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Best of Both Worlds: The Benefits of Blended Learning

Posted Tuesday, Jul 21, 2020 by Altierus

Technology has changed our lives in so many ways over the last 20 years. As access to the Internet went from a hobby for computer lovers to an essential service, the ways we shop, socialize and work have all been transformed. So have the ways we learn. If you’re looking to train for a new career, you’ve probably read about online degree or diploma programs. You’ve probably also seen information about “blended” or “hybrid” learning.

Blended learning programs combine in-person, on-campus education with online classes and technologically enhanced learning experiences. As these programs have become more common, some clear benefits for students have started to emerge. Here are five examples of how choosing a program based on blended learning could help you train more effectively for a new career.

More Flexibility

First and foremost, programs that use blended learning can offer their students more flexibility. At Altierus Career College, using blended learning means many of our students only need to be on campus three days per week. On the other days, they can continue to work and meet family obligations while completing online assignments on a more flexible time schedule.

More Engaging Classes

Blended learning can transform the in-class experience, too. We use Nearpod™ technology in many of our classes, which integrates interactive learning experiences into our instructors’ teaching. Instead of the traditional lecture-and-taking-notes approach, classes become active discovery labs where students interact with 3-D models and watch videos.

More Interaction Between Students and Instructors

A 2018 study of blended learning at the University of Iowa found that blended learning can encourage more “two-way conversations” between teachers and students during in-class activities which integrated technology.[i]  According to a 2018 EdWeek article, the online learning environment also allows students and instructors to connect via e-mail and message boards, giving additional accessibility. This can make it easier for students to reach out even if they can’t visit an instructor during office hours.[ii]

In addition, instructors in a blended learning environment have instant access to data about students’ progress in online coursework. They can see which topics students are struggling with and provide more individualized guidance or recommend specific tutoring advice.[iii] At Altierus Career College, for example, our classes include real-time quizzes that let our instructors instantly see how well students are learning the concepts being taught during class.

More Opportunity to Review Material

Another bonus when it comes to blended learning is the fact that students can access online course materials when it’s convenient for them. While there will be time limits on some materials, blended programs can offer students more opportunity to review concepts they’re having trouble with.[iv]

Evidence of Better Grades and Higher Confidence

We’ve established that blended learning offers flexibility, more engaging classes, more interconnectedness, and the option to work more at your own pace. Does it actually raise grades, though? Some studies offer positive evidence that suggests academic performance can improve.

A 2014 study of science, engineering, and math classes by a team at the University of Washington found that students in blended or “active” learning environments performed 6% better on tests and were 1.5 times less likely to fail their class than students in traditional lecture-based classes.[v]

The 2018 University of Iowa study of blended learning also found that students in the blended classes earned better grades than those in lecture-based classes or purely online programs. 95% of blended students earned a C- or better, compared to just 82% of lecture students and 81% of online-only students.[vi] What’s more, students in the blended classes reported they felt less anxious when it came time to take a test compared to the online-only students.[vii] That confidence is key to success!

Discover a Better Way to Learn

Train for a new career with a college that makes the benefits of blended learning available to you. Altierus Career College provides all students with an iPad so they can take full advantage of our Nearpod™ learning system and access coursework online. Learn more about the Altierus experience today!

[i] https://www.tun.com/blog/mix-online-and-in-class-learning-boost-performance/

[ii] http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/education_futures/2018/05/5_major_benefits_of_blended_learning.html

[iii] https://www.dreambox.com/blog/five-benefits-of-blended-learning#sthash.GFzwZkKu.dpuf

[iv] http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/education_futures/2018/05/5_major_benefits_of_blended_learning.html

[v] https://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410.abstract#small

[vi] https://www.tun.com/blog/mix-online-and-in-class-learning-boost-performance/

[vii] https://www.tun.com/blog/mix-online-and-in-class-learning-boost-performance/

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