Blended learning concepts

What you need to know about blended learning concepts

This time in focus: hybrid learning. We explain what this is all about and what role e-learning plays in blended learning concepts.

Distance learning, homeschooling or open-book exams: Corona has of necessity expanded our vocabulary to include terms from the world of digital learning. Blended learning has also been the talk of the town since the crisis began – and in many curricula. The term means the combination of different teaching/learning settings. We show in the following first section, in which we define blended learning, that this does not necessarily have to be a combination of online and face-to-face units. We then provide examples of possible blended learning concepts and conclude by looking at the role e-learning plays in blended learning concepts.

What is blended learning?

Blended learning can be translated as “hybrid, integrated learning.” As mentioned at the beginning, blended learning combines different teaching/learning settings, methods and media. As a rule, blended learning means the combination of online and face-to-face units. According to this “classic” definition of blended learning, learners develop the learning content both at meetings in the group and within the framework of online units. These online phases can take place synchronously (learners and teachers meet at the same time in a digital space), but also asynchronously (learners work through the content independently and independently of time using e-learning). However, there is also the possibility of implementing blended learning without any attendance phases at all. In this case, blended learning is understood as a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous phases here include video meetings or joint work in online rooms. In the asynchronous phases, learners complete time-independent e-learning units. In the following, however, we will focus on the common blended learning definition, which means the combination of online and face-to-face units.

Blended learning concepts: These options are available

There are several options available for implementing blended learning. Which of these options comes into question in a specific case depends on the target group, its learning objectives and needs. In other words, blended learning concepts and didactic or e-didactic concepts belong together. Every successful teaching/learning offer needs a solid (e-)didactic basis. If you want to convey learning content in a blended learning format, this should already be included in the (e-)didactic concept.
The actual design of blended learning environments can vary widely. Here are a few examples of blended learning concepts:

Blended learning concept 1: Face-to-face and online phases alternate
In this first option, face-to-face and online phases alternate constantly. The digital phases are used, for example, to provide inputs or to teach theoretical basics. These inputs can be synchronous in the context of lectures or online discussions. But asynchronous forms are also conceivable. For example, learners can acquire content independently with the help of e-learning. In this form of blended learning concepts, the attendance phases serve to consolidate knowledge acquired online. This can be done, for example, through discussions or practical exercises.

Blended learning concept 2: Only the prelude takes place in presence
In this case, only the start of the corresponding education or training takes place in presence. All other units take place either synchronously or asynchronously in the digital space. Opening sessions are usually used to allow the group to get to know each other, to clarify open questions and to give learners a preview of the following content.

Blended learning concept 3: Milestones take place in presence
In this form of blended learning concepts, knowledge transfer takes place exclusively within the framework of online units. The verification or demonstration of the knowledge then takes place in presence. Learners come together on regular dates where they must take tests or prove what they have learned in the form of a presentation.

As you can see, there are many ways to implement blended learning concepts. And that’s a good thing – after all, learners and learning content are also extremely diverse. Blended learning concepts offer the necessary flexibility to meet these needs accurately. Let’s now conclude by looking at the benefits that blended learning concepts bring and how e-learning and blended learning interact in this regard.

Blended learning concepts and e-learning

Blended learning combines the best of both worlds: Face-to-face phases enable personal exchange as well as group formation and ensure that learners are engaged and do not disappear into the digital shallows. Online phases give learners the opportunity to engage with content independent of time and location and to learn at their individual pace. It is in these online units that e-learning plays a central role. If blended learning is to be effective, it is not enough to provide only videos or PDF volumes in the digital phases. Successful blended learning concepts rely on well-done e-learning that is worthy of the name. In essence, it is a matter of focusing on the needs of the learners, selecting suitable e-didactic methods and implementing the entire e-learning offering in a technically flawless and up-to-date manner. e-learning advantages such as multimedia and interactivity must also be brought to bear in blended learning concepts if they are to ensure the corresponding learning success.

We would be happy to tell you more about how blended learning concepts with the help of e-learning can guarantee real learning success.