Advantages of blended learning for businesses
Blended learning is a practice by which the learner now uses the computer as a source of knowledge, lessening the importance of memorising things correctly. As the information age expands, this way of working is increasing exponentially, but by no means is it a modern practice.
Indeed, a famous conversation between Einstein and a colleague saw the genius’ co-worker ask for his telephone number. He was surprised when Einstein reached for a telephone book and read the number out. When asked why he didn’t know his own telephone number, Einstein replied: “Why should I memorise something I can so easily get from a book?”
This is the basic principle of blended learning – freeing your mind up from inane knowledge to concentrate on harder tasks. So while the conversation between Einstein and his friend occurred some 70 years ago, the advent of information technology means we’re now doing it more than ever.
What exactly is blended learning?
To put a finer point on it, blended learning involves the strategic mixing of technology-enhanced learning methodologies in order to achieve a holistic learning methodology that caters to all different styles of learning and types of learner.
As the learners uses the computer as a source of knowledge, the facilitator enables the knowledge construction process, mentoring the learner on areas where the computer cannot. This gives us the mix of both a technological and human process that wastes as few worker hours as possible.
How can blended learning benefit your business?
Using blended learning, businesses are able to reap the advantages of fully-online learning such as flexible pacing, mastery-based progress and customisation.
Like with fully-online learning, blended learning is data driven, as teachers receive regular updates on how participants are progressing. In many ways, blended learning empowers the facilitator, as it equips them with the information needed to teach, or to adjust their training based on how the learning is progressing.
However, blended learning also offers plenty of advantages on top of this.
Cost savings! In these tough economic times, most businesses are looking out for opportunities to save some money, and while introducing a blended programme can come with some upfront costs, it can also have some long term savings. These come from cut facilities and staffing costs.
One of these is differentiated learning, which allows companies to diagnose a learner’s level and style, and then tailor their programme to their needs. Learners are thereby able to work at a customised pace and level, rather than simply powering through all the work without really comprehending it.
It also means that people working from home can continue with the process, as it offers the possibility of remote learning. As flexible and home working becomes increasingly popular, this is bound to make training easier for businesses – the human element of blended learning can be gained while in the office, and the computing aspect at home.
With blended learning, employees can take control of their own programme to an extent, determining how rapidly they progress, although there will still be a learning facilitator to keep an eye on the process.