How to Compare University Blended Learning Programs

How to Compare University Blended Learning Programs

 

University blended learning programs are on the rise. High school graduates today are faced with more university options than before. With options like online degrees, traditional universities, and the mixture of the two, there is a lot to consider. Making the right choice for you and your career is important.

Read on to learn how you can make the correct choice!

University blended learning program are quickly becoming more popular for students faced with issues of tuition costs and accessibility. Online degrees and blended learning options for university have become more popular as technology becomes more accessible. Knowing which characteristics to look for can ensure that you are a successful online learner.

Many traditional universities are now offering what are called blended learning programs. Blended learning programs can refer to any type of learning program where the classroom uses a mixture of technology and traditional teaching methods, both in-person and remotely.

Thanks to blended learning, attending university has become easier and more affordable for all types of students.

Online Degrees vs. Traditional University Blended Learning Programs

Nowadays the options of where to go and study are endless. One question that may arise when looking at universities is the choice of online degrees or going to a traditional university that offers blended learning programs.

While both have positives and negatives, it depends on your learning style and priorities in education. If you want to learn a little more about online degrees you can check out this awesome resource!

It is best to speak to a school guidance counselor and ask them for advice on your career path. But understanding the difference between the two is the first step in the process.

Online Degrees

An online degree refers to a degree that is usually obtained fully online, though sometimes you can find some online schools that incorporate some hands-on activities. Online programs that use live sessions are called synchronous and programs that use non-live sessions are called asynchronous. You can learn more about synchronous and asynchronous learning here and here!

Sometimes you can even work in virtual workgroups and use online assignments. While other times you may simply watch prerecorded videos and do the required homework.

However, it is good to be cautious when choosing an online program. Sometimes schools are not accredited and give degrees just by paying a certain price! Because of this, online degrees do not have a good reputation. But if you are diligent in your research, they can be just as valuable as a traditional degree.

Traditional University Blended Learning Program

Traditional university refers to in-person strategies of learning. Today many of these traditional universities offer an option for online study. Most importantly, these universities are beginning to incorporate successful blended learning programs.

Many universities use what is called a flipped classroom. A flipped classroom is when a student is introduced to learning materials at home then come to class only for practice with support from a professor or peers. This causes a reversal of roles where learning is more reliant on the student.

Many elements of a blended learning program can be like that of an online degree. The biggest difference is the added element of face-to-face lectures or projects as well as you have campus options. This means you can live on campus or live remotely and study with the university.

University Blended Learning - Flipped Classroom

How to Identify a Good University Blended Learning Program

If you decided that a blended learning program at a university is best for you. It is important to know how to make the best choice. With so many options from prestigious universities to local universities, it can be complicated. However, here are some things to consider when making a choice:

Variety of Technology

When choosing a program, ask the university what kind of technology and software they use. Of course, you would not want to choose a school that does not even have computers! Research schools that offer details about their partners, technology, and software.

Schools that use things like interactive whiteboards and tablets tend to have broader options for programs and degrees. Collaboration software and virtual classrooms are easily used and accessed using these products. Making sure your school takes advantage of these is key for hands-on learning.

Maintenance of Technology

Check for maintenance of the technology. Do not choose a program that still runs on Windows 95. If your program uses outdated software and technology, you can assume that it is not a great program. Using new and up-to-date software and technology ensures that you do not face technical difficulties or lost work during your degree.

Schools with up-to-date programs can also signify that they are well-respected. It also means you are more likely to have this software or technologies provided in your tuition. Some schools will provide students with laptops or tablets as needed.

University Blended Learning - Tech Your Classroom Needs

Comparing Costs for University Blended Learning Programs

For many students, the cost is a large burden. University can be expensive and because of this, some turn to online degrees for cheaper options. Universities vary, so it is important to set up your budget. Typically, online degrees are the cheapest while blended learning programs at traditional universities tend to be cheaper from the standard tuition. But some universities may charge you full tuition even for blended learning.

Always check tuition estimations and work with your high school and university for scholarships and work-study information as that can help relieve price grievances.

Education Data provides a basic breakdown of cost for traditional university. You can use it to help decide which is best for you.

Final Suggestions for University Blended Learning Programs

It is important to remember that each university is different. Even two universities in the same town can have two completely different curricula and strategies. To help you make the best choice, try writing down everything you want in university and work from there.

Also, look for groups online for your university and ask them how they feel about the program they are enrolled in. Thanks to blended learning, connecting with alumni and current students is even easier than before.

If you would like more information on why distance learning is becoming so popular and may be the best fit for you, check out our piece on What is Distance Learning? And Why Is It So Important?