What Is Blended Learning?
If you read through our blogs you will probably notice that we talk about ‘blended learning’ quite a bit. This is the style of learning that we offer here at Brooks and Kirk, but what does the phrase actually mean? In this blog, we will delve into what blended learning is, as well as the advantages it can offer both organisations and learners.
Definition of Blended Learning
Blended learning is an approach to learning which combines online courses with traditional classroom-based methods. These more traditional can actually be replaced by online webinars, which makes learning even easier to access. Blended learning essentially combines the best of both:
- A large proportion of the learning occurs online, allowing the learner to study at a pace which they are comfortable with.
- A smaller part of the course is carried out face-to-face, and is often carried out at the training centre.
Benefits of Blended Learning
Like with most things, there are both advantages and disadvantages of blended learning. The main advantage for learners is the added flexibility that distance learning offers. Studying remotely means that they can study at their own pace, and fit it around their busy lifestyle. Research has also shown that blended learning gives learners a more comprehensive understanding of the course.
There are also benefits for organisations who enrol their staff on blended learning courses. The main advantage is reduced costs – less travel expenses, accommodation fees and printed training materials. As blended learning is a more efficient and cost-effective method of training staff, businesses will see a much quicker return on investment than with traditional courses.
Disadvantages of Blended Learning
Of course we are slightly biased when it comes to blended learning. Whilst there aren’t many disadvantages it would be unfair not to include them. When choosing a blended Assessor qualification course, you should make sure that the learning management system is right for your needs. Is it easy to use? Do you need any extra software on your computer in order to access it?
Think about how you learn best too. Some people are generally better suited to face-to-face training as they need to bounce ideas off other people, and struggle to learn confined in their own environment. If you are switching from face-to-face learning, take your time when you are transitioning to blended learning. You may well find yourself needing to adapt to the concept of blended learning, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
If you are wanting to get started with blended learning, webinars are a great middle ground. They will help to get you familiar with some of the software used for blended learning. Make sure you record the sessions so that you are able to go back and revisit any topics that you need to spend more time on.
When signing up for a blended learning course, be sure to speak to the training provider so you can understand exactly what proportion of the course will be carried out face-to-face. Here at Brooks and Kirk, you will only be required to attend one day at our centre in Boston. The rest of the course is carried out entirely online. Our tutors are always on hand to answer any questions you have, and we pride ourselves on providing first-class support. For more information on the wide range of courses we offer, please call us on 01205 805 155.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.