What is blended education?
Blended learning or blended education is a learning model that combines face-to-face/brick and mortar education with online learning, each of the approaches complementing each other in order to foster an engaging and powerful form of training. This innovative approach came into being due to the rapid technological developments from the last decades and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Although it might sound a bit sophisticated, most schools and universities already use this hybrid form of education because it offers benefits on a broad scale. Take all the advantages of eLearning platforms (link to the elearning article) and add a layer of real life engagement – in this way, the training can fulfill students’ diverse needs, as some of them prefer virtual education, while others simply perform better in an actual classroom. We understand the benefits of brick-and-mortar education and we don’t contest that education in a physical environment offers the best experience for soon-to-be college students. However, we want to emphasize the benefits of blended education in the context of organizational training.
Why does blended learning work?
We encourage blended education because of its focused aim which makes your training precise and effective. No more trial and error, but a well-structured training plan based on outcomes analysis. Below, we address some of the reasons why your organization should embrace blended education.
1. Increases learner engagement
The diverse array of media through which content is delivered (videos, pictures, infographics, quizzes, in-class training, webinars, one-on-one lessons, and the list goes on) will guarantee your employees remain actively embarked throughout the whole training period. Linear courses might make learners lose their interest, so deciding to combine different methods and channels will keep them engaged and willing to participate in the overall process. Thus, variety is a key ingredient towards generating learner engagement.
2. It’s time-efficient
Time is an essential asset for both the learner and the instructor, not to mention the money a company saves with optimal training. Opting for blended education will provide all parties with just what they need. Employees will be able to assimilate the information at their own pace and at their most convenient time (even while commuting). The instructors will have more time to focus on teaching since assessments will be handled by the eLearning platform (LMS). And managers will sleep better at night knowing their employees are in good hands, honing valuable skills to reach new business goals.
3. Helps tailor constructive and personalized feedback
eLearning platforms (LMS) provide instructors with reporting tools that give them a clear picture of the learners’ performance. This way, they can adjust the learning material to enhance the performance of each group of learners. Additionally, it helps instructors to piece together personalized feedback as gathered from the objective statistics on the LMS, along with their personal observations.
4. Adds more depth to the courses
Multiple channels of distribution (offline and online) and multiple approaches (individual and group learning) offer additional layers of meaning, stimulating information retention. Learners have reported that they experience increased motivation in a blended learning classroom due to its versatility and entertainment. This allows for a more profound understanding of the information as students explore all its facets.
How does blended learning work?
Each company’s training requires a personalized structure depending on the nature of the skills they want their employees to acquire. However, the principles laying at the foundation of blended education are similar. They are a synergy of face-to-face and digital education techniques combined based on the targeted outcome.
When it comes to blended security awareness learning, it’s desirable to start online and finish offline, altering between the two every now and then. This will help you create an effective plan, engage your employees, and generate great ROI. Among the popular blended learning techniques, there are flipped classrooms, station rotation, project-based learning, inside-out & outside-in learning, etc.
How does blended learning work with ATTACK Simulator?
Attack Simulator’s recommended approach is to start with online training (phishing simulations, online courses, interactive games, etc.) because this will grant your company the insights needed to decide what type of offline training suits you the best. The benefits of educating your employees online are numerous, especially in terms of time and money: you can accurately evaluate the status quo and organize targeted offline training for the spotted weaknesses. This means you will cut costs on obligatory but ineffective workshops dedicated to your entire organization. You will narrow offline training just to the employees who actually need it, thus increasing the efficiency of the training and the overall productivity in your company.
The future of blended learning
The prospects of blended learning are also promising. Incorporating developing technology in their teaching approach is already shaking up with enthusiasm instructors and course creators.
1. Virtual Reality (VR): VR creates an immersive experience that allows learners to interact with new environments while putting them in hypothetical situations that would otherwise not be possible. This approach grants them experience close to real life encounters.
2. Augmented Reality (AR): AR is another interactive way that stimulates engagement with the content by overlaying digital information on the real-life scenery. AR can be creatively integrated in an escape-room, for instance, bringing learning to a whole new level.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI): One of the most pragmatic use cases of AI in blended learning is its continuously improving ability to recommend personalized training for each student based on their interests and results.