In a blended learning environment, you get the best of two worlds. This method of learning takes the best out of traditional learning in a classroom and a more sophisticated learning experience online. The great thing about this is it improves the engagement of the learners through the various tools made accessible online. It also retains the personal interaction and social learning that happens within a brick and mortar classroom.
Both of these elements make the learning process more valuable and memorable – which makes the course highly effective. It allows the students to feel more empowered and that makes them a great recipient of knowledge.
Although it is a great method to use, there are certain pitfalls that you need to avoid when you try to use it. This is especially true when you are transitioning from a pure traditional classroom setting into a hybrid learning environment.
To help with this transition, here are 4 mistakes that you need to avoid while creating blended learning courses.
- Failing to edit existing content. In most cases, those who transition into hybrid learning use existing content that they have. That is okay. In fact, this is the smart way to make the transition cost-efficient. You can reuse materials but make sure that everything will be edited. Although you do not have to completely change your content, it is important for you to see if the existing content fits well in an online environment. It is not enough to take parts of the course and blindly convert them online. There are areas best left inside the classroom and there are those that are better accomplished online. Make the distinction before you convert it. This will help you make the flow go smoothly even as you switch from offline to online versions of the course.
- Using only one platform. The great thing about blended learning is getting a lot of varieties. You need to take advantage of the flexibility that this type of learning can bring. For instance, you can use multimedia while in a traditional classroom setting. And instead of making them sit in group discussions, you can assign that as a homework that they can accomplish online. You can also switch the use of devices between a desktop, smartphone, tablet or laptop. This will break the monotonous feel in learning and make it more engaging, interactive and fun for the learners.
- Limiting both online and offline learning. There is no rule about how much of the course should be done online and offline. You do not have to make it equal. If you feel like most of the learning is more efficient online, then convert your content to suit that platform and do most of the lessons via the Internet. If you think that most of the learning should be done face-to-face, then minimize the online segments in the course.
- Assuming that everyone learns at the same pace. Finally, the last mistake that you can commit in a blended learning environment is assuming that all your learners have the same pace. This is especially true if you created a course that will switch from online to offline several times. Make sure you assess the learners to ensure that they are ready before you make the conversion. That way, you are sure that all of them are 100% engaged after the transition. This will help you ready the tools and select the right materials that will give a great learning experience regardless of the differences among the participants.
These 4 mistakes could compromise the effectiveness of your blended learning course so make sure that you consider your options carefully.
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