The term blended learning is being increasingly used in corporate training programs today. But what is blended learning?
Blended learning is the practice of combining traditional classroom methods and independent study to create a new, hybrid teaching methodology. It’s a modern take on an education program that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods to create a learning environment that meets a diverse range of learning needs.
This is not just simply adding computers to classrooms. The blended learning approach is making a fundamental change to today’s learning experience, allowing us to blend the bricks-and-mortar learning environment with technology in order to generate a more complete and memorable picture of the topic at hand.
Blended Learning Models That Get Results
Through the integration of traditional face-to-face learning with self-paced instructions based in computer activities, blended learning provides both trainers and learners with a more differentiated and personalized educational program. This kind of learning recommends that a portion of the content is transmitted online, where learners maintain control over their own time, place, pace and the path they follow.
Blended learning will require the actual or live virtual presence of both the instructor and learner in a classroom or workshop setup, as well as guidance/mentoring connectivity between the material provided through the online activities and content transmitted in the classroom.
Blended Learning Comprises a Number of Models
The blended learning models with the greatest applications to present-day academia, and the ones used with great success in corporate L&D, are the:
- Flipped Classroom Model
- Station Rotation Model
- Lab Rotation Model
- Flex Model
1) The Flipped Classroom Model
The Flipped Classroom Model is a blended learning model in which the original learning scheme gets inverted. Instead of learners attending a face-to-face training session, followed up by some online self-paced learning (what you might call homework if the model were applied to a school setting), the Flipped Classroom model puts the focus on the online learning. Learners consume the prescribed content on their own time, perhaps via a mobile device, and then come to the classroom prepared to discuss the topic or receive supporting information. In this model, the course instructor or facilitator goes from being a ‘sage on the stage’ (in a traditional face-to-face environment) to a ‘guide on the side’.
2) The Station Rotation Model
The Station Rotation Model simultaneously establishes, within one classroom, a fixed-learning staged circuit through which learners must carry out a complete lap through a rotation process scheduled by the trainer. All learners must go through each section and at least one section is dedicated to online learning.
The most common stages of this modality are:
- Teacher-led instruction, in which learners work alongside the lecturer
- The collaborative activities and stations stage, where learners work within small groups with each other
- The online instruction stage, where learners work online with a computer or mobile device. Typically, this stage is dedicated entirely to online learning
3) The Lab Rotation Model
The Lab Rotation Model refers to the blended learning model where learners rotate on a fixed schedule between a traditional instruction seminar room and a computer lab for the individual completion of online training. It’s a very similar model to the Station Rotation, but the difference in this blended learning model is that the locations where the online and traditional learning are carried out are separated, and not within the same room.
4) The Flex Model
The Flex Model allows online learning to take the lead as the core transmitter of the content in the learning experience. The physical space varies enormously depending on the preferences of each individual. In this flexible and fluid model, learners can customize the paths and the schedules followed throughout the learning process. Face-to-face support is provided on a flexible and adaptive as-needed basis through activities such as small-group instruction, group projects, and individual tutoring.
To learn more about how a blended learning program from LEO Learning can help your organization excel, contact us today.