Blended Learning – December 2016

Facilitated By: Viv Cole

This session was billed as our chance to look into the future and Viv did indeed lead us through a fascinating discussion on what blended learning has in store for us all – whether providing services in L&D, or commissioning them internally or externally.

Viv started by setting the current business context, with the drive to shorter learning events and lower prices. We worked in groups to identify where online learning was the same as face-to-face events, and where they differed, although Viv stressed that blended learning does not necessarily mean online. We were surprised to find how many types of learning input we could identify (see photo of our final flipchart). It was also useful to be reminded about ‘training maximisers’.

We saw two pieces of research on industry trends and Malcolm Knowles’ work on the Self-Directed Learner which recognises that not only do people need different inputs, it’s also important to consider the time of day! Essentially, the key attributes of such a learner are motivation, taking initiative, understanding their own needs, and the ability to identify and access resources.

The >BL (MoreThan Blended Learning) Model’s Jukebox diagram gave us a useful structure, particularly around designing the method before choosing the media a reminder of the importance of the Implement, Evaluate, Iterate cycle in course design. Viv’s other practical tool was the concept of Action Mapping (from Cathy Moore), with its focus on action and using information rather than simply knowing it. In the context of Blended Learning, the idea of identifying what is the minimum viable knowledge that needs to be transferred allows for very focussed activities.

Finally, Viv gave us a very useful list of resources to allow us to delve further into social learning, curation and technical aspects such as video and webinars.

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