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In 2005, Carpe Diem High School in Yuma, Arizona opened as a public charter to test out a new learning concept on grades 6-12. Carpe Diem is a blended learning school that aims to leverage technology, as well as instructor led training, to get students excited about learning and excelling in education.
Within five years of program launch, Carpe Diem boasted some of the highest math and reading scores in the nation. While this was not technically the first instance of blended learning in a classroom setting, the program proved the learning model was sound.
Blended learning is an educational tool that combines traditional classroom instruction with online technologies to enhance the learning experience. There are numerous ways for businesses to implement this concept into their curriculum with varying levels of interaction between the student and the instructor. Some blended learning solutions and programs deliver 100% virtual learning with an on-site instructor available to answer questions, while others simply use digital mediums within the classroom to augment learning. There are also numerous levels in-between, such as-
Rotational Learning- Over the course of a semester, students alternate between traditional and online classrooms to gain a broader exposure of the subject matter.
Flex Learning- While students receive most of their instruction over an online platform, they can also opt to receive one on one or group instruction as needed.
Self-Blended Learning- Students receive traditional, in-house training with the option of accessing online courses for additional exposure.
Proponents of blended learning are quick to point out that in almost every study, both knowledge retention and test results increase exponentially among students. Reason being, blended learning gives learners the opportunity to explore and absorb information in a variety of mediums and styles. Also, with an increasing number of millennials entering the workforce who have been “plugged in” their entire life, blended learning makes sense. Allowing learners to explore information on their own, as well as interacting with an instructor, gives way to an environment that caters to the needs of today’s audience.
Additionally, blended learning tends to increase student interest. By making the learning opportunities fun and engaging, it takes away much of the pressure that some students feel inside traditional classrooms. Also, to aid in curriculum/program molding for success; Learning Management Systems give instructors access to a tremendous amount of metrics to track progress levels and make changes when necessary. Students can even give direct feedback in real time, especially since an instructor is present.
Corporations are quickly realizing the immense possibilities of blended learning within the workplace as well. Instead of focusing just on a traditional classroom setting, businesses are able to train employees within the workplace on very flexible schedules. Employees can also be granted access to complete portions of the training on their own time as well, which leads to numerous time and cost-saving benefits for everyone involved. More importantly, the learning retention increases dramatically because the employees are much more engaged.
At Designing Digitally, Inc., our learning solutions can be designed to complement your current training programs. By working with your facilitator, we are able to develop world-class learning tools that accelerate the learning process and keep employees motivated. Feel free to contact us for a no-obligation quote on meeting your exact training needs.