What is Blended Learning?

Young female student working from home on her laptop, smiling

The concept of blended learning has been around for some time. But following the increased proliferation of remote work and study, blended learning has become one of the most effective learning solutions for universities and colleges. 

In a 2021 article by Education Technology, almost 70% of Higher Education providers confirmed they were planning to roll out blended learning solutions in the next year. And this is largely due to students’ increasing demand for this methodology. 

So, with more HE institutions moving towards this approach, what are the key elements that make blended learning so effective? 

In this post, we’ll uncover some of the best reasons to invest in developing a blended learning model. But with distanced learning being more common, Higher Education institutions must tread a fine line between delivering online learning and blending it with classroom instruction or face-to-face teaching. 

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning combines online and digital learning with traditional face-to-face instruction to provide an integrated form of learning. By taking a holistic approach, blended learning offers the flexibility to reach students in the places they study and at the times they need them.  

Sometimes referred to as hybrid learning, blended learning facilitates an integrated approach to both digital and classroom learning. But it is different from hybrid learning in the sense of its interdependence on a variety of methods to achieve its outcomes.  

Blended learning consists of three components:

  1. Face-to-face learning in the classroom facilitated by an instructor
  2. Digital learning, either online or via VLE
  3. Independent study guided by instructors

And it’s not only popular with students. Blended learning is also rated as effective by a large majority of educators.

The Difference Between Online Learning and Blended Learning

Online learning and blended learning are both popular ways for students to engage in remote education. But the key difference is that blended learning integrates online learning with traditional face-to-face instruction. 

And while online learning is only available online and accessed via the internet, it usually features a comprehensive set of self-serving learning tools. In other words, you won’t need any extra instruction and students can work on their own terms. 

Blended learning, on the other hand, makes use of online and digital learning but does depend on traditional face-to-face classes to be effective. In general, blended learning enables students to give and receive feedback. And through their independent learning, they can analyse or review what they’ve learnt.

What are the Benefits of Blended Learning?

There are many benefits to this method of learning. Here are a few handpicked selections from us:

Boosts retention and increases participation

Several studies show that introducing blended learning to HE courses improved retention and attainment. But blended learning will also improve class attendance and exam performance. In general, students want to work with this structure due to its flexible and supportive approach.

Empowers students and enables self-direction

Blended learning is popular with students for several reasons. 

First of all, it provides students with a sense of empowerment and self-direction. They get to have some degree of autonomy and work in ways that suit them. 

But also, in a report produced by eLearning Industry, over half of surveyed teachers reported better academic performance from their students after using blended learning models. 

Plus, over 70% of educators reported better levels of student engagement. 

So it has benefits both for students and instructors.

Great for accessibility and inclusion

When students engage with blended learning, they get to interact with a range of tools and formats. And this is beneficial for students with varying accessibility needs. As an accessibility tool, Caption.Ed is the perfect example of boosting accessibility and engagement through blended learning. By enabling real-time live captioning, Caption.Ed can increase students’ access to both in-person and online lectures. And this makes it the perfect enhancement to any blended learning solutions.

Boosts digital literacy

Digital literacy is a critical area of learning that students can develop through the use of blended learning models. The ability to navigate a variety of digital tools, apps and software is a critical component of effective team work and workplace communication. And so working with digital tools in both physical and online environments will enhance digital literacy and better prepares students for the working world.

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Examples of Blended Learning

Higher education providers deploy a range of different blended learning models to suit students’ needs and adapt to their preferences. But since Caption.Ed is platform agnostic, it works across every possible method of learning that students use.

From VLEs to Zoom, from YouTube to Google Meet, Caption.Ed plugs into every learning format. And this prevents students from having to switch between platforms or struggle with any in-built captioning. So, if you’re considering introducing Caption.Ed via your LMS, let us explain a few of the traditional frameworks you may like to consider:

Face-to-Face Driver

Traditional face-to-face classroom learning is the primary driver for this model, with online learning supporting its delivery. This model adapts to students’ learning needs and can benefit both high and low-performing students.  

Online Driver

This model relies entirely on online learning, without any face-to-face instruction. But students must make time to check-in with their tutors. And, since it’s all completed online, students must also have good levels of digital literacy.

And this is where Caption.Ed can help them. It enables students to engage with live captioning, transcriptioning and gives them the chance to take notes in real-time. And with regular use of the tool, students will speed up their digital proficiency.


Self-blend gives students a sense of autonomy over their learning. They need to engage in a blend of face-to-face and online courses, but can supplement these with extra courses found outside the standard learning programme. Self-blended learning is more immersive and engaging.


The flex model is popular for blended learning because all learning happens online. Teachers act as facilitators, providing instructional support. Most flex models have regular online instructional support from teachers which can vary depending on the needs of students.


This is a similar model to traditional rotation teaching. Instead, students get set times to log in for facetime support or online learning. And they’ll rotate between teacher instruction and online learning according to their set schedules. Other scheduled modalities may include group discussions or specific assignments.

Online lab

Online lab will support students who travel or have other commitments that prevent them from attending scheduled classes. It’s distanced learning delivered remotely, online. And the Online lab model doesn’t need teachers or instructors but does need supervisors to log-in and check how students are progressing.

Book a Demo With the Team Today

Caption.Ed is a dynamic tool that’s perfect for enhancing all aspects of blended learning. By supporting students with captions both during in-person lectures and as part of their online or VLE study, Caption.Ed is an essential aid for learning and exam prep. 

So as you start to plan for implementing the right type of blended learning solution into your college or university, take some time to consider which model could work for you. 

Adding Caption.Ed to your blended learning programme will most certainly increase engagement and support 

To find out more, get in touch with our sales team and book your free demo today.

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