What is Blended Learning – Part I
The Secret to the Success of Blended Learning: Your Questions Answered
Part I: What is Blended Learning
Blended learning is one of the learning approaches that combine online learning with instructor-led training (ILT). It involves diversified delivery methods and in fact, diversified instructional methods as well. By doing so, learners can be reached in a variety of ways. For example, one can have online instructor-led training, real-world group study, etc. If there is a larger group of learner audience, then while adopting blended learning, the group can be split up into smaller groups and these could meet offline to collaborate to work on a project.
Traditionally, self-paced in individual learning is what is known as eLearning, and that is also part of this method of presenting blended learning. Simply put, eLearning is part of blended learning, but blended learning is not a part of eLearning. Rather eLearning is a subset of blended learning.
Blended learning is a mix of:
- Instructor-led live lessons
- Instructor-led online lessons
- Offline quizzes
- Online quizzes
- Offline group projects
- Online group projects
- Individual study
- Online individual project
- Offline individual project
- Online individual self-paced lessons
Using Videos for Blended Learning Delivery
When working with different methods of delivery and different kinds of instructional methods, we have to think about the order in which we are going to be doing that as well. It could be something as simple as a book or literature, a manual that learners have to read or look up as part of their exercises. There might be group exercises and challenges as well. Groups and individuals are often part of blended learning where an individual might be tasked to do something. One also might be setting up groups of people, or they might be choosing their own peers for those groups to create a group type of approach in solving problems or in learning how to collaborate.
The good thing about blended learning is that one can practically choose any type of media to deliver the content. Videos are one such media option that can be used both in ILT or in individual learning.
One can have videos that are shown in a live course, or one can have an individual offline learning as well. Different types of videos can be used. For instance, having a Ted Talk video or a video that instructors have created themselves or found on YouTube. Self-created animation videos or one that we have a license from somewhere. Instructors might be using these as part of an eLearning, or they could be separate from eLearning. Then there are 360 videos where the learner would be able to interact with the video by dragging the mouse around. And finally, instructional videos. All in all, videos can be useful by themselves or as part of an eLearning course or as part of a test as well.
However, videos cannot have interactive elements for the learners. Interactive elements can include a number of things. First, any interactive element that is created in an authoring tool could be used both in ILT and in individual learning. For instance, what one can create in Raptivity are self-contained individual interactions that are rich and engaging and these can be placed anywhere in both an eLearning course or by themselves online where one can go directly to it and just take that interaction. A good example of an interactive element is the Vertical Parallax interaction in Raptivity. If an instructor is doing security training or any kind of training about the surroundings, he/she can create a vertical parallax. The interaction allows the learner to explore, and these are the best kinds of interactions because the learner is in control. The learner is actually doing the work and finding things herself/himself and enjoying the learning process.
At present, Raptivity has 18 interactions, and more will be available very soon. Many of these interactions are based on games, which allow for individual competition and team building.
A glimpse of Raptivity interactions –
In the next blog, we will see how to choose a particular type of media for blended learning and how to create a purposeful mix of the delivery methods to accomplish the intended learning outcomes.
If you have any thoughts on blended learning that you would like to share with us, do write at firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll be happy to hear.