What is Blended Learning? 3 Things You Need to Know | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

What is Blended Learning? 3 Things You Need to Know

03/05/2024

Blended learning (sometimes called hybrid learning) has become significantly more popular over the last few years. In fact, today, 45% of students in the UK say they prefer a blended learning format on their university courses. But what is blended learning?

There are a lot of myths about hybrid degrees: that it is basically the same as an online course, or that you don’t get the same teaching as on an in-person programme. If you’re considering a blended learning course, this article will tell you everything you need to know about this innovative teaching style.

We’ve broken down the topic of blended learning into the three main things you need to know. After reading, you’ll be ready to choose your own blended learning course!

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3 Things you Need to Know about Blended Learning

1. It’s Not Just Online Learning

University Lecture on Hybrid Learning Degree

Many people consider hybrid learning to be simply another word for online learning. However, that’s not the case. Blended learning combines in-person teaching and online learning technology to create a flexible learning experience for students.

The blended learning format means that you’ll experience face-to-face lectures, seminars, or conferences during your programme, as well as taking lessons and seminars online.

The ratio of in-person to online classes will depend on the course you’re taking, as well as your personal preferences. For many students, they may prefer to do most of their course online and only participate in face-to-face classes a few times a year. Other students may be able to attend more classes on campus but participate in online workgroups.

This flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of studying a hybrid degree. It means you can decide on the kind of degree that is best for you and your current circumstances.

2. TECHNOLOGY IS IMPORTANT

Online Technology Blended Learning

Many students will have experienced some form of online learning over the past few years, as school, colleges, and universities closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this hasn’t always gone smoothly. At times, the switch to video conferencing software and online forms of communication has meant a reduced learning experience.

On a blended learning degree, technology is fully integrated into the course. For example, web conferencing aren’t a substitute for in-person lessons, but offer their own capabilities, such as student interaction and virtual whiteboards to improve teaching.

The use of innovative technology on hybrid courses means they can help connect students who may be located all over the world, and make the lesson feel no different  than an in-person class.

3. YOU’LL STILL ENGAGE WITH PROFESSORS

Video Call

On a hybrid course, you may only have in-person classes as frequently as once a month or as far apart as once a year. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to communicate with your professors throughout your course if you have problems or would like feedback on your work.

Blended learning programmes champion student engagement across platforms, which means conversations with your professors and peers could happen via web conferencing chat boxes, email, face-to-face meetings, and video calls. This allows students to choose the method of communication that works best for them.

Conclusion

Hybrid learning courses offer a flexibility that a traditional degree course typically lacks. They make it easy for students who work part-time or have other responsibilities to participate fully in a course. With technology, you can join interactive seminars, attend lectures, and communicate with your course leaders as easily as you can on a 100% on-campus degree.

For this reason, more and more students are considering hybrid courses for their bachelor or postgraduate courses. Before you apply to a blended degree, though, make sure you’re aware of exactly how your programme is taught. These degrees vary considerably, and it pays to be prepared.

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Written by
Abigail
Abigail is a freelance writer specialising in higher education. She has lived in London and the Netherlands, and has a Masters degree in American Studies.

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