Many of my clients are interested in moving away from isolated learning events (classroom training, conferences etc.) and moving towards an integrated blended learning program. When strategizing about a workable solution, the question often arises as to what constitutes a good “blend”.
There is no simple answer to this question. Each organization is unique, and what works in one organization will not necessarily work in another. To begin developing a customized blended learning program, I ask clients to work with the following “Blended Learning Recipe”
Blended Learning Recipe
Step 1: Examine each of the menu items below.
Menu #1 Live In-Person
Instructor Led Classroom; Coaching and Mentoring; Conference; Presentation; Workshop; Lunch and Learn
Menu #2 Live Virtual
Instructor Led Classroom Web; Webcast; Conference Call; Skype Session; Video Conference; Web Chat
Menu #3 Virtual Collaboration
Web Discussion Forum; E-mail; Blogs; Wiki
Menu #4 Self-Paced
Courseware; Podcasts; Self Assessment Tools; Archived Webcasts; Job Aids; Referenceware; Books; Articles
Step 2: Select one learning activity from each of the 4 menus. Choose learning activities that work best with your people.
Step 3: Sequence the 4 learning activities in a way that makes good learning sense.
When the activity is completed you will have a customized blended learning program for your organization!
Now, of course, it is not as simple as this. A lot of time and effort has to be out into linking learning activities to performace competencies, and to aligning learning goals with business objectives.
I use the “blended learning recipe” as a starting point towards developing a customized blended learning program for clients. It provokes a lot of discussion, and it helps to establish a framework for some of the decisions we will make.