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How to Create an Effective Blend

April 7, 2011

I don’t hold with the viJigsaw Pieces Falling from the Skyew that:

Blended learning = elearning + instructor-led

Some people hold that blended must include an element of classroom but for me it doesn’t. Given the huge range of learning interventions we can now use this is a far too limiting definition. My definition is broad and encompasses both online and offline interventions and may include an instructor-led element.

Most of the projects we undertake (at LearningAge) are blended to some extent. The key to a good blend is to make it both effective and efficient. This means achieving the business goal or objective in the shortest time (both development time and learner time) for the least cost.

The good news is that there are a number of technologies and approaches that can be used to facilitate the all-important two-way communications that are key to a successful learning programme. These might include:

  • Short “surgery” webinars where learners can virtually drop in and ask questions
  • Social networks for learner-to-learner and learner-to-tutor communication
  • Micro-blogging services as a way to ask and answer questions

My advice always is to start simple and design something both effective and efficient. If you then want to add further bells and whistles you can build upon a solid foundation. If you start with the bells and whistles you could end up with something that looks great but doesn’t achieve its aims.

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