When we expand our knowledge and skill bases, we end up improving ourselves in both our personal and professional lives. A mind that is always learning and questioning is a healthy mind, and it enriches our overall existence, as well as makes us more marketable when we’re seeking to further or change our careers. There’s no part of our lives that doesn’t benefit from learning more.
But the question is, how does one go about increasing one’s knowledge in the most convenient and effective way? After all, life is busy, and our responsibilities won’t simply sit back and wait until we’ve finished learning what we want to. What’s the solution?
The answer is a blended learning program. Blended learning is the perfect tool for enhancing skill sets while dealing with the hectic, demanding pace of today’s living. When it comes to learning, it’s possible to have it all.
What is Blended Learning?
So if blended learning is the answer, then what exactly does it entail? Blended learning is a system where students receive instruction from a teacher in a physical classroom and via online courses. So, for example, someone could take a course on the principles of SEO at a local university, then complete related assignments and watch a video lecture on the subject as well. Or perhaps the in-person instruction comes from seminars taught within the workplace.
The teacher sets the pace and schedule for the in-person aspect of the program, while the student usually has control over the pace, time, and direction of the online portion.
Let’s look at some of the biggest advantages of blended learning. Unsurprisingly, many of the pros tend to overlap and feed off of each other:
It Saves Time
It’s awfully difficult for someone who’s overworked and swamped at their job to fit in time for taking classes. In fact, many people are caught in a trap of working too many hours, so they want to get a different job, but in order to do so they need more training and skills, but they can’t find the time because their job eats all of their time! It’s a vicious circle, but there’s a way out.
By using a blended learning strategy, students can set their own pace and make adjustments according to their work schedules. This degree of flexibility makes learning easy, whether it’s the employee who’s taking courses paid for by the company, or the self-motivated (and self-funded) ambitious student who’s trying to increase their knowledge and skill set.
It Saves Money
Cost is always a big consideration for starting any new endeavor, and blended learning is no exception. Fortunately, blended learning brings it with a substantial financial advantage. Things like renting a training space and hiring instructors to be on-site simply don’t exist in the world of blended learning, thereby reducing overhead, with much of the savings passed on to the clients.
This comes in handy in particular for those ambitious people whose companies don’t pay for continuing education. Blended learning brings quality instruction to people who are on a tight budget. Of course, some of those people may be taking courses in order to improve their marketability so that they can leave their stingy place of work and find something better!
It Provides a Better Learning Environment
According to this infographic, almost 60 percent of teachers report that blended learning students are more motivated. Correspondingly, 70 percent of students say that they learn better in a blended learning environment. A better learning environment entails everything from simply being able to sit at home and do the work, to having 24/7 easy access to course materials, to increased collaboration between students and instructors.
Not everyone does well in a classroom environment. Granted, a blended learning environment usually means that some time must inevitably be spent in such an environment, but if the required time to sit down and deal with a structured lecture environment can be reduced, it will be an attractive perk for the would-be student.
Learning may be a good thing, a useful thing, but it can sometimes be a drag. Anything that makes the experience easier is a plus.
It is Customizable
Different students have different needs and interests. Some people learn things better through certain media, with some preferring videos and images, while others do better with lectures or podcasts, and still others prefer the good old-fashioned method of just reading it from a textbook!
Furthermore, some courses give different knowledge paths that students can choose from, as well as optional courses that can be incorporated into a unique, tailor-made learning experience. Students can monitor their progress online and be in completely in the know and in control of their learning experience.
It Provides Greater Reach
This is more for the teachers, but it’s an advantage nonetheless. When it comes to positives, it’s nice for there to be at least something for those standing on the other side of the lectern! A blended learning environment allows teachers to reach an audience of potential millions without going to any extraordinary lengths.
Not only does the Internet allow a teacher to reach a larger audience, but since nothing online ever really goes away, that knowledge can be circulated and shared beyond anything ever imagined. Since every teacher can use a little reassurance that they’re making an impact or a difference, this goes a long way towards improving instructor morale.
So What’s the Next Step?
According to a March 22nd, 2016 Pew Research Center report, almost two-thirds of employed adults pursue some form of job-related learning (aka “professional learners”). Sometimes it’s a voluntary effort, initiated by the individual. Other times, the company is the driving force behind improving their employees’ skill sets.
Furthermore, three-quarters of adults surveyed say that over the course of a year, they engaged in some form of learning that involved hobbies, health, interests, and the like (aka “personal learners”). Clearly, the majority of adults seek the means of building on their knowledge and improving their education.
When it comes to professional learners, the stakes are a bit higher, because those new skills and continuing education could be the deciding factor in that promotion or job change. That’s why professional learners need to make sure that the education they receive is second to none.
Fortunately, Simplilearn provides all of those elements a professional learner needs for success. Simplilearn offers a total blended learning solution in 14 categories, using content vetted and taught by industry experts. Rather than doing acceptable work on a large number of subjects, Simplilearn prefers to do an excellent job on a tighter group of subjects, preferring a laser-like focus in order to impart the most knowledge to their students.
Check out Simplilearn and learn how you can master the skills needed to succeed in today’s digital economy.