As I’ve mentioned before, it is important to us that we are very clear about what we mean by blended learning, but we’re also interested in what blended learning means to other people. I was very interested when someone sent me a link to a MOOC on the topic of blended learning, but at first I was surprised when I read the course description, the second line of which was:
The concept of blended learning provides a framework to help educators integrate online educational technologies into face-to-face classes purposefully.
I’m also subscribed to a number of Google alerts around ‘blended learning’ and associated terms. By far, the majority of new articles being surfaced by these searches relate to blended learning in education – from primary school right through to higher education. Every recent article I’ve read about blended learning in an educational setting treats it as the use of technology to support or enhance what goes on in the classroom.
With hindsight I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that blended learning in education includes the classroom as a matter of course (particularly with younger children) – after all, it’s a completely different situation to workplace learning.
However, given that they are different I think it’s even more important that we all share our experiences of blended learning in the workplace, for the benefit of anyone searching for more information.
For those of us who are involved in workplace learning, I think blended learning means much more than the classroom. Indeed, we’re long past the days where the expectation is that all learning will either be entirely classroom or technology based (or that it will always involve a teacher/trainer) – and people are definitely too savvy to be fooled by the idea that elearning + classroom + an online test = blended learning.
We’re very clear that a blended approach to learning should set out to identify solutions that are effective and efficient and it is important to begin with an open mind about the solution and a laser like focus on the intended outcome.