Hybrid or “blended” learning is a significant trend in online education. It uses both in-person and online training strategies, ideally bringing out the best of both to benefit companies and organizations. Here are a few reasons blended learning knocks it out of the park.
It’s Flexible. The great thing about blended learning is that you have a lot of options for how to teach key concepts. Teach more challenging or skills-based concepts in the classroom, then offer supplemental training or practice options online so students can develop their skills. You can also cater to multiple learning styles.
It’s Affordable. Blended learning saves you money compared with a classroom-only model. You have fewer costs with regard to staffing, space, utilities, and classroom materials when students are learning from their own homes and offices.
It’s Accessible. Blended learning isn’t as easy to access as an online-only model, where students never need to come to the classroom. However, it still wins out over a classroom-only model, as it permits students to come to the classroom less often. This allows students to more easily fit their studies around full-time work, school, and other commitments.
It’s Effective. Several studies have revealed the effectiveness of blended learning when compared to a classroom-only approach. For example, the University of Iowa recently ran a study that showed 95% of students in a blended course achieved grades of C- or higher, vs. 82% in a large lecture context and 81% in an online-only version of the course.
It’s Efficient. The great thing about online learning is you can update and reuse the content. This is also true of blended learning—videos, articles, audio recordings and presentations can be reused, repurposed, and updated to keep up with emerging trends, without re-engineering the whole course. You can mix and match modules to go with similar courses that have overlapping content. You can also use e-learning content to help people keep their training up to date in the case of recertification programs.
It Fosters Collaboration. Blended learning uses the best of both worlds to foster communication and cooperation. Students can meet in person—thus building a one-on-one connection—before collaborating in online forums and other venues in a way that’s flexible and accessible.
It Frees Up Instructors. When teachers have the freedom to spend less time in the classroom, they have more time to do other things—like refining curriculum materials, responding to student questions online and developing more learning materials. Blended learning can be a great time-saver.
Blended learning is often an excellent option for organizations looking to train large workforces in complex topics. Give it a try, and your organization could save significant money and time in training its team.