Blended Learning Platforms: Everything You Need to Know
Blended learning solutions are now a prominent feature of both academic and corporate settings. Enterprises, schools, and academic institutes of all kinds are leveraging the flexibility of blended learning solutions to facilitate training.
In case you are still undecided about blended learning platforms and need help in knowing how they work, here is what you need to be aware of.
Mobile access is the most critical feature of blended learning platforms that provides a high degree of flexibility to trainees, instructors, and organizations using these systems.
With mobile access, instructors can upload course content remotely and deliver live online lectures as well. Trainees who have problems attending in-class sessions will have no problems keeping up with their coursework. These capabilities are particularly important in today’s era since distance learning appears to be the only viable solution that can mitigate the risk of covid-19 infection. The remote learning feature of blended learning platforms will grant great peace of everyone to all stakeholders. Instructors and trainees do not have to fear infection. Corporations and academic institutes also do not have to worry about the very real risk of fighting lawsuits over coronavirus infections. The distance learning feature of blended learning solutions can help to avert all kinds of problems and save lives. With time, distance learning will certainly grow in relative importance.
Organizations and schools can also overcome the problem of coordinating with trainees dispersed over a wide geographic area thanks to the remote working capabilities of blended learning solutions.
Blended learning solutions often have a wide spectrum of features that allow organizations to make use of performance metrics. Organizations can monitor the performance metrics of their employees and use these systems to improve productivity and performance. By following relevant metrics, management can decide which courses they should make available on a case by case basis for improving employee performance.
Blended learning solutions are capable of working both online and offline. You can access them not only with PCs and laptops but also with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Blended learning solutions are in general capable of integrating with all sorts of hardware and operating systems to provide high flexibility to trainees and instructors alike. Hence, authorized persons can access these systems on the go and from any locations that they prefer. Instructors and IT experts do not have to install separate versions of blended learning platforms for different user groups. Thus, videos, lectures, content, and online resources are uniformly available to all on a single system.
At Par with Traditional Classroom Training
Many will feel that the traditional classroom environment is the ideal way of learning where instructors can carry out training sessions and respond to queries from trainees. As human beings, we inherently value face-to-face interactions and the social element.
Unfortunately, the covid-19 pandemic is now the greatest barrier to social interaction all across the globe. Schools and enterprises need to adopt remote learning methodologies to stem the rising tide of coronavirus infections that is wreaking havoc everywhere.
Remote online learning is the next best alternative to the conventional classroom environment. Blended learning systems empower instructors to perform all tasks necessary. Instructors can deliver live online lectures with effortless ease using blended learning platforms. They can also respond to queries from trainees and answer them in the same way as the traditional classroom environment. Thus, blended learning platforms are a pragmatic and safe alternative to the conventional classroom. Neither trainees nor their instructors will feel hampered when using these systems for distance learning. Live online training can proceed at the same rate and with the same level of efficiency as classroom training. The distance factor is no longer an impediment to learning with online learning platforms.
With live web tools, it is also possible to carry out webinars which are practically the same as classroom discussions. Besides one-on-one interaction, it is now very much possible for multiple persons to interact seamlessly with one another using teleconferencing features that are an intrinsic part of blended learning solutions.
Although purists may argue about the virtues of face-to-face learning in traditional classrooms, the truth is that blended learning platforms permit virtually all of these advantages. Online learning is so highly interactive, it is all too easy for one to forget that they are learning and interacting with each other at a distance. The distance factor becomes practically nonexistent with blended learning solutions that have strong real-time communication features such as webinars and teleconferencing. Thus, all persons who feel that they will miss out on the traditional classroom feel instantly at home with these systems and are pleasantly surprised by the high level of convenience and flexibility that they convey.
Blended learning solutions also have robust safety features for maintaining confidentiality and preventing eavesdropping.
Separate User Profiles
Users can maintain their respective profiles on blended learning systems that encapsulates their training progress. Users, instructors and their employers can conveniently keep track of user progress. User profiles can also be adjusted to make various courses available to users as they become eligible.
Gamification options are also available on most blended learning systems to motivate learners. System portals can show badges and achievements of top trainees. A leaderboard can inculcate a spirit of competition in trainees and motivate them to excel and surpass expectations. User profiles can also show achievements, badges, courses completed and course progress to show users where they stand for everyone else.
