Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blended Learning Is a Natural Fit in IT

Blended learning—the learning that happens through a combination of instructional methods—has a natural home in information technology. For example, instead of relying solely on the traditional approach of a teacher standing in front of a class and lecturing, IT training—including the new LabSim A+—incorporates computer-mediated instruction with face-to-face instruction.

While IT learners frequently seek instructor-led training, they utilize self-study materials just as often. The wealth of information available online and in print, videos, and even practice tests makes it possible for IT learners to gain valuable knowledge from many sources. Additionally, the dimension of knowledge gained through hands-on experience is invaluable in IT; practicing or experimenting with real equipment is an irreplaceable learning tool.

All of these learning methods contribute to IT learners’ training and overall preparation for the workplace. Vincent Lowe and Avis Beiden, in Converge Magazine, wrote that “true learning is realistic, applied, collaborative, and multi-sensory.” They suggested further:

“True learning is achieved by providing a realistic context . . . and opportunities to collaboratively explore, investigate and challenge new concepts. This must be supported by a variety of experiences: visual diagrams and demonstrations, printed explanations, interactive discussions and hands-on application.”

The new LabSim A+ certification training courses are an example of an effective blended learning solution for IT learners, and when coupled with a teacher’s own instruction, LabSim A+ is a fierce tool for IT training. The virtual labs—all new and created for the most realistic learning experiences—combine hardware and software tasks in each lab. Videos, written lessons, and practice exams round out the training experience and contribute to what Lowe and Beiden call “true learning.”

Have you ordered your new LabSim A+ courses? If you’re still wondering, give us a call and learn about evaluating the A+ courses for free at your institution.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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