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Blended, online and in-person learning: What's the difference?


In a world still coming to terms with Covid-19, current and aspiring international students have shown a willingness to adapt and chase their study goals.

With limited air travel and Covid cases rising in some nations, institutions have responded quickly to allay fears and uncertainty. In fact, technology has been used as a means to bridge the physical void caused by border closures and the reduced capacity to travel.

Concepts like blended learning - essentially a mix of online and face-to-face learning-have been introduced by multiple institutions and it's proven to be a unique solution.

However, some students may be confused with various study terms-blended learning, face-to-face teaching and online learning. So, which is what? 

To that, we've broken them down for you.

Online learning

Online learning is all about relying on the internet to gain and pick up knowledge. There is no face-to-face interaction and all lessons, tutorials and materials, among others, are communicated and given through virtual platforms.

Full online learning does not require students to be present at university premises, and if it's an overseas institution, you are not required to travel to the country. You'll sill be getting your degree or certificate, just not the experience that comes with studying and living abroad.

As with anything you'll find online, due diligence or research has to be made for the course that you're interested in. For example, it is important to check if the online course is accredited and if the curriculum as well as eventual certificate is legitimate.

Of course, not all courses are available for online learning, such as the likes of medicine and science programs that require laboratory work.

Face-to-face learning

As the name suggests, face-to-face learning involves the in-person interaction between student and teacher, for example, within a lecture theatre.

This form of information and knowledge exchange has, in a traditional sense, been the norm throughout one's education journey. While technology can also be used to facilitate face-to-face learning, the core feature has always been the in-person, tangible interaction between students and their lecturers.

The emergence of Covid-19 has posed a challenge to such a physical exchange, requiring an effective solution to help students continue their learning-which in this case, brings us back to the concept to blended learning.

Blended learning

In short, blended learning is a mix of both online and face-to-face learning, now offered by multiple institutions across the likes of Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

The UK even offers other benefits for international students, such as the two-year Graduate Route(or students who graduate from an approved UK Higher Education provider.

With blended learning, students get to study online in their home country first before flying over to their destination of choice, or get to do both concurrently especially in the UK, Canada, and Ireland, as the borders for these countries are open. This prevents disruption to, among others, one’s current degree program or plans to pursue an overseas degree in the near future.

While institutions may offer its own set of tailored curriculum and regulations surrounding blended learning, the ensuing goal is a common one: To facilitate one’s academic progress while travel restrictions and lockdowns (in varying degrees) are in place.

Some students have voiced concerns about the online learning portion of blended learning, for example, if there would be a distinct shift in quality - but we’ve helped debunked these myths

In fact IDP's counsellors are also on hand to answer any questions that you may have regarding blended learning and how you can gain an overseas degree during the pandemic.

Chart your next adventure with us

If you're keen to take the next step and apply to an overseas institution, or if you need guidance as to where you should go or what you should do, do have a chat with us.

There's no need to drop your dreams or study goals during this pandemic.

Instead, we'll help you fulfil them.

Uncover your next overseas adventure from the comfort of your own home. Simply register for our Study Abroad Virtual Fair and get to speak with institution representatives.Happening on Friday & Saturday,15th & 16th October (2pm - 7pm) - UNITED KINGDOM and Saturday & Sunday, 23rd & 24th October (12noon - 5pm) - AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

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