Blended learning Masters degrees are an innovative way of gaining a top-class postgraduate qualification. Emphasising the importance of flexibility, these courses typically combine classroom-based teaching methods with elements of online learning.
Blended learning is an increasingly popular way of studying for a Masters, striking a useful balance between the convenience of an online Masters and the face-to-face benefits of a traditional degree.
What is blended learning?
The use of technology to supplement education is nothing new, but blended learning is a relatively recent phenomenon. Mixing face-to-face tuition with the opportunities afforded by online platforms, blended learning is becoming part of more and more university courses in today’s globalised market.
You might have seen a few different terms used to refer to blended learning models, but they all refer to the same technique: ‘hybrid learning’, ‘flipped classroom’ and ‘mixed-mode instruction’ are a few examples of the terminology.
How does a blended learning Masters work?
What sets a blended learning Masters apart from distance learning or purely online courses is the fact that it gives you the opportunity to meet your tutors and fellow students face-to-face. Often, these meetings aren’t compulsory, but they can be an important part of immersing yourself in the course.
Blended learning Masters attempt to bridge the gap between online and traditional education in a number of ways. These methods differ from course to course, but some of the most popular technology-based ones include:
- Collaborative online forums
- Interactive resources
- Video lectures
- Virtual learning environments
- Web conferencing
Online blended education typically combines these online approaches with occasional face-to-face meetings with academic staff or coursemates.
This might involve an evening seminar every two weeks or a weekend conference once a year, but all such ‘on-campus’ study will be scheduled to make it as accessible as possible for full-time workers or international students. Attendance of these meetings isn’t always a requirement, depending on the course and institution.
What’s the difference between blended learning and distance learning?
There isn’t always a clear distinction between blended learning and distance learning. The concept of blended learning doesn’t have a set definition and, as such, can mean different things to different universities. Some education providers may use the terminology of distance learning to describe elements of a blended learning programme, for example.
However, the main thing that sets the two approaches apart is the ability for students to meet each other and their tutors in person over the course of the programme. This is a unique selling point for most blended learning qualifications, whereas distance learning and 100% online Masters are designed for people that can’t attend the university campus, for whatever reason.