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I did both methods last year and they both worked fine, sowing outdoors is a lot less hassle .
I agree - sow outdoors. They don't need coddling.
Don't these self seed a lot-so if they do it in nature then that answers the question.
Dried seeds of Aquilegia are more difficult to get to germinate than fresh ones. That is why they self seed so easily. If you do have trouble getting them to grow, then try gently rubbing the seeds between 2 pieces of fine sand paper before sowing.