So, what is ‘Blended Learning’? Just a buzz word or something that saves time and money?
“Blended learning is an education program (formal or informal) that combines onlinedigital media with traditional classroom methods”
So, what does that mean in reality? Well, let’s take the First Aid at Work qualification and explore two ways of completing it: First, the traditional method, then the Blended Learning method.
As you know, the Health & Safety Executive require employers to provide adequate First Aid provision for these employees and visitors. Most employers will send staff on a First Aid at Work course to gain a recognised qualification and therefore the employer can demonstrate they have exercised their duty of care.
A standard First Aid at Work course will require the student to attend for three days, during which the course will deliver a range of training through powerpoints, discussion, demonstrations, practical sessions and finally assessments. The student will spend three days away from the workplace gaining the knowledge and understanding in order to carry out the practical skills required to administer First Aid in the workplace.
If the First Aid provider offered a blended learning approach then the student could be enrolled on an e-Learning portal, which would allow them to complete the learning elements of the course in their own time, whilst remaining in their workplace. This saves on travelling time, possibly accommodation costs, and it is also more efficient. The student can log onto the portal when they wish, and complete the learning in stages. Each module has assessment questions to ensure that the student has understood the content, and allows them to repeat any areas where they are unsure, as many times as they want.
Having completed the e-Learning and received an online certificate there are then two routes to follow: The first is for those students who don’t require a formal qualification, in which case the record of e-Learning may be enough for them and they do not need to do anything else.
For those students requiring a formal qualification, or confirmation that they have indeed understood the training and gained the correct knowledge, they can attend a two-day course which will consolidate their learning with a range of discussions and practical exercises, finished off with some assessments. Once the assessments are complete, the learner will receive an accredited qualification.
What are the benefits of blended learning? Well, it isn’t for everyone, but a lot of people will prefer to complete the e-Learning in their own time, at their own pace, and then only attend a two-day course.
Blended learning will often be cheaper because the provider won’t have to supply a trainer for three days, and the savings to employers are both financial (course costs, travel costs and possibly accommodation) and efficiency (the employee can complete the e-Learning over a period of time, without impacting on three whole days of work at once).
If you’d like to find out more about blended learning options, please email us on email@example.com