In recent years, a growing demand for flexibility in learning and the cost-effectiveness of technology has provided the impetus for the rise of blended learning. Blended learning is a learning methodology in which a portion of the traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by web-based online learning. (source)
But, how can you use blended learning to meet different learning goals? Nick Van Dam, in his book The eLearning Field Book, has come up with a framework that helps meet various learning goals. Let us see what it is.
Following is the framework for designing blended learning outlined by Nick.
|Acquire initial learning||Classroom presentations, lectures||Self-paced e-learning modules, online documents|
|Acquire advanced learning||Classroom presentations with live demos/ hands-on exercises||Online tutorials with practice questions and exercises, and tests|
|Apply learning in simple situations||Group discussions or simple role plays||Simple courseware with simple scenarios, simulations|
|Practice learning||Hands-on practice sessions with feedback||Online practice exercises, simulations with feedback, games, interactive modules|
|Apply learning in complex situations||Role plays, scenario-based or situated learning, expert presentations with group discussions and practice, case studies, advanced workshops||Highly interactive courseware, with complex scenarios, role- plays, online videos for situated learning|
|Test learning (Assessments)||Paper-based tests, hands-on exercises with feedback, observation by experts||Online tests, simulation-based tests|
|Support and reinforce learning||Mentoring sessions and best practices||Online self-paced courseware, structured online support, performance support tools|
Let us now see how this framework can be applied to software training.
|Providing training on the basics of a software application||A workshop introducing the learner to the software.Ex. Introduction to SAP||Online courses explaining the basic features of the software and what it can do.Ex. Different modules of SAP and what they are useful for.|
|Delivering advanced training on the software||ILT sessions demonstrating the working of the software.Ex: Classroom sessions demonstrating the creation of a purchase order (PO) using SAP.||Video-based e-learning courses explaining the steps involved in the working of the application.Ex: A video-based tutorial on the creation of a PO using SAP, followed by questions.|
|Applying learning in simple situations||Classroom training programs discussing simple transactions performed by the software.Ex: ILT programs discussing the creation of an invoice.||Watch, Try, Do (WTD) simulation-based courses enabling learners apply the learning on the job.Ex: A WTD simulation of invoice creation.|
|Practicing the learning||Hands-on practice sessions with proper feedback.Ex: Workshops where learners practice various transactions involving the FI module, depending on their roles such as accounts receivable clerk, general ledger accountant and so on.||Try, Do simulations with immediate feedback.Ex: An e-learning session where learners practice various transactions involving the FI module.|
|Applying learning in complex situations||Scenario-based training where learners are trained how to act in various situations.Ex: ILT sessions explaining how to deal with transfer postings in the MM module.||Simulation-based online courses where learners can apply the learning to complex situations.Ex: Simulation-based e-learning courses where learners can practice the steps involved in transfer postings.|
|Test learning||Workshops where hands-on exercises can be given to evaluate the learner.Ex: A session where the learners are asked to create a time ticket in the PP module.||Online courses containing Do simulations where the learner needs to complete a transaction without assistance.Ex: A Do simulation where a learner needs to execute the steps to create a time ticket correctly.|
|Learning support and reinforcement||A workshop explaining the best practices of using the software.Ex: A workshop sharing the best practices of executing the P2P cycle in SAP.||Online performance support tools that improve the efficiency of your workforce.Ex: A performance support tool (m-learning) that helps the user perform each step of the P2P cycle effectively.|
Many organizations are using a blend of classroom and e-learning methodologies to train their people. It is important to create a proper framework to make the best use of the learning blend. Hope you liked this post. How do you blend learning formats? Do share with us.