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Top eight reasons to blend your apprenticeship e-learning delivery in education

schedule 9th February 2018 by Jaison Cresswell in Education

Top eight reasons to blend your apprenticeship e-learning delivery in education

With new apprenticeship standards in full force, it’s a good time to re-scope your learning and development strategy to ensure it delivers to the new standard. Teaching practices are changing due to the widespread integration of technology. Teaching methods, therefore, need to evolve and incorporate integrated technologies into the learning modal and new technologies need to be embraced for the advantages they bring. With apprenticeship standards now including mandatory off-the-job training, what better time to integrate a blended delivery strategy?

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a mixture of learning methods that incorporate multiple teaching models – most frequently e-learning and traditional face-to-face learning.

It's a natural development to the growing accessibility of e-learning, online resources and the continued need for a human face-to-face component in the learning experience. A blended learning approach ensures that the learner is engaged and driving his or her individual learning experience. The main advantages of this approach being that it helps cater to the individual needs of the learner. Most students have unique learning styles and a blended approach is more likely to cater to those needs than a traditional classroom teaching experience used in isolation.

Top eight reasons to blend your apprenticeship delivery

The blended approach and advantages of the blended process is ideal for apprentices. There are eight key reasons why this works:

  1. Increased learner and employer flexibility

    Blended approaches mean a mixture of different learning models and, as such, that flexibility can work not just for learners but for employers to be able to deliver a learning program or compliance course on time.

  2. Improved ability to personalise learning

    Blended learning offers a chance to use a variety of techniques to suit all different learner types and learning styles which will help with learning outcomes and objectives.

  3. Improved learner engagement and motivation

    The greater the variety of techniques used, the easier it will be to get learners' attention and engagement to deliver a range of core competencies in line with the L&D strategy.

  4. Monitor the length of time learners are on courses

    An LMS is integral to face-to-face and online courses – this allows logins to be tracked and allows for status updates and progress to be viewed. This allows for gentle budging and coaching through the learner journey to help deliver outcomes on time.

  5. The ability to reduce costs of traditional delivery

    Face-to-face is often expensive and requires travel, a venue and many people to commit to a time away from their desk. Online learning and a variety of new methodologies means this can be tailored and delivered with greater flexibility, anywhere and at any time, from a connected device or smartphone.

  6. Supports all learning styles

    Variety keeps engagement high – games, quizzes and refresher tests, as well as online courses and face-to-face.

  7. Increased opportunities for learner interaction

    Both online and face-to-face allow for interaction – key to ensuring content is digested and retained, and questions can be asked and knowledge tested throughout.

  8. Social learning is proven to increase information retention

    There are many techniques to achieve this but learning in a group can really help learners support each other, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Blended learning models

Due to its modular design, blended learning can come in numerous shapes and sizes and be personalised to fit the individual. These types of models can include:

  • Online: instruction occurs via an online platform, with periodic face-to-face meetings.
  • Rotation: student rotates between self-paced online learning and face-to-face instruction. Schedules are fixed but flexible.
  • Flex: most instruction is delivered online, with teachers providing as needed support in small group settings.
  • Personalised blend: teachers design face-to-face and anywhere, anytime learning options that straddle the physical classroom and virtual spaces. Learning is the constant and time is the variable.
  • Online lab: instructions take place in a brick and mortar lab. Delivered by an online teacher and supervised on-site by paraprofessionals.
  • Self-blend: students take online courses to supplement their traditional school's face-to-face course catalogue.
  • Face-to-face: teachers offer primarily face-to-face instruction, supplemented with technology in the classroom or computer lab.

Blended e-learning offers many advantages that are recognised and supported in light of the education and apprenticeship learning and development technology advancements. To follow up this article and discuss what Virtual College can offer your organisation in terms of blended learning, e-learning or apprenticeships – and what learning methodologies work for our education sector clients – please contact either Jaison Cresswell at jaison.cresswell@virtual-college.co.uk or Chris Sharman at chris.sharman@virtual-college.co.uk.

Source: Teach Thought - The benefits of blended learning.

Jaison Cresswell Author

Author: Jaison Cresswell

Jaison is a Learning Technology Manager who has a wealth of experience in creating digital learning solutions to meet both client and learner requirements. He also leads on Commercial Partnerships and International Sales. He has a degree in Business Management and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest technology and trends.

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