An immersive learning environment
When you blend e-learning with classroom learning, you create an immersive learning environment. In that world, learners have continual access and exposure to educational content. E-learning makes it easier and more convenient for learners to access information outside the classroom. At the same time, the face-to-face interactions that take place inside the classroom help strengthen the message and give learners a chance to interact in person with their instructors and peers. You can boost the learning efficiency even more with one of these blended learning best practices.
For a deeper dive, check out our blended learning guide.
1. Online office hours
Some students are intimidated by the classroom setting. They may not like to speak in front of a crowd, or feel uncomfortable with asking a question in front of others. Sometimes, they may also need to speak one-on-one with their instructor, to talk about personal learning difficulties or other private matters.
An “online office” gives learners access to their instructors in a comfortable, low-threshold setting. This helps strengthen the bond between learners and the instructor by creating an easy line of communication. As a result, the learner is likelier to engage with the content and get the personal attention they need.
How does it work? A teacher can schedule a few hours throughout the week to respond to incoming questions from students. Students may submit their questions by e-mail, instant messaging or even video conferencing. Just make sure that you choose a medium that will enable you to divide your time equally among all students.
2. “Flip” the classroom
One of the most interesting best practices and advantages of blended learning is that teachers can make learners engage more with content. Many students dislike the classroom setting because they feel like the communication is too one-sided. The teacher does a lot of lecturing, and, if there’s any time left over, there may be a Q&A round at the end.
A “flipped” classroom reverses all of this. In a flipped model, non-interactive activities are shifted to the web. Students can watch a pre-recorded lecture, presentation or instructional video via their online learning platform before coming to class. Then, precious classroom time can be fully devoted to discussions, answering questions and developing ideas in a group setting.