As technology has become an essential part of every life, colleges and universities have embraced it. The internet makes it easier for students to keep in touch with professors and find new learning opportunities, and the last year of virtual learning has led to more options for a university education.
Read on to learn more about blended learning and whether it will work for you. There are many advantages of newer teaching styles, especially those that take advantage of the latest technologies — plus, you could save time and transportation costs if you decide on a hybrid course schedule.
1. What Is Blended Learning?
Traditional education requires students to spend hours in the classroom. Blended learning adapts half of that time so students can learn online.
Instructors can pick how much time their students spend online and how often they should attend lessons in-person, depending on the course materials. Students agree to this balance at the beginning of the semester and must complete it to pass the course.
2. What Is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning moves more lesson content online but doesn’t set permanent expectations for students. If students learn better in-person, they can customize their class experience by opting for less time online. Everyone attends class at the same time, but some will view it through a live-streamed video.
This is a flexible arrangement primarily used in universities because professors have more control over their classes.
3. How Do They Compare?
Students look forward to blended learning in college and university because it gives them more ownership of their education. They can form bonds with professors in the classroom, meet new people, and get in-person experiences that build their resume.
They also get to train specific skills at home, like computer coding or researching legal arguments.
Educators should compare these two teaching styles to decide what’s best for their students. It depends on the course material and how students best receive it. Hands-on content like art or medical demonstrations would likely require a blended learning model. Presentations or group work could happen entirely online in a hybrid class.
4. What Are Blended Learning Models?
Teachers and professors may prefer a blended learning model that provides variety in the educational field. Check out the most common instruction methods that benefit students in all academic disciplines.
The Lab Rotation Model
Professors teach a dedicated group of students on specific days. On other days, that group switches to a designated computer lab on campus so others can attend in-person.
The Station Rotation Model
Students cycle through stations determined by the professor so everyone experiences different learning styles. Stations may include a computer lab, a science lab, an art studio, or whatever assists their education in addition to the classroom.
The Flipped Classroom Model
Professors require students to complete all classwork online at home. When they enter the classroom, they can use that time to complete homework and projects with the teacher’s assistance as needed.
The Individual Rotation Model
Students choose which stations they use depending on where they are in the course material. The stations may present more challenging learning opportunities or cater to the academic requirements for their degree.
The Enriched Virtual Model
Some classes occur entirely online and only require limited attendance. Students can check in with their professor during office or class hours two or three times per semester while completing everything else through the class website.
The A La Carte Model
Educators can offer online-only courses that aren’t available in-person at their university. A la carte learning gives students more opportunities for challenging content or advanced work that doesn’t require a physical classroom.
The Flex Model
Online courses present a list of materials that students must submit by the end of the semester. They can work through it at their own pace, which benefits students who need more time or who could sail through the lessons before accepting more rigorous work.
5. What Are Hybrid Learning Models?
There are two ways to use hybrid learning in university settings. Educators created these methods to better assist students who want to ask questions and get more time with their professors on their own terms.
The HyFlex Model
HyFlex instructors embrace the traditional hybrid definition, where they teach students in-person and stream lessons to their virtual attendees. Instant messaging keeps everyone engaged in discussions as they happen in real-time, making learning opportunities equivalent for students at home and in the classroom.
The Modified Tutorial Model
Modified tutorial classes work with any schedule. Students receive lessons or lectures online and attend follow-up meetings in small groups. They can do in-person projects and discuss class material together. It optimizes classroom time so everyone gets more from their attendance.
Try New Blended Learning Routines
There are many versions of blended and hybrid learning that may work for you. Consider your classes and course material, plus your preferred learning methods. If you’re looking for a more flexible lifestyle and you have the discipline to stay on top of your own virtual learning, blended learning could be the right fit for your university education.
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