Blended Learning Techniques for Community Colleges

While face-to-face learning will remain a powerful learning and teaching method, blended learning will provide a more robust student learning experience, directly impacting learning outcomes and retention rates.

Making learning content more dynamic and accessible to all students can lead to better learning outcomes and retention. Using a blended learning method can meet the unique learning needs of each student. Learning has never been one-size-fits-all, and digital content and blended learning techniques provide more affordances regardless of time, place, and learning needs.

Keep reading for more strategies and tips on utilizing blending learning techniques in and out of the classroom.

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The Rising Cost of Textbooks Can Heavily Impact Students

Students at two-year colleges spent the most on textbooks — an average of $1420 per year — compared to students at private four-year colleges, who paid $1220 per year on books.

In 2020, 25% of students worked extra hours to pay for their books and materials.

11% of students skipped meals to afford books and course materials.

In 2020, 19% of students indicated the cost of materials and books directly influenced their decision on what classes to take.

As Costs Rise, Enrollment Falls

As the overall cost of a degree rises, it’s no coincidence some students are forgoing higher education altogether. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, US colleges and universities experienced their largest year-over-year drop in student enrollment in a decade as of Spring 2021.

Overall, enrollment declined by a staggering 3.5%. But the decline was much sharper for community colleges — with enrollment falling by 9.5%.

The cost of course content coupled with falling enrollment and retention rates means that colleges and universities must explore more accessibility avenues to retain students and lower the educational cost barrier.

Learning Enablement: A New Approach

Learning Enablement offers a refreshing, unique approach to learning, focusing on ensuring that all faculty and students receive consistent and systematic access to the right learning content at each stage of learning to increase student learning outcomes and retention.

Leveraging digital content management, automation, and analytics, Learning Enablement creates more efficient, effective, and equitable student learning, better student experiences, and improved learning outcomes.

Did You Know?

The price of textbooks increases by an average of 12% with each new edition.

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What Is Blended Learning?

Blended learning integrates technology into education. Before the digital age and the advent of online learning, students only learned with an instructor inside the classroom. However, blended learning adds online courses or digital media into programs.

Photo of a college student on a video call with a professor while sitting at a desk
Photo of a tablet with data on it next to a mug of coffee

How Does Blended Learning Use Digital Content?

With a blended approach to learning, digital content is delivered through platforms, sometimes utilizing interactive features such as quizzes, discussion panels, and video.

This allows students to learn outside of the classroom, making courses accessible to students who might have full-time jobs or other obligations during “normal” class hours.

How Does Learning Enablement Support a Blended Learning Environment?

By Leveraging Technology and Data

Blended learning or hybrid learning approaches to education are on the rise and here to stay. Learning Enablement can help make these programs more effective and more efficient by leveraging technology and data to the advantage of students and teachers.

With Savings for Students

Learning Enablement platforms like BibliU remove barriers for students they might otherwise be facing with traditional physical textbook programs.

Not only can students save money on purchasing the books they need for class, but they’re also able to access those titles on any device, from laptops to their mobile devices.

Through Day-One Access

When students can access the textbooks and course materials they need from day one, they aren’t at risk of falling behind their peers and can find much more academic success. Plus, courses and overall learning programs can be much more effective when students can take advantage of the engaging features Learning Enablement platforms offer.

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3 Effective Approaches for Blended Learning Programs

Engage Students With Digital Tools

Student engagement is a valuable insight for academics, and encouraging it can be difficult if you don’t have the proper resources. This is where technology and digital learning platforms can fill in the gaps for academics.

Platforms like BibliU have robust features that are designed to foster more active engagement and learning for students, like in-book quizzes, discussions, and analytics. These tools and features allow academics to evaluate how students interact with and understand the material before important exams. In fact, integrating technology into the classroom can create a more student-focused environment for learning and positively impact academic success and learner satisfaction.

College student working with a tablet at her desk
Professor speaking with a student over a conference video call

Use Data to Gauge Student Understanding

Grades aren't enough to gauge student understanding of course material. When using a Learning Enablement platform like BibliU, academics can dive into comprehensive analytics to evaluate student understanding. With Learning Enablement platforms, usage analytics are available by student and are broken down by time spent reading, the number of visits, average reading session duration, and the number of student interface features used.

Additionally, academics can evaluate content analytics by book, segmented by time spent reading, reading per user, number of reading sessions, number of users accessing the content, and number of student interface features used. These insights can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of materials, gauge students’ understanding of course content, and boost student engagement.

Shape Catalogues Around Usage

Understanding which titles are a top priority for academics and students is key to creating a scalable digital content strategy. Consult reading lists, library records, and academics to help determine which titles you should prioritize digitally. Core classes and courses with higher student enrollments often have the highest textbook usage, so consider starting the process with titles from those courses.

When your catalog reflects what students are actually reading and using, it becomes much easier to manage. And if you should need a title, using a digital platform with purchasing automation allows for instant procurement and deployment. There’s no hassle around purchasing and shipping when all of your titles are digitally delivered.

Professor sitting at desk working on a laptop

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “blended learning” mean?

Blended learning combines in-person classes with technology. Blended learning platforms leverage technology to offer digital courses to students, sometimes using video and other interactive elements for teaching curriculum.

What are the different types of blended learning?

There are seven types of blended learning: station rotation, lab rotation, individual rotation, flipped classroom, flex, a la carte, and enriched visual.

How do Learning Enablement platforms work for blended learning in community colleges?

Learning Enablement platforms are beneficial for both students and their instructors. For students, these platforms offer a more engaging experience. While for academics, Learning Enablement platforms provide analytics and data to track how study habits at individual and cohort levels.

How does Learning Enablement help students in blended learning programs?

Learning Enablement helps students access their course content regardless of the device they’re using or where they are. In essence, these platforms turn any location into a classroom so that students can study without limitations.

How does BibliU help community college programs?

As a Learning Enablement platform, BibliU has two significant benefits for community colleges at large. Our platform helps students succeed, which in turn helps retention rates and graduation rates. BibliU’s unique automation features and pricing also helps save time and money — two very valuable resources for institutions.

Still have questions about BibliU? Send us a message and our team will be happy to help you!

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Learning Enablement and Community Colleges

Learning Enablement can benefit not only students but also community colleges at large. Student success is a crucial metric for graduation rates, retention, and enrollment. When students can succeed, everyone benefits.

Platforms like BibliU are designed to meet students’ needs to excel in and outside of the classroom. By employing features such as in-book quizzes and discussions, along with robust accessibility features, students can learn at their own pace. And with holistic dashboards for performance and content usage, academics can pinpoint how students understand concepts and material and intervene when necessary — and before major exams.

Group of students sitting at a table studying with laptops and notebooks

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Programs More Effective

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