Blended learning is a combination of offline (face-to-face, traditional learning) and online learning in a way that the one compliments the other. It provides individuals with the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. For example, a student might attend classes in a real-world classroom setting and then supplement the lesson plan by completing online multimedia coursework. As such, the student would only have to physically attend class once a week and would be free to go at their own pace (and without worrying about scheduling issues).
Blended learning is often also referred to as “hybrid” learning, and can take on a variety of forms in online education environments. While some organizations may only use blended learning techniques on rare occasions, others might utilize it as a primary teaching method within their curriculum. There are two key principles commonly associated with blended learning (which are the “secrets” to its success): students who can share information and work with other students directly in a collaborative setting have a more enriched learning experience, and collaboration between students can be improved upon if group activities rely on information gathered from online resources or lessons. It’s also been suggested that students who complete online coursework followed by interactive, face-to-face class activities have richer educational experiences.
Tools and platforms that complement blended learning include LMSs and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.