If you aren’t familiar with blended learning, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. We’re here to help! Blended learning is a term for an educational model that employs various instructional methods to teach kids, often including traditional classroom settings, independent study courses, virtual learning (also known as online learning), and other, more innovative methods like social/emotional or experiential learning. More and more schools are embracing blended learning because of its effectiveness in helping large populations of students succeed regardless of varying backgrounds, preferred learning styles, or fundamental skill sets or gaps.
Students in blended learning programs typically benefit from the following, compared to students in more traditional education models.
1) Close Attention From Teachers
You might think independent study and virtual classes do not offer the same level of attention as a traditional classroom, but this is not necessarily the case. Students in effective blended learning programs—like Opportunities For Learning—spend more frequent dedicated one-on-one time with their teachers than in traditional education models, receiving individualized instruction and tutoring in subjects in which they struggle. This level of one-on-one support helps students who have fallen behind catch up on credits and graduate with their peers.
2) Personalized Learning
In a blended learning program, class schedules can be tailored to students’ individual strengths and weaknesses. A teacher may elect to assign a small group class to a student who struggles in math and an independent study or online course to a student who excels independently in English. Most blended learning programs also allow students to progress through course material at a speed that best matches their ability and learning style. Rather than moving at the same pace as a large classroom, independent study and virtual learning students are able to spend more time on challenging material while quickly completing coursework in subjects that come more naturally.
3) Flexible Scheduling
Virtual learning and independent study courses often allow students to complete coursework at their own pace and on a schedule that is most convenient for them, ensuring students are able to successfully balance academics with personal and professional responsibilities. Students with full or part-time jobs, those pregnant or parenting, or students pursuing a career in sports or the entertainment industry are all good examples of those who may greatly benefit from OFL’s flexible schedules.
4) Life-Long Skills
OFL’s blended learning program’s absence of a prescribed academic schedule requires students to form their own balance of personal, professional, and academic responsibilities. In particular, virtual and independent study courses can help students learn critical time management and self-organization skills, helping them not only succeed in their current classes, but in college and beyond.
5) Experiential Learning
Experiential learning (EL) is a concept proven to significantly increase higher order thinking skills and socially responsible behavior. EL lessons are designed to engage students in activities that emphasize learning through direct experience outside of the traditional classroom environment, often incorporating cultural immersion and social/emotional learning themes like goal-setting, teamwork, and self-confidence. OFL takes students on unique and once-in-a-lifetime trips to places like an organic farm in northern California, a dude ranch in Colorado, Cuba, Italy, and China, all at no cost to the student or their families.
6) Continuous Enrollment
Many blended learning programs, like OFL, allow students to enroll and begin classes virtually any weekday of the year.
OFL’s blended learning program has a lot to offer students. From one-on-one instruction and personalized learning plans that match your preferred learning style to flexible schedules, graduates of OFL’s blended learning program are prepared for college, career, and personal success.