Blended learning (also known as hybrid learning) is a method of teaching that integrates technology and digital media with traditional instructor-led classroom activities, giving students more flexibility to customise their learning experiences.
In general, blended learning refers to the following:
- Some learning happens online in a format where the student has control over the path and pace at which they engage with content
- Some learning happens in an instructor-led classroom
- Online and in-person learning is complementary, creating a truly integrated learning environment
4 models of blended learning:
1. Rotation Model of Blended Learning
In this model, students within a single class rotate between online learning and other learning modalities, either on a fixed schedule or at the instructor’s discretion. In this model, most of the learning still occurs on a physical (brick-and-mortar) campus. The Flipped Classroom is the most classic example of the Rotation Model in practice.
2. Flex Model of Blended Learning
Here, students switch between learning modalities on a customised, fluid schedule that uses online learning as its cornerstone. Similar to the Rotation Model, learners still learn primarily on-campus, but under the Flex Model every class is divided into online and offline components.
3. A La Carte Model of Blended Learning
Under this model, a student takes one or more courses online in addition to traditional courses at a brick-and-mortar campus. Unlike full-time online learning, in the à la carte model, students at a particular school may choose between online and offline courses at their convenience.
4. Enriched Virtual Model of Blended Learning
In this model, learning is divided between online and offline components. Although face-to-face time is required between the student and teacher, in the Enriched Virtual Model, the student does not necessarily come to campus every day.
How has blended learning evolved since the pandemic?
Since the pandemic started in March 2020, blended learning has grown exponentially. This is particularly true at universities, where many lectures have now moved to online, with a sprinkling of in-person teaching.
This means students aren’t getting the full university experience they dreamed of. With blended learning here to stay, the key attraction of going to university to be immersed in a community with other students is no longer the case, and yet they will be still paying the extortionate fees for the pleasure.
Therefore, the focus from all students feeling the university route is the only way to progress needs to change. Careers advisors in schools, parents, and other figures of authority to students should be encouraging students to consider alternative paths such as apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are no longer a second choice, and students deserve the chance to start their careers and understand that the university experience won’t be everything they once dreamed of and if the focus for the learner is to complete a degree this can still be achieved through a degree level apprenticeship which enables learners to be able to study during work based learning schemes through university without the need to study full time at university also negating the expenditure and cost (debts) typically associated with studying at uni.
At CogniSoft we provide learner management systems for skills and employability providers to ensure that they can deliver the best service to their users to ensure the most successful outcomes. Get in touch to see how we can help by calling us on 0161 777 2900