Blended Learning is bringing you the best of in-person training with e-learning. What are the benefits? What are the pitfalls?
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is associated with eLearning and is the action of mixing online training with tutor-led training.
Wikipedia's definition is:
Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.
In this instance, the "traditional place-based classroom methods" is replaced by an online class making it more accessible and more convenient.
What are the benefits of blended learning?
The benefits of blended learning are:
The learning is personalised and the students get answers to any questions they might have while completing the e-learning training, therefore benefits from the knowledge and the advantages of having a private tutor, while spending less compared to private tutoring alone. It combines the advantages of in-person training with technology based e-learning methods. Online classes allow the learners to interact with the teacher, the sessions are planned at regular intervals and are synchronised with the learners' progress in remote learning. Motivation and progress monitoring are encouraged.
The learning is differentiated as the students learn at their own pace, with a variety of learning supports and at the time that suit them best. This method is highly flexible and adapts to the learner's lifestyle and other commitments.
This broadens the learner's experience by supporting anytime, anywhere training. Learning can occur on the train on the way to work, in a waiting room before an appointment, during a lunch break, at home or anywhere else, the only requirement is to have an internet connection.
Blended learning, when combined with learning and practicing the knowledge first, by completing the lesson using the e-learning platform before the online class brings the benefits of "flipped learning", which is said to improve learning pace substantially.
What are the pitfalls?
As with any method it relies on the students to do their part and keep up with the training requirements to meet their objectives. With the platform Language Tutoring online the teachers can monitor the progress of their students, they can see how much of a lesson has been completed or what score was achieved in a test, for example and can identify which element need to be developed further.