The presence of separate user profiles means that trainees can pick up courses that are most relevant to them and learn at their own pace. Fast learners can make rapid progress without being held back by the rest of the class, while other trainees can learn steadily without having to worry about keeping up with everyone else. Thus, with blended learning systems all trainees can go along with the optimal learning pace that suits them best.
User profiles also allow for a highly customized learning experience. Instructors can allow access to the most relevant and useful courses for their students. Trainees will have no problems in accessing materials and content that is most suitable for their training progress and personal growth.
With blended learning platforms it is also possible for trainees to continue learning without direct instruction from trainers. Instructors can upload all required material online and post training session videos so that users who could not attend the classroom or online session will be able to keep up by learning at a time when it is most expedient for them to do so.
Blended learning solutions also allow for social media integration with popular social media portals like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and others. Blended learning platforms often have stronger security than social media platforms and are thus a better alternative than these channels.
With blended learning platforms it is also possible to create forums and user groups so that online discussions of training can proceed seamlessly. With such online discussion tools, it may not even be necessary to resort to social media for keeping up discussions.
Blended learning platforms show metrics for all users so that instructors and trainees alike are fully cognizant of individual progress. Quite often, a wide spectrum of metrics are available from which you are free to choose those that you feel are most important. Both offline and online modes of learning are capable of being quantified with metrics.
Automatic report generation function is also available on most systems so that admins always have necessary reports at their fingertips. Most platforms are capable of integrating with emails to automate delivery of these reports to relevant persons. You can choose which metrics, facts and numbers are to be shown in these automated reports. Analytics tools are available so that you can understand how many reports were opened and to what extent they were read.
Easily Accessible Content
Downloadable materials and offline usability are now the key features of blended learning systems. With offline access, it may be possible for users to get around unexpected internet problems and still use the system even if such problems transpire.
Users can also download online material at will since it is easily accessible. Instructors and admins can also place restrictions if necessary on the kind of content that various users are allowed to download.
Easy online accessibility is of paramount importance for those training from long distances and busy persons whose schedules do not allow for live training. Online accessibility will ensure that no one is left behind.
Instructors also have a wide array of options at their disposal for uploading and taking down any content that they choose. They can easily update content and modify learning material since blended learning platforms are highly versatile.
Blended learning platforms allow for easy enrollment so that minimal time and effort is required for onboarding new trainees. You can configure these systems so that all relevant material is instantly accessible to novice trainees as soon as they sign up. You have the freedom of deciding which certifications and courses may be available to new trainees. This way, novice trainees can start with the learning process right away without waiting for anyone’s approval.
Supports All Kinds of Training Programs
No matter what your training paradigm, chances are that you can probably do with blended learning platforms.
It should be quite obvious that fully online learning is a cinch with blended learning platforms. However, you should also know that mixed training is also possible which includes both classroom training as well as online learning.
For example, you can teach the basics in the classroom and then upload more challenging exercises on the blended learning platform. You can also post extra examples, challenge exercises and reviews on the blended learning systems for highly motivated pupils. No matter what your training model, an online component can always enhance and augment your training program dramatically. Blended learning platforms are instrumental towards this end.
Several researchers have investigated the efficacy of online learning and found that training models that incorporate an online component can be highly effective. There is research to indicate that classroom training bolstered by online learning is more effective.
Hence, for a highly sophisticated and comprehensive learning experience, organizations and learning institutions should make the most of blended learning platforms. Implementation of such systems will certainly provide plenty of dividends well into the future.
Highly Cost Effective
Organizations of all kinds can leverage blended learning platforms to save large amounts on training. With online learning, organizations may not have to dedicate large tracts of prime commercial estate to classrooms and training centers. This itself will save a lot of money. Growing organizations will be able to scale up their training programs more easily with the help of blended learning systems without having to expand their on-premise training facilities.
Organizations that pay for training venues for off-site training will certainly save substantial sums. Trainees who must traverse large distances will save considerable amounts of time, money and effort expended on travelling.
Blended learning platforms permit a high level of flexibility, are highly effective, provide for a comprehensive learning experience and substantial cost savings among numerous other desirable factors.
Thanks to these myriad benefits, blended learning systems are in high demand and used extensively in all kinds of organizations, institutes and schools. It is hard to imagine any kind of training program that will not benefit from such sophisticated and versatile systems.