Blended learning is now a popular training delivery mode that is fast replacing traditional ‘hybrid’ learning approaches. Broadly defined, blended learning is a smart blend of chosen traditional learning methods for digital consumption. It signifies the varying integration of online and face-to-face learning for the most effective learning mode, depending on the learning styles. As technology and social learning become inseparable elements. L&D initiatives corporate training programs use blended learning as a logical way to give learners the mode of consumption that gives them the highest convenience. Blended learning models are the most appropriate to train a large workforce that is distributed across the world.
Blended Learning Models
Blended learning is thus a spectrum of approaches that combine online or digital learning and traditional learning as per the expectations of learners and styles of content consumption. Here are the top 10 models of blended learning models that are used across industries for effective learning and development of top talent.
Top 10 Blended Learning Models
- Flipped Classroom: In this model, learners study content on their own and not in the classroom. They then interact via activities, discussions, and projects. These interactions can be in modes that are most convenient to the learning community: in-person in the training rooms or for remote learners in scheduled sessions like a web meeting or conference.
- Station Rotation: This model adds variety to the learning process. This is an engaging way to consume content, which is complex and needs to be solved strategically. It involves dividing learners into groups and rotating them through different learning stations. The common options used are online activities, small group discussions, or teacher-led instruction.
- Flex Model: When a learning program needs heavy reading and decoding concepts, learners have different paces. This model addresses this need, and learners can control the pace. They can quickly switch between or use only in-person or virtual sessions to collaborate for activities and support.
- Online Lab Model: This is innovative as online modules or simulations provide learners with hands-on training. The simulations help learners in improving their understanding of concepts learned online.
- Peer-to-Peer Model: One of the most effective ways to learn, collaboration helps in learning from each other when working on the same projects, exploring the concepts and sharing knowledge, and providing healthy feedback, whether online or in-person learning.
- Project-Based Model: This model is ideal when learners are focused on a project. For example, product modeling/template/proposal preparatory sessions need learners to research online and use the inputs to further their tasks or product.
- Self-Directed Model: In this blended learning model, learners choose their learning pathways. Their online learning sessions are backed by one-to-one mentorship/coaching or facilitators.
- Web-Enhanced Model: This model is most effective where the learners need traditional face-to-face instruction and extensive inputs from multiple sources like peer-reviewed theories, or discussions.
- Hybrid Model: In this blended learning model, there is an equal mix of online and face-to-face instruction. In essence, this model combines the strengths of both formats to provide a comprehensive learning experience.
- Online Discussion Model: This model is ideal for in-depth online discussions that need extensive sharing of graphs, images (for example economic and financial tools) and sharing insights, and collaboration on projects for in-person, virtual meetings to synthesize learning and address challenges.
The effectiveness of these models can vary depending on other factors: learning goals, the characteristics of the learners, the subject matter, and the available resources.
To summarize, blended learning can be in a number of models, accommodating diverse learning needs and contexts. While these 10 models offer insights into the world of blended learning, they merely scratch the surface. It’s imperative to select a model that aligns with the organizational goals.
Technology and traditional methods are easily integrated by corporate training programs for learning effectiveness. Many times the age-old methods are ideal for specific topics, while most topics are best explored using an interactive mode, as in the case of mobile learning. Modern learning is now on the cloud-edge and L&D providers accept that blended learning is the best way for effective training and development. At the same time, they have the leverage to use appropriate technology to deliver complex topics that need both audio, visual and interactive aspects for best learning. In many ways, blended learning ensures learning is relevant, engaging, and empowering. These top 10 blended learning models support the best options to improve blended learning.