Blended learning means learning by combining various activities. The result is a more effective learning process with a higher learning outcome. Consider, for example, the design of a learning journey with both online and offline activities. In addition, you can also use various learning methods within an online training. This is how the platform of aNewSpring offers various possibilities to achieve blended learning. See some examples below.
1. Learning from and with each other
In aNewSpring, you can use social learning. According to the 70-20-10 rule, people usually learn 70% from job-related practice, 20% from and with each other or through social learning, and 10% through formal training. Social learning is, therefore, an important and effective part of the learning process. What have you learned from others in the past?
The connection between and with people is therefore important. When your participants start in aNewSpring, you immediately start using a form of social learning. Have them fill in their personal profile straightaway and make it visible to others. As a result, participants are already getting to know each other online. As a instructor, open a discussion on the forum and ask participants about their learning objectives and their needs. Ask what contribution others can make and use that to form buddies – you connect people to each other based on their learning needs. This means that you can get started faster and more effectively during a physical meeting.
2. Interaction and multimedia
Online learning is more effective when the environment and the content are attractive. The content becomes more attractive if it is presented in a challenging and varied manner. aNewSpring offers a number of good options. You can, for example, give every blended training or course its own look and feel, so that the material looks recognisable and attractive. Use images and embed video’s directly from Vimeo and YouTube. If you have videos yourself, you can also host them in aNewSpring. This stimulates the senses of your participants in different ways. A learning process works better if you also offer the material visually. For some people, images are easier to process than texts.
With regards to the interaction, alternate texts or videos with questions based on knowledge. Various types of questions can be offered on the platform. Think of multiple-choice questions (one correct answer) or multiple response questions (multiple correct answers). These types of questions are known to your participants and therefore require little effort, apart from answering of course. In addition, there are also a number of creative question types, for example questions where a correct word has to be written down, or where pieces of text or images have to be dragged to the right place. Through this, the participant is stimulated and starts working with the offered material in a different way. Experiment with creating different types of questions and ask participants about their experiences so that you can continue to improve the training.
3. Reflection and practice
On the one hand, you want participants to boost their knowledge level with an online learning journey. On the other hand, you also want the knowledge to be applied in practice. It is then important to make use of practical situations and of reflection. In order to do this, you need to be familiar with the daily practice of your participants. Present a specific situation and ask them to answer through an open question or add a multiple-choice question without a correct/incorrect answer.
Do you want to do even more with reflection type content? Then use hand-in assignments. You can, for example, prepare a format in Word including questions about the practical assignments. Ask your participant to experiment with new behaviour in practice and use the format to let them write a report on their experiences. They can upload this format and you can make it visible to only the instructor, or also to the other participants. If you give the other participants the assignment to review the input of others and to give feedback, then you have immediately formulated a good social assignment.
You can even go one step further and ask participants to record a video with a report of their experiences. You can do this by using the video hand-in assignment. This functionality offers various ways to use online learning and blended learning effectively. Have the participants record a video by using the camera on their telephone or laptop. This video can only be viewed by the instructor or by other participants. This gives your participants a personal assignment that really stimulates the brain.
Social learning, interaction, the use of multimedia, and reflection are various methods to turn an online learning journey into an effective process. As a result, you make use of different learning methods that put your brain to work and stimulate the senses of the participants. This is what you want to achieve with blended learning. Get started with the platform and practice with these different learning methodes. Your participants can tell you how they experience these and what works well, and this way you can get on your way to an optimal way of learning.