Benefits of Blended Learning at Ruby
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Ruby converted campus classes to online ones. Even though the online classes were necessary and convenient, it is undeniable that we did lose some of the value of the traditional campus-based classes. The combination of both campus and online components is called blended delivery. This form of delivery has advantages of both campus and online training.
Students have their own login and can access the learning material anytime on their computer or smartphone. Unit PowerPoint sessions, homework guidelines, Assessment Booklets, and various templates and support documents are all available online. Students can submit their assessment easily through the platform without the need for printing. Actually, the blended delivery with the learning management system aNewSpring presents the opportunity to significantly reduce the need for any printing as well as the opportunity to check and download material when convenient.
Since students have access to the learning material anytime, they can self-pace their studies outside of normal lecture hours. They are no longer restricted to learning in the classroom or with limited homework activities, even though regular campus classroom attendance is still required to ensure proper completion of some learning tasks. These tasks include role plays, presentations, classroom exercises, and some workshops. However, students can now study much of the material from almost anywhere at any time, at their convenience. This could even be studying in a park on a sunny day!
Ease of Communication
Students can send private messages to their trainer directly at any time on the learning management system aNewSpring. They can also communicate with other students taking the same units or comment on unit material. During the length of registration, communications and notes are kept in the system for easy retrieval if required.
While we get all the benefits from online access, with blended delivery we also take advantage of more traditional learning styles relying on direct communication and campus class dynamics.
Actual physical human connections facilitate teamwork and direct communication in the classroom supports dialog with the trainer and other students. Experience tells us that students tend to engage more in certain activities, such as role plays, when they are in a physical classroom. Furthermore, most student have told us that they look forward to attending classes on campus after studying purely online for an entire year.
Sometimes students find it challenging to understand the content through online learning material alone, even with the addition of video calls. Face-to face classes on campus can cover what is missing from purely remote learning. The trainer is also able to provide more individual support to each student. Student feedback indicates that physical classes help, especially with the preparation of assessments.
All things considered, blended teaching and learning provides benefits from both online access and physical classroom activities. At Ruby, we are convinced that blended delivery is the teaching method of the future, one that will better support the needs of both students and staff. It offers unique opportunities to increase participation, collaboration, teamwork, and success.Therefore, bar any future lockdown, Ruby will use blended delivery until further notice. We look forward to your feedback as we hope to further develop our platform and delivery as part of our continuous improvement program.