Is online learning as good, better, or worse than a blended learning model?

Feras Al-Saab
May 8 · 7 min read
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The surprising effects and advantages of a fully online vs a blended learning model and how we’ve tackled class communication, engagement and community since going fully online

It’s now been more than a month since we took our coding bootcamps fully online due to Covid-19. We have been pretty confident in how we run our bootcamps in normal circumstances and why a mix of online and offline learning is the exact thing we needed to achieve the high retention and satisfaction rates we normally have.

Less friction

There are several reasons for the positive results and it has a lot to do with friction. In the blended model, the students work on multiple platforms and in multiple settings and they tend to experience that in different ways.

Three areas of focus

However, it is key to mention that you can’t just take a course, put it online, and then everything suddenly works better. There are different approaches for both the online and blended learning models. But between the two, the teaching is fundamentally different. It is a shift in the way we do things and requires new skills.

  • Visual Studio Live CodeShare — for parallel programming and code along.
  • Github — for assignment submissions and code reviews.
  • Calendly — an appointment booking platform that allows the fellows to book time with trainers directly into their calendars.
  • Notion — Re:Coded trainers and program team members will use the company’s all-in-one workspace and team management platform.
  • Slack — for out of class communication.
  • Google Calendar — for time management.
  • Google Gmail — well, you know… emails.

The teaching itself

So we’ve discussed the main three main areas of focus for online programs. But how has the teaching process changed? How has the training team adapted to the new reality?

Final thoughts

Change management is difficult, but we’re forced to do it now, so it has also given us an opportunity to try out a lot of ideas we have had over the years that were just waiting for the right time. We have implemented what works and we’ve added our own ideas from different bootcamps. A lot of what we’re doing has been tried before, but we’ve now been able to put all these ideas to work at the same time.


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