How to design a solid and relevant Blended Learning? How to combine distance and face-to-face learning to obtain an optimised training system? The answers can be found in this podcast.
Blended learning is a format that is on the rise. But why? Perhaps simply because this format seeks to combine the best of the distant on the one hand and the best of the face-to-face on the other.
This virtuous association is very popular with companies. They are reassured by the pedagogical virtues of face-to-face teaching,
which does not seem to be seriously challenged at the moment, but also by the openings offered by distance learning, particularly in terms of cost optimisation and ease of logistical organisation of training.
However, it is not always easy to properly evaluate the quality of a Blended Learning. Therefore, I suggest that you look together at the three key points that will enable you to assess its validity, solidity and relevance.
First key point: the coherence of the blended learning system
It is of capital importance that face-to-face and distance learning are perfectly articulated to ensure a harmonious pedagogical continuity of the entire training system. The participants must have the impression of being involved in one and the same system and not of following two distinct training courses: one at a distance, the other in person.
A good technique to achieve this is to consider the classroom part as the heart of the system. And therefore, to entrust the online part with the role of complementing or enriching it.
In this way, the Blended Learning in which the participants use videoconferencing or virtual classes to review the practical application of the knowledge acquired during the face-to-face sessions will be validated as coherent. Or again, one in which they will be invited to carry out research on the Internet, the results of which will be used in the classroom.
In either case, it is e-learning that is at the service of face-to-face teaching and not the other way round.
Second key point: complementarity within the blended learning system itself
Presential and distant do not have the same pedagogical facilities. It is therefore important to take into account the characteristics of both when building Blended Learning.
Thus e-learning is interesting for the richness that it offers in the mediatization of the content of a training course but also because it gives access to the immense mass of information contained on the Internet.
On the other hand, it will be easier to initiate and maintain a group dynamic during classroom training. Likewise, it is much more adapted to address complex or even difficult points of the training.
E-learning will therefore be designed either in short, animated sequences, to raise awareness of a given theme, for example, or to provide an update after the training, or for research or information gathering.
Always prepare, for example, the theme that will be discussed in the classroom. The latter will be particularly responsible for activities based on interaction between participants (practical exercises, brainstorming and others) as well as dealing with the most difficult points of the training.
Third key point: the commitment of those involved in training
Participants, but also trainers, must be placed at the heart of the pedagogical concern when building Blended Learning.
For the participants, it will be a question of locking in their commitment to follow the training in all its components. The structure of the system must therefore be clearly explained to them. They must grasp the respective interests of distance and face-to-face learning, but also their complementary pedagogical aspects.
As for the trainers, it is essential that they adapt their animation techniques according to whether the part of the training takes place in the classroom or online. For the latter, for example, they will adopt a stance anchored on the helping relationship, better able to accompany the participants in the apprehension of the mediatized content, i.e. put online.
Finally, the trainers will ensure that they systematically rely on face-to-face training in the online part of the training and vice versa. The unity of the system will thus be reinforced in the minds of the participants.
Consistency, complementarity and commitment of the training actors will therefore give your Blended Learning a real pedagogical effectiveness and will above all constitute excellent criteria for evaluating the quality of your system.
- Blended Learning must be consistent. To achieve this, e-learning is made available to the classroom by supporting it with theoretical lessons.
- Presential and distant must complement each other.
- There is no good Blended Learning training without commitment from its actors. Both participants and trainers have to be involved and take into consideration both components of the training.