Blended learning has been evolving since the introduction of the internet, and for many years it has been a term used to describe learning that falls between entirely online and entirely face-to-face.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear definition that is universally agreed upon, but in general, it can be defined as a formal education program where at least some portion of content delivery takes place online or through digital media, and gives the student some element of control over time, pace of learning, or the path of learning. The remaining time may be spent learning in an in-person environment. This learning model is also often referred to as hybrid learning, integrated learning, or flipping the classroom.
A study conducted by the Department of Education revealed blended learning can improve test scores. According to research conducted by Knewton, blended learning in colleges has grown from 10 percent in 2010 to 50 percent in 2014. The research further predicts that by 2019 at least 50 percent of all high schools will deliver through blended learning. Blended learning is gaining momentum in the legislature too as 152 laws supporting blended learning were signed in 2012.
The continued growth and acceptance of blended learning may also be contributed to its many benefits:
- Learners are afforded flexibility, freedom, and convenience by working part of the time online from home.
- The integration of in-person and online activities allows for more frequent interaction between instructors and learners.
- The online format provides virtually unlimited access to important resources and course materials.
- Learner engagement increases as there is opportunity to engage in an environment where they are most comfortable, either in person or online.
- Recordings of lessons allow for deeper learning and better retention of content.
- There is greater opportunity for one-on-one time with instructors due to the flexibility of an online platform.
- Learners learn skills beyond the course topic by using an online platform.
Organizations of all types are adopting various modes of blended learning, including training employees to providing professional development opportunities for members. If you would like to learn more about flexible and scalable blended learning technology, please visit icohere.com, and take a behind-the-scenes tour.