By Sarah Bright
When students learn through a digital and online media, in addition to traditional methods, such as face-to-face classroom instruction, they are not only empowered and engaged, but are able to learn to experience personalized learning.
If you’re not yet using the blended learning approach, we have ten benefits that will convince you to give it a try.
1. Increased Student Engagement
Online learning gives students another opportunity to engage with the material. To use this blended learning tactic effectively, require students to complete assignments, presentations, or tests before moving on to the remaining portion of the course.
For example, create “checkpoints”— multiple choice or long-answer questions—in a video to be sure the student is continuously watching and engaging with your course content.
2. Successful Evaluations
It can be time-consuming to evaluate every student in a face-to-face classroom; print the tests, grade each individually by hand, and the process goes on. Instead, create evaluations online, to make the deployment, grading and tracking process simpler. Many LMS systems, for example, will automatically grade the tests for you, based on the answers you input, and record scores in the student gradebook.
3. Better Communication
Adding an online component to your teaching improves communication with your students. Not only can you still communicate face-to-face, but you can also have (automatic) email notifications as well as built-in bulletins for the student to see as they log into whatever system you use.
In addition, some programs allow for course commenting or discussion boards, where students can interact and communicate with you and each other.
4. Flexible Accessibility
Being online allows you to be available and make materials accessible anywhere, anytime. Instead of having a set classroom time or office hours, you and your students can access the course content whenever they need to. This allows you to grade whenever you have a spare minute and gives students a chance to engage with content when they leave the classroom.
Online assignments, course commenting and discussion boards naturally encourage student collaboration. In a blended learning classroom, you have the best of both worlds, with both online and offline teamwork opportunities.
6. Personalized Learning
Each person has his/her own unique way of learning. Using online resources, you can better meet every student’s individual needs. For example, give students different current event articles to read and report on, based on their own reading and comprehension level.
7. Improved Efficiency
Many instructors find their overall efficiency improves in a blended learning classroom. If you set up your lessons correctly, you can have students watch the lecture and read any necessary assignments on their own time, making room for discussions or Q/A during class time. This gives you optimal time to reinforce the material.
8. Tracking and Reporting
One of the greatest benefits of online learning, especially through an LMS, is data tracking and reporting. LMSs have the ability to track each step the student takes throughout the course, including logins, time tracking and grading. This brings online learning full circle, allowing you to better engage with your students and provide personalized materials based on what the data says.
9 . Save Money
What will all these features cost you? While the LMS can be expensive up front, you’ll save money that’s normally spent on resources and supplies.
10. Save Time
Not only will you save money, but you’ll also save time. Using online learning materials allows you to spend less time lecturing in-class, supervising assessments, and grading. You’ll be happy you did.