where the learner meets with an instructor if they’re unable to keep pace with online materials
Remote model, where a learner’s focus is on completing online coursework while meeting instructors only when needed
Flex model, where learners complete coursework online but in the presence of an instructor
Project-based model, where learners identify an issue and use online resources to gather data and relevant information
Self-directed model, where learners combine online and face-to-face learning approaches to guide their own learning goals and personalized inquiry
Read on to understand how different types of blended learning models are useful to both learners and instructors.
Why Is Blended Learning Important?
In addition to classroom training and enhancing the quality of education in academic institutions, blended learning is a boon for the corporate world. Combining the best of traditional and online methods allows organizations to have complete control over how, when and where they want to train their employees. It even allows employees a great amount of flexibility and stimulates their interest.
Here are several factors that highlight the importance of blended learning methods in the business world:
Blended learning helps learners become comfortable with reading materials faster because it’s often tailored to their needs. Moreover, this approach helps break several traditional barriers and includes tools such as video and audio. Learners engage better as text isn’t the only mode of instruction.
Different types of blended learning methods are cost-effective. Online training means reduced expenses for travel, accommodation and meals for learners and instructors. Even employees learning on their own can benefit from free educational technologies widely available online.
Employees have greater flexibility and control over their learning schedules. By using mobile or laptop devices, individuals can learn from the convenience of anywhere. This offers them control that traditional training methods don’t. Unique learning behaviors and needs are met as employees can learn at their own pace.
Most importantly, blended models make learning fun. It transforms the learning experience by allowing learners to access information from anywhere, create their timelines and enjoy the semi-autonomous process by customizing their learning journey.
Master Blended Learning Skills
As we’ve already established, blended learning moves away from traditional methods and relies heavily on technology. To make the best use of this approach, here are some blended learning skills you can develop along the way:
As a majority of course materials and instructions are available online, learners should have basic computer skills that allow them to download and navigate audio-visual files. You need to get acquainted with various digital platforms.
Blended learning encourages interaction and collaboration among learners. Whether it’s posting questions or messages on discussion forums or asking questions during live sessions, communication skills help you interact and engage with the course and community better.
Time Management Skills
Although blended learning allows you greater flexibility and helps you set your own schedules and timelines, you need to be able to utilize your time effectively. Time management skills will teach you how to be more self-directed and use the autonomous learning periods more efficiently.
In short, blended learning not only provides a personalized and effective learning experience but also makes room for collaborative work. The rise in popularity of blended learning programs in organizations indicates that working strategically to upgrade your knowledge and skills is more important now than ever before.
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Explore topics such as Detailed Guide To Virtual Training, Tips To Become An Effective Learner, Blended Learning, Uses Of Instructional Technology and Personalized Learning from Harappa Diaries to upgrade your knowledge and skills.
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