Have you heard the phrase ‘blended learning’? Blended learning is integration of face-to-face and digital or online learning methods.
Essentially, it is how the students of today—and those in the future—are learning.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a forced shift to online classes, recorded lectures and Zoom tutorials. But as we slowly return to a new sense of normalcy, a hybrid of this mixed-mode learning is becoming status quo.
So, what are the benefits of blended learning and why should we embrace it?
With technology what it is today, your students can log in from anywhere around the world. You can also teach from wherever you are on the globe! Blended learning also provides a new level of flexibility in that students are able to take control and often log in at the times that suit them best. Many will work while studying and previously course schedules may have been a barrier to some; now, they can come home from work and log straight in to catch up on the class.
2. New Technologies
Thanks to new tech such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, learning has become more accessible and inclusive, often at a lower cost. With virtual trips around the world and learning sessions available, you can ensure that no student goes without.
3. Developing New Skills
Giving students the opportunity to embrace a blended learning course structure will help them develop new soft skills that they can utilise further in their studies, and careers. For example, students managing their own schedules helps foster time management and organisation, while the new challenges of working in a group online helps nurture empathy, cooperation and communication skills. You may also see the added benefit of an increase in confidence as the students take control of their learning. While these may have all been considered previously, the mix of face-to-face and online means they will be tested at new levels that we’ve not previously seen.
Students are encouraged to collaborate and communicate at a whole new level thanks to blended learning. Peers can offer others support better than ever before via text, email and messenger systems. Similarly, teachers are able to offer feedback in an easy-to-follow way that is all digitally recorded and can then be followed up with discussions.
With the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS), it is easy for teachers to track and improve students’ engagement levels. These engagement rates can be analysed, and courses adapted accordingly or with personalisation; you can literally see when a student is falling behind. Likewise, you can see when a student is flying ahead of the class and offer them further learning opportunities that might spark growth.
Thanks to new technologies, we have never been so equipped to give students the best possible outcome from their studies.
From flexible study solutions and virtual classes, to an increase in engagement and personalised learning plans, blended learning may be the perfect fit for both you and your students.
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