What’s Blended Learning?
If you’re interested in distance learning, you’ve no doubt already heard about blended learning. Behind these two words lie innovative training solutions greatly beneficial to learners, thanks to a smart mix of human and digital. So what exactly is blended learning?
Blended learning meaning
Blended learning translates into a mixed or hybrid training solution. It is a method which mixes a dash of face-to-face learning (individual or group lessons) and a sprinkle of distance learning (exercises carried out independently online). Blended learning is the perfect combination of the “human” aspect of training on the one hand, and digital tools on the other, which come to reinforce and support the learning process.
There are various types of blended learning, ranging from face-to-face training, where digital technology simply supports lessons in a training centre, to tutored distance learning, where training is almost exclusively delivered digitally. This format is undoubtedly the most flexible and most popular in the field of adult vocational training. The trainer can deliver lessons live using communication tools such as video conferencing software. Learners do not need to travel and the pace of learning can be adjusted to meet their schedule requirements, freeing them from logistical constraints.
Blended learning and e-learning, what’s the difference ?
Unlike e-learning, blended learning does not solely depend on digital technology. The human dimension is extremely important, including in distance tutoring. In blended learning, the role of the trainer is crucial, as is that of other parties involved in inducting and maintaining motivation, such as the coach.
In a nutshell, e-learning is only a part of the blended learning process. The latter is founded on a careful balance between the autonomy permitted by digital tools and the indispensable support of the trainer (and when on offer, of the coach or tutor).
LMS, a vital tool for any hybride training
LMS (Learning Management System) is inextricably intertwined with blended learning training. It is a platform which offers learners all of the functionalities necessary to progress in their training. It is generally through the LMS that learners can :
- engage contact with trainers and at times other learners;
- access educational resources (training materials, audio files, videos, etc.);
- assess their knowledge through online tests;
- monitor their progress throughout the course…
Why choose Blended Learning?
Blended Learning perks and shortcomings
Blended learning perks
You’re probably wondering what more blended learning has to offer compared to other training modalities? If it is increasingly popular, particularly with adult learners, it is because it offers many benefits.
First of all, the digitalisation of the learning process offers a considerable flexibility for learners and trainers alike. With distance tutoring , for example, logistical constraints are minimised. There is no need to travel, and all learners need is a device giving them access to the Internet (Smartphone, tablet or computer).
Thanks to the asynchronous (off-line) learning sessions using digital tools, learners’ autonomy is more significant… as a result, so is their enthusiasm! Where required, they still benefit from synchronous (live) learning sessions with their trainer and are therefore not left to their own devices.
💡 Curious to know more about the impact of autonomy on the motivation of adult learners? Download our latest white paper : The 8 must-know tips for topmost motivation and commitment in distance language learning .
It goes without saying that other factors are important in the choice made and the success of any distance blended learning experience:
- reduced training costs for the employer;
- higher training course completion rates;
- not to mention considerable time saving!
Blended learning shortcomings
Compared with the advantages of blended learning, the downsides appear to be rather trivial. Still, here are a few shortcomings to keep in mind:
- the organisation of live face to face sessions if you choose a tutored model (a disadvantage which does not, incidentally, apply to tutored distance learning);
- the balance between human and digital, which can be difficult to find;
- the fact it’s a training method unsuitable for those averse to technology or lack familiarity with digital tools.
Language training and blended learning
Blended learning is an excellent training approach to language learning. It allows the four main pillars of language training to be addressed easily, namely:
- oral expression;
- oral comprehension;
- written production;
- written comprehension.
At 1to1PROGRESS, we have been offering distance language training courses through a blended learning approach for almost 10 years, because we are convinced that this is the most complete form of language training there is.
Blended learning combines individual lessons, group virtual classes, e-learning and microlearning to successfully explore all aspects of the language studied. A recipe for success!
The acquisition of language skills is therefore straightforward and friendly thanks to a variety of teaching aids used by trainers who are native speakers of the language they teach and coaches who support the learners throughout their training journey.
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