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?
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.
The blended approach and advantages of the blended process is ideal for apprentices. There are eight key reasons why this works:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Variety keeps engagement high – games, quizzes and refresher tests, as well as online courses and face-to-face.
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.
There are many techniques to achieve this but learning in a group can really help learners support each other, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Sharman at email@example.com.