Blended learning — the best of both worlds? Advantages and disadvantages
Blended learning combines modern learning technologies with traditional learning methods. Like any learning method, blended learning comes with unique benefits and drawbacks that are important to consider when adopting a blended learning approach. Let’s explore them.
Table of contents
- Advantages of blended learning
- Disadvantages of blended learning
- Blended learning vs. traditional learning
What are the benefits of blended learning?
Advantage 1: Well-suited for large groups
The first advantage is that blended learning helps you reach a larger audience in a shorter time. Why? Because contrary to the traditional methods, blended learning doesn’t require the trainer to be present all the time. Traditional classroom settings are constrained to a limited number of people at the same time.
For some training topics, it’s impossible to transition to online training completely. For instance, some training requires practical and hands-on activities.
In that case, you can publish some of your training content in a learning management system. It will help you scale the theoretical part of your training . While your employees are busy learning by themselves, you can dedicate yourself to other tasks, including in-person training sessions.
Advantage 2: Better preparation and feedback
There is more time for useful discussions
Another important benefit is that blended learning makes traditional training more valuable. When people can complete assignments independently, they can come to class with the same knowledge level. There is more time for useful discussions and to practice what they have learned.
While they complete the online materials and assignments on their own, you can do less work and relax. Yet, it’s also possible to assist learners who require more information, which is one of the main benefits of blended learning.
You can complete the feedback loop when you adjust your training based on the first training sessions’ results.
Advantage 3: Great for the non-technology fans
Some people in the education sector are not big fans of technology, even though they recognize its benefits. Also, some employees and customers might not like it either, mostly when they are already used to face-to-face training.
Blue-collar workers and more traditional learners, for example, might appreciate hands-on training much more than learning from their smartphone screen. Given that no one can deny technology’s benefits, taking up a blended approach can solve this problem.
“I’m not a fan of technology. I’m a fan of pedagogy, of understanding how people learn and the most effective learning methods. But technology enables some exciting changes.”Donald A. Norman (researcher, professor, and author).
Advantage 4: Employees set their own pace
It can be hard to learn with other people, especially if they have different learning styles. On the other hand, some might enjoy learning in a group. A rotation model could do wonders for your organization. It gives your employees time to grasp more difficult topics on their own and lets them share their knowledge and skills with others.
Many would also find it challenging to manage their time if they tried to complete a course alongside their regular job. With the online driver blended learning model, you can grant your employees a generous amount of flexibility in deciding when they're going to study.
Advantage 5: Reduction in costs
Blended learning helps you cut costs. It requires fewer classrooms or training centers, fewer instructors, less commuting time. Less money is spent all around.
Bonus advantage: It’s more fun!
Keeping people engaged and interested in what you are saying while teaching a mandatory training course can be daunting, even if you are the trainer! Imagine having to repeat yourself over and over and not being able to measure if your trainees have paid attention to what you said!?
Blended learning eliminates this problem. Move the theoretic part of your training online, and follow it up with tests that measure your employees’ knowledge. More fun and efficient for all people involved! Now you know about the positive effects of blended learning, let's take a look at the disadvantages.
What are the disadvantages of blended learning?
Disadvantage 1: Temporary increase in the workload (transition phase)
It's not easy to switch to a new method if you are already accustomed to a traditional approach
It’s hard to disagree that there’s a significant amount of work involved in the early stage of blended learning where you set everything up. It’s not easy to switch to a new method if you are already accustomed to a traditional approach. You might wonder how to balance face-to-face training with online training. It can take a while to reap the benefits of this learning approach .
Disadvantage 2: Lack of motivation
Another disadvantage is that, depending on how you set up blended learning, it might diminish the motivation of your participants. Not every blended learning model is suited to every person, task, subject, or organization. In the way you consider children’s’ reading levels when choosing books for them, you should consider which approach will work best for your employees or customers.
Employees who are used to working with their hands might also dislike sitting in front of a screen for too long. As you can imagine, it's essential to consider these things when you prepare your learning methods and materials.
Disadvantage 3: Basic technology knowledge
Your participants must have a basic knowledge of technology to take lessons and complete assignments online. Your employees won’t learn too much from a screen if they don’t know how to do it or are not interested. This issue can be solved with a quick introduction to the new training techniques and its benefits.
Disadvantage 4: Plagiarism and credibility problem
Plagiarism is a well-known issue in the e-learning world. It might be hard for online learners to resist the temptation of looking up things on the web while learning from a computer or smartphone.
To prevent plagiarism, you can use plagiarism checkers. Timers, randomized questions (so all participants get a different selection of questions for their test), and secure browsers that block web navigation help prevent participants from looking up answers during online tests or courses.
Why not give it a try?
Blended learning vs. traditional learning
The strict traditional learning approach is giving room to new technologies. We cannot say that a blended learning approach is always better than the traditional one. It does, however, promise to offer the best of both worlds.
There are many pros and cons, and even the most traditional institutions are adopting it. Why not give it a try? You can use Easy LMS to set up the e-learning part of your blended learning approach.
It’s possible to create fully branded learning materials, like Courses and Exams. You can also view comprehensive reports about your employees’ activities. Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is blended learning?Blended learning is a mix of modern (online) and traditional learning methods.
- What are the advantages of blended learning?Blended learning is suitable for large groups and non-technology fans. It reduces costs and helps participants better prepare and give feedback. more fun and allows learners to set their pace.
- What are the disadvantages of blended learning?Disadvantages include a possible lack of motivation to engage in technology, a temporary increase in the workload during the transition phase), a requirement for basic technical knowledge, and the plagiarism/credibility problem.
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What is blended learning?
If you have been searching for e-learning methods and best practices, you might have heard about blended learning. Blended learning can be defined as the...