Blended Learning

The Ideal Training Solution

Blended learning is the process of combining classroom and online education. We all know that traditional face to face training is effective and provides key benefits that cannot be replicated through any other methods. Learning online is a relative newcomer but has already become widely adopted with the advantages of offering a 24/7 educational platform with trackable course content all delivered to a consistently high standard.

So, if both methods are well established, what I hear you ask, are the big benefits of a blended approach? Well, when carefully planned and truly blended, the net result can be greater than the sum of its two parts. Their reach and effectiveness is enhanced by exploiting the key benefits provided to maximise both. Complex or technical topic areas can be learnt online which provides an opportunity for reflection and for the topic to be revisited. The medium also allows the teacher to approach elements from multiple angles, for example one element may be covered well via an online format allowing time for practical elements to be covered in the classroom, which can aide knowledge absorption. The platform is also ideal for displaying multimedia of text, graphics, video or audio. This mixed delivery method helps cater for those that respond more favourably to certain types of stimuli. Finally, online learning is the perfect fit for self-paced training, so each learner can move through complex topics at both a speed and on a day or time that best works for them.

Classroom training is then reserved for those elements of learning which most benefit from group interactions like joint discussions or experience sharing, where a structured approach and classroom atmosphere offers the best learning environment. Covering topics which are enhanced by the “human touch” and where an immediate face to face response aides a continual thought process. Where knowledge and concepts learned independently can be tested and built upon to reassure and create confidence.

So, by creating a course structure and timetable that utilises the strength and benefits of each method the results are measurably more effective. Even as early as 2010, the U.S. Department of Education research showed that blended learning classes produced stronger results than their face-to-face equivalents.
According to the Centre for Digital Education’s 2015 survey, the main benefits experienced by schools transitioning to personalised learning include:

  • Student engagement was increased by 69%
  • Student retention rates rose by 39%
  • Test scores improved by 28%
  • Grade rates up by 22%

Wider benefits come from reduced costs against continual classroom style events, less travelling time and expenses. Online data collection also provided classroom teachers invaluable information on student engagement online and the scores and pace at which each learner is progressing. Ensuring that during classroom participation, struggling students received closer attention and high achievers were challenged or stretched with additional activities.

Lastly, according to a survey conducted by Quizlet, 65% of students believe that device based learning made activities more fun and that online gamification helped to stimulate their interest by driving engagement and fostering their natural competitive instincts.

So, the evidence for adopting blended course development and delivery is compelling. If you’d like to hear how Cortexa have been assisting our clients on building and delivering blended training programmes, why not call us on 0330 024 2881.