Blended learning is, simply put, the combination of at least two different methods of approaching learning.
This means that sometimes the physical presence of both learners and instructor is required, but in other instances, learners themselves have control over when, where, and with what speed they approach the materials. It can also mean that sometimes learning is done by reading a book, while group discussions, simulations, or mentoring are the suitable method at other times.
Blended learning is not one fixed method – it simply alludes to the presence of more than one method. Incorporating blended learning can take a variety of shapes. At Inchainge, we take all advantage of all possibilities!
Hard skills are usually focus on the learning of concrete facts, formulas, and concepts. When approaching a new topic or skill, learning hard skills often forms the basis of the education, as it provides the learner with a basic understanding. Soft skills often allude to a more experiential approach to learning, where earlier learned facts and formulas are applied.
Offline education is still the standard method of teaching, where the instructor leads traditional classroom sessions. However, nowadays, these standard classroom sessions are increasingly enhanced by digital tools. In some cases, online exclusive learning is the most favorable method, as it can save costs and increase accessibility.
While individual learning is a rather straightforward concept, – the learner might have an instructor but completes all tasks on his or her own – group learning can take a variety of forms. For example, group learning can be facilitated in the form of teamwork, where a group works together on one task. It can also take the shape of peer-to-peer learning, where a group works together on different tasks, with everyone learning from each other. It can even occur in the form of mentoring, where an experienced learner works together with a novice learner.
Synchronous learning is learning that happens at the same time for the instructor and the learners, meaning that there is real-time interaction between them. Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, is learning that does not necessarily happen at the same time for the instructor and the learners - the content is created and made available for use.
In instructor-paced courses, course materials become available at specific times as the course progresses. In contrast, self-paced courses do not set a fixed schedule. All the course materials are available as soon as the course starts, and the learner decides when to approach these.
All forms of learning have their advantages and disadvantages. By using blended learning methods, the best of everything can be adapted to the individual circumstances of the learners. Blended learning also ensures holistic learning – the combination of knowledge and experience, independence and social skills, and adaptability to different methods, are what creates a well-rounded person.
Inchainge’s business simulations facilitate, if not encourage, the use of blended learning methods. While all our simulations can be used in traditional classroom settings, all simulations are web based and can thus be accessed from anywhere at any time, and thus also allow for online-exclusive teaching. Similarly, our simulations can be done alone or as a group, self-paced or guided, asynchronous or synchronous!