Blended learning programs are quickly becoming common place in K-12 educational settings, but also in the professional industry. Innovation in this area is being driven by a more personalized learning experience, engaging content, and collaboration.
If you are unfamiliar with blended learning, it is a format of education in which at least a portion of the learning content and instruction is delivered online. The main benefit with this approach being that the user gains control over the time, place, path, or pace of their learning experience.
A well-done blended learning program helps to build higher-order thinking skills. It takes the emphasis off of “remembering” and gets the learner “evaluating” and “creating”. This is one reason why blended learning is growing.
Accessibility to mobile devices is another reason why there is growth with blended learning. The K-12 student uses tablets and smartphones on a regular basis, making online learning a natural choice – almost an expectation.
One of the biggest advantages of having a portion of course content delivered through elearning is that it allows the student to exert some control over how they learn and engage with the content. Students can focus on their trouble by repeating the content as needed, as well as at their own convenience.
Done correctly, the benefits of a blended learning approach to learning can really enhance learning retention. That said, the program has to be implemented correctly, or risk doing more harm than good. Following best-practice instructional design principles in regards to planning and program roll-out will go a long way in creating a culture of blended learning.