Learning solutions company, iLearn will be offering the first MICT SETA-approved blended learning learnership this year. Innovatively merging all the advantages of online learning with the tried and tested benefits of classroom learning, the new IT learnership will have learners engaging with the course content online in their own time and with other learners in a structured face-to-face learning environment, guided by expert facilitators.
“We are very excited to be partnering with iLearn in the blended learning space. A MICT SETA-accredited Learnership demonstrates the institution’s commitment to closing the scarce skills gap in the IT-sector by working on and improving demand-driven learning programmes that serve as effective bridges in the working world,” says Charlton Philiso, senior manager: education, training and quality assurance at MICT SETA.
Over the past years, and with the rise of online learning, the blended learning methodology has evolved into a quality pedagogy, with research studies showing that it is a better way to teach and learn. As the learner engages with preparation and course content online in their own time and at their own pace, it enables far better use of the classroom time and promotes a more focused and impactful interaction between facilitator and learners.
“Blended learning is paving the way for future learning,” says CEO of iLearn, Richard Rayne. “It is a pedagogical approach with unlimited potential and high appeal for businesses as employees do a significant amount of study in their own time. It is an economical way to develop your talent pipeline in line with your business objectives. Ultimately, your employees gain the knowledge and skills your business needs, but with significantly less absenteeism from work while in training.”
At the forefront of the evolving educational landscape, iLearn operates according to global standards and the new learnership provides South Africans with the opportunity to gain an internationally recognised IT certification, in addition to a local SAQA qualification. iLearn’s blended IT Technical Support Learnership aims to address critical skills shortages in the IT industry. Companies implementing this new qualification can now also take advantage of the benefits afforded to other NQF-accredited qualifications, namely skills grants, tax rebates and an increase in points on their B-BBEE scorecards.
“With online learning becoming more widespread in Africa, the blended learning approach takes advantage of new technology while recognising the strengths of onsite learning,” Rayne points out. “Online learning offers exceptional convenience, pace, choice, affordability and flexibility that can’t be matched. However, onsite training brings structure and formality to the learning experience and is generally richer in instructor and classmate interaction; which for some learners can be vital to their success.”
The blended learning approach therefore offers flexibility and enables time-stressed learners to self-manage much of their learning and progress at their own pace. However, the classroom interventions ensure that the personal touch is still present and helps those who are not yet familiar to online learning to stay motivated and on track.