Blended learning gives you and your learners the best of both worlds by combining both face-to-face training with an online component. But simply mashing both your online course development and face-to-face components together without any regard does your learners a disservice. Luckily, several different blended learning models have emerged to help accommodate this.
Blended Learning Models
The Clayton Christensen Institute, a US non-profit non-partisan think tank that focuses its research on education and health care, released a white paper in 2012 detailing these emerging blended learning models within the K-12 sector.
While the focus of their paper was K-12, with some creativity there is an opportunity for you to apply these different blended learning models within your own training strategy.
Below is a brief description of the models as described in the whitepaper.
|Rotation||Learners rotate on a fixed schedule or at the trainers discretion between face-to-face and online learning. Includes the Station-Rotation, Lab Rotation, Flipped Classroom, and Individual Rotation models.|
|Flex||The learners mostly work self-paced and independently for the online component. Face-to-face instruction is available on an as needed basis.|
|Self-Blend||The learners will take online classes as they need them. There is still an occasional face-to-face component.|
|Enriched Virtual||Learners divide their time between attending a training facility and learning online. Many Enriched Virtual programs began as full-time online training and then developed blended programs to provide learners with brick-and-mortar training experiences.|
Which Blended Learning Model Is Best For You?
Different clients have different needs. Whichever blended learning model that you choose to implement, make sure that you take into consideration the following criteria for your learners:
Depending on their individual schedules, it may be difficult to get a group of learners together at the same time. Having the online component self-paced allows the learners to work within their schedule. If you’re using the Flex or Self-Blend models, this gives you the flexibility to mentor individual learners on a case-by-case basis.
Self-Paced and Mobile
A lot of your learners may work from home or elsewhere. By making sure that the online component is mobile-ready, this frees the learner to work on the device they choose; whether that be a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or office workstation. This works well within the Flex, Self-Blend, or Enriched Virtual models.
For the face-to-face component, it’s imperative that your infrastucture needs are met. This can be everything from your technical needs (WiFi, Microphones, Dispay) to making sure that any room booked is large enough to fit all the learners enrolled if you choose to use the Rotation model.
Finally; this short video by Education Elements describes the basics of blended learning. It is a few years old, so some of the blended models they describe don’t fall within the heirarchy described in by the Clayton Christensen Institute. However, it does help to clear the air and provide further insight.
Blended learning is a powerful way to combine custom elearning development and face-to-face training. By keeping in mind blended learning models during the planning stage, you’ll create a well-rounded course that allows your learners to excel.
For more information on how you can implement a fantastic blended learning program, download our free ebook How To Create Perfect Training using Blended Learning Techniques.
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