Blended learning is generally defined as training or education that combines e-learning with classroom teaching. Learners attend classroom sessions with a teacher as well as accessing online training content remotely.
Blended learning can be an effective way to deliver training because it is less reliant on employees having to attend classroom lessons. This can make training more accessible to those who have to travel far and it reduces time and costs because learners can choose to study the online parts of their programme whenever and wherever is most convenient to them.
Especially when delivered through a corporate learning management system, blended learning can make training more interesting to employees by mixing different types of delivery from classroom lectures to videos and online assessments. It also enables learners to collaborate and support each other between meeting in the classroom through the use of online messaging or forums. This is useful for motivating them to complete assignments.
As with all training, blended learning suits some individuals better than others. Employees can learn at their own pace, so those quick to learn don’t get bored by waiting for instructors to spend time with those who learn more slowly. On the downside, learners can be too busy or simply not be self-disciplined enough to complete online training before the next classroom session, so they rush through several modules at one go without retaining knowledge or simply miss out whole sections altogether.
When delivered through an LMS, online assessments can be included in blended learning to measure how well employees are learning. This can assist teachers or instructors with tailoring assignments or support for individuals based on their progress.
Blended learning also depends on online content being available and up to date and on employees having a suitable level of IT skills to use e-learning materials.
When planned and delivered with sufficient preparation and support, blended learning can be a very effective tool for businesses.