Blended learning is best described as a teaching and learning approach that demonstrates a blend of different methods, technologies, and resources to improve individual and team learning. With blended learning, it’s not uncommon to find a learning set-up that incorporates self-paced classes, uses technology such as online learning, holds in-person classes, and so forth. The end goal is learning that’s both comprehensive and efficient.
Though blended learning has surged in popularity because of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and companies have always been exploring and implementing different methods and practices to improve professional development. Professionals in different workplaces and industries have taken to adopting this mode of teaching for their internal upskilling and reskilling efforts–a development that’s especially apt that many workplaces today have also gone hybrid.
But what exactly do professionals get from blended learning?
1. Boosted Learning Efficiency
Today, almost every resource can be found online. Whether you’re looking for data on a certain study, references for a presentation, or a way to contact a certain office or person for an interview—the internet has it all.
Blended learning appeals to the workforce because of its flexibility and accessibility. For example, a team of employees that works both remotely and at the office can easily access learning materials stored online. The accessibility ensures everyone can learn at their own pace, going as slow or as fast as they need. That the learners can give greater concentration to what they find difficult or breeze past what they already know ensures there is no time wasted when learning.
2. Enhances Technological Literacy
Many have become accustomed to traditional ways of learning which are done in person. But as times and landscapes change, so does the learning experience. In a world that’s increasingly digital, anything that helps people better understand digital tools and how to navigate through the virtual space should be welcomed—which is exactly where blended learning comes in.
For many professionals, using these devices have become part of their lives already. But with blended learning, they have an opportunity to learn something new. Whether it is navigating through the new learning platform or the skills development workshops themselves, blended learning offers a new way to enhance their literacy in using different tech and tools.
3. Builds Better Access and Engagement
Different learners have different needs, which blended learning is in a good position to address.
Blended learning makes it easier to accommodate diversity within the learning journey, and create better engagement with the learners through enhanced access to quality learning – be it in catering to differing skill levels, learning styles or work situations.
Experienced employees may quickly access modules of a program that are more relevant to them, whilst newer employees focus on the foundational modules. Learners can learn through different modalities that support their learning styles, in-person experiential interactions, self-paced online, even via mobile micro-learning tips and quizzes to fully maximise learning transfer and retention. And employees that may have found it hard to take time out for learning due to operational requirements or the fast-paced nature of their jobs, can now be supported through bite-sized learning as part of a holistic learning journey.
4. Improves Teamwork and Collaboration
Under blended learning, certain activities enable participants to interact with each other, helping them become more open in sharing ideas. Many online learning management platforms have ready mechanisms in place for giving feedback, working together on a project, or even learning at the same time.
Blended learning then allows for any online collaborations to spill over into a face-to-face setting and vice versa. For example, learners can be asked to accomplish a prior assignment online, before taking place in a discussion in a face-to-face setting. Similarly, activities that started as offline discussions can now be continued in the digital space bridging the gap between participants and encouraging further collaboration and learning.
By providing different channels for teamwork and collaboration to occur, blended learning ensures every interaction is worthwhile be it online or offline.
5. Extends Reach and Learning Opportunities
The flexibility of blended learning also gives way to more creativity. For example, instructors and managers can better reach potential speakers, experts, and other resources and conduct activities both in-person and remotely.
Learning can even take place on the go with blended learning. Even something as simple as a trip to a manufacturing plant can be classed under blended learning, exposing employees to an aspect of their work that they may not get to see every day. With blended learning, the maxim that “learning” never stops is truly lived up to.
Blended learning’s ability to have learning take place anywhere is why Dale Carnegie Singapore believes that a flexible work-life balance can be achieved for professionals today. At Dale Carnegie Singapore, our team is dedicated to the idea that learning is a lifelong journey, especially for individuals and companies eager to upskill.
With the landscape of work quickly evolving, professional development needs to evolve right alongside it. Thanks to blended learning, this evolution is more accessible than ever.