If you think about the traditional classroom environment on one end of the spectrum and on the other end is a student learning on a computer at home, blended learning is somewhat in the middle where you will find a mix of both the spectrums.
Blended Learning combines the best of the two environments. It’s an approach to learning that combines face-to-face classroom training and high-tech online experiences. It’s about leveraging digital content to provide students with skills and practice.
Traditional Learning Methods and Blended Learning
In a classroom setting, the teacher focuses on the depth and application of concepts to teach higher-order thinking skills. Teachers use personal learning plans and apply inquiry-based teaching. Of course, this leads to a deeper and a better understanding of the subject but unfortunately, differentiation and feedback don’t scale without technology.
Blended Learning creates an environment where students can get individualized self-paced instruction and teachers can provide differentiated small group instruction. Teaching becomes less expensive and more affordable, this also offers flexibility in terms of availability and schools will be able to reallocate resources.
Blended Learning Models
Here are some Blended Learning models which will help to reach student’s goals. Let’s go back to the spectrum of learning environments to understand them better.
- Face-to-face Driver Model – It’s the closest model to traditional teaching as it is led by face-to-face lessons. Students perform at various levels of skills and ability so online instruction is introduced for students that are behind, to engage and supplement the in-class lessons.
- Lab Rotation Model – This is where students move in and out of the classroom to a computer lab. The teacher explains the concept in the classroom and gives instruction and then the students can access the computer lab for better understanding or taking online worksheets.
- Class Rotation Model – In a class rotation model, students are broken out into smaller groups. Every twenty minutes the groups may rotate between stations. One station is with the teacher, two stations are with the computer and the fourth station would be guided practice.
- Flex Model – The flex model learning lab might look like a room with banks of computers, everyone working on a computer station and small rooms on corners for discussions with teachers or other students. Material is primarily delivered online.
- Online Driver Model – At the opposite end of the spectrum from face-to-face driver we have online driver, which is a form of blended learning in which students work remotely and material is primarily delivered via an online platform. Although face-to-face check-ins are optional, students can usually chat with teachers online if they have questions.
Benefits and Results Achieved through Blended Learning
- Blended learning is a great way to augment the learner’s experience and it reaps many rewards. It attracts both, online and offline learners into one place. There are many advantages of Blended Learning so let’s look at some of them.
- Students are more engaged using online content versus paper and pencil practice worksheets. They like getting real time feedbacks and knowing where they stand at any time.
- Students can control how fast or slow they need to go through a lesson. Students are seen accelerating past the scales for their grade level and this what is called unleashing their learning velocity.
- Even though the class sizes may be larger, students feel that their classes are actually pretty small because the experience they have with teachers is in small groups.
- Teachers find it easier to plan for small group instruction versus trying to teach to the middle, differentiating between the top and bottom.
- Blended learning reduces face-to-face training costs, such as travel, accommodation, and printed training materials.
- Easier to track exactly who has, or hasn’t, completed training.
Now that we’ve established what Blended Learning is and what all it has to offer now before utilizing it in your training strategy, we need to understand some of the measures which you need to take from the beginning.
You need to be very careful about the LMS you choose to manage and deliver a Blended Learning strategy. You will need to avoid using an LMS which doesn’t meet your needs. Tabschool stands out in the sense that it’s designed for schools, colleges, and organizations to teach and manage small & large networks. It is basically a Cloud-based Learning Management System that fits the need of the perfect LMS required for Blended Learning.
When using Blended Learning, keep in mind that its aim is to combine the strengths of both traditional and online learning methods. Through blended learning, you will experience the best of both worlds which will result in a better learning experience. Blended learning brings both the types of learners together and also the teachers. Everyone benefits from each other.
Set up blended courses that contain any combination of face-to-face and online training components. It is the future of education.