What is Blended Learning?

There are many traits of a successful business that can be replicated. For small companies trying to expand, a common struggle is finding the right way to grow the staff. While there may be countless websites and head hunters out there to help find new employees, actually carving out time to onboard and properly train new workers can be challenging. Many successful companies have mastered the art of training an engaged, effective staff at a reasonable budget and length of time. They recognize the importance, and find ways to make it work for their teams.
Whether it’s a retail store, or a manufacturing plant, it is important for all staff to be up to date on industry best practices, as well as the company's more specific policies. There are many effective training strategies that can be used, and it’s worth learning about different options to find what is best for specific teams. One learning technique that is gaining a lot of traction is called blended learning. This type of learning, while common in the education field, is still fairly new in the corporate world, and it offers several benefits.
What does blended learning mean?
Because this teaching philosophy is still rather new, blended learning can exist in a wide spectrum of styles. Blended learning (also known as hybrid or mixed learning) takes place when teachers combine traditional in-class teaching methods with online and independent learning. This does not mean they simply use PowerPoint presentations or let students use computers in the classroom. Instead, blended learning requires an approach to teaching that enriches the students' learning experience and improves learning efficiency by focusing on which aspects of a course are better served in person, and which parts work well online.
A great example of what blended learning looks like can be found in the "flipped" classroom. A flipped classroom uses blended learning techniques by allowing students to watch lectures and presentations on their own time, while utilizing classroom time to work on specific exercises and activities. Students are able to apply what they've learned online to solve problems and answer questions within the classroom setting. This enables students to interact with instructors and fellow classmates in order to enhance their learning experience.
What are the benefits of blended learning?
Blended learning combines the benefits and value of in-person classroom learning, with the convenience and flexibility that e-learning offers. With online content, students can study and learn at their own pace, in an environment that suits them. In-person instruction gives learners the chance to ask teachers questions, and receive feedback in real time. Online learning and in-person teaching both have advantages, but blended learning allows students and instructors to reap the benefits of both.
How can blended learning help you?
Blended learning might be a concept originating from schools and universities, but it is also one that businesses can apply to the corporate training process. By offering both e-learning materials and in-person instruction, managers can efficiently provide staff with an enhanced, accelerated learning experience – one that helps them absorb information and apply it to their job.