Blended learning from A to Z: Everything you need to know!

blended-learning

We already know that investing in employee training is beneficial for any company. However, the biggest challenge is choosing between traditional face-to-face and e-learning methods.

The good news is that there is a perfect solution to this dilemma: blended learning, a methodology that takes advantage of the best of both worlds. This trend is gaining popularity in both formal education and in-house corporate training. Do you want to know more about b-learning? Keep reading!

What is blended learning?

B-learning or blended learning is a learning method that combines two types of training: face-to-face and online. This approach uses technology to enhance the learning experience by allowing the learner to supplement instructor-led classroom training with multiple e-learning training activities.

However, it is essential to note that blended learning is not simply a face-to-face training method enriched with digital resources but rather the synergy between both modes. In other words, it combines the best of face-to-face learning and the best of e-learning to achieve a more complete, dynamic, and flexible methodology.

For example, with blended learning, an employee has training in classrooms with theoretical classes, face-to-face interactions, and feedback, but also through a learning management platform that offers tutorials, quizzes, videos, assessments, and even gamification.

Characteristics of b-learning

It combines face-to-face and online classes and activities

Blended learning is not limited to face-to-face lessons and online activities but combines classes and activities in both environments. In other words, face-to-face and online training are equally important and complementary so students can learn in both environments.

It uses both synchronous and asynchronous learning methods

The synchronous approach occurs in real-time for instructors and learners, regardless of whether the class is face-to-face or online. With asynchronous learning, the instructor and students don’t need to be in the same place at the same time for the training to take place, allowing each student to interact with the training material at their own pace.

It uses digital platforms to carry out online training

Like e-learning, b-learning uses online learning platforms to carry out the training. What makes these two methodologies different is that, in blended learning, only part of the training is online. However, the online session is not just limited to watching a video to discuss it in the classroom later; the online session should offer a complete digital experience that is just as important as the in-person aspect of the training.

Why is b-learning ideal for companies and their employees?

First, the flexibility of digital resources used in b-learning allows professionals to train anytime, anywhere. But this is not the only advantage. Blended learning also offers companies and their professionals a user-friendly environment that they are already familiar with to access the most relevant information and improve their skills and knowledge.

B-learning also helps companies to offer a comprehensive training experience, getting the most out of online resources. Blended learning allows businesses to provide a more personalized learning approach, adapted to the needs of each professional, as well as offline resources to create a good network of contacts among colleagues and strengthen the organization’s corporate culture

Advantages of using blended learning in your company:

  • The use of technological resources to offer a much more comfortable and complete learning experience for professionals, who will not only improve their digital skills, but also develop their potential through personalized training. Also, instructors or training managers can access important information on the progress and development of professionals through reports provided by learning management software.
  • Flexibility in accessing the content when the professional needs it to solve a problem, address any doubts related to their work, review the content, or verify a concept or process. 
  • It offers the best of e-learning and face-to-face training. For example, face-to-face learning allows one to interact in person and real-time with colleagues, which fosters collaboration and teamwork. In contrast, online learning provides tools to interact with the material in a secure environment, such as a simulation or quiz, thus preparing them to deal with real-life situations.
  • The digital tools used in b-learning make it possible to simplify the course creation and learner evaluation processes, while face-to-face training provides room for observation and mentoring.
  • It provides specialized trainers who are unable to attend the training in person. For example, through an LMS, a specialist in a specific subject can give a master class via video, which students can watch whenever they need to and discuss among themselves. This platform allows you to create and manage your training program and enables using chats and forums to discuss classes and ask questions. By doing this, you’ll be able to offer more freedom to both the instructors and students while fostering communication. The instructors can use face-to-face or digital channels at their convenience to complete or clarify the topics covered in class.

Which blended learning models are perfect for corporate training?

By now, you may have realized that blended learning is a method that offers many alternatives and advantages. But it has different modalities. Some of the most common in corporate training are:

Flipped classroom

It focuses on achieving more active learning and sharing educational content (video lectures, reading assignments, podcasts, etc.) online with professionals, so they can review it at their convenience. This method uses face-to-face classes to expand on the concepts, perform problem-solving exercises, and practice or discuss the topics. Flipped classrooms provide more efficient use of time and a more participatory environment. It is the opposite of traditional education: everything that used to be face-to-face is now done online.

Face-to-face driver model

With more similarities to traditional learning, the instructor-led training model offers face-to-face classes supported by additional materials that will be shared by the instructor online. Therefore, most of the training is in-person and digital resources reinforce learning.

Online driver model

This model offers all training elements in digital format, combining elements in real-time, such as webinars or group video calls, with self-paced features, such as e-learning courses, videos, games, or multimedia educational content.

Rotation model

As the name implies, with this model, the training rotates between the face-to-face and online modalities. It is a programmed blended model that offers students a certain pace of learning while simultaneously making training less monotonous.

#4 E-learning tools you need to create your blended learning strategy

With blended learning, the trainer must facilitate the contents, stimulate learning, and make the virtual classroom dynamic by encouraging participation, offering personalized support to learners, and considering their needs or difficulties. To guarantee a perfect b-learning strategy, these are some tools you must use:

1. A learning platform

All companies that want to implement blended learning have one of the most potent e-learning tools: a learning management system or LMS. This software allows you to publish, manage and share e-learning content with employees, and evaluate the success of the training. Ideally, you need a user-friendly and intuitive LMS which also allows you to offer a more personalized experience. Want to discover one? isEazy LMS is the latest technology in LMS, offering you the best of an LXP. Give it a try and manage all your training projects seamlessly!

2. An authoring tool

Authoring tools are indispensable for a successful b-learning training program as an LMS. This software facilitates e-learning content creation with multimedia resources, such as videos, images, simulations, gamification, and more. 

If you want to discover an intuitive and user-friendly tool, check out isEazy Author. A course creation software specially designed to create professional e-learning courses in just minutes, with eye-catching designs and a great variety of multimedia, interactive elements, and even gamification resources. Create addictive courses and boost participation with word games, memory quizzes, trivia, and fun exercises to encourage your learners inside and outside the classroom.

3. Collaborative tools

B-learning encourages autonomy and self-learning and also opens the door to collaborative learning. Your LMS should offer your learners spaces to work together as forums or virtual aulas. But some other collaborative tools that help improve teamwork and exchange ideas are Trello, Asana, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

4. Communication tools

Lastly and equally important, tools that facilitate communication. When choosing your LMS, look for features like chats, forums, virtual classes, or aulas, among other communication features. But other tools can complement your teams’ training and are also essential for a hybrid workforce: Google Meet, Discord, Teams, etc.

Choose isEazy for your blended learning strategy!

Blended learning offers companies an effective response to challenges such as digitalization or the need for practical, flexible, and customized training programs. To help you meet these challenges, isEazy provides different e-learning solutions for all your employee training needs.

Discover all the tools isEazy can offer to improve your company’s training program, from an authoring tool to turn your ideas into reality without any previous technical experience to an LMS to provide your employees with a more personalized training experience. Check out all our e-learning tools, and use them together or as stand-alone tools to help you rocket your training program!

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