Blended Learning – Ignore its impact at your peril…

  • Blended learning from e-learning WMB

‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.’
Alvin Toffler

I am a father of a 2-year-old and am now experiencing first-hand the implications of what ‘screen time’ can have on behaviours, moods and development. Whilst we do our best to set limits on the amount of time he spends in front of a screen, there is no doubt that there are active learning opportunities available if this is balanced with other forms of education, activities and entertainment. What is amazing to witness (and I know there are other parents who feel the same) is how quickly he has adapted to a digital space and how he can switch between apps, solve problems and instinctively knows if he enjoys an activity or not. I appreciate there are different schools of thought on this, but there is no questioning the impact that digital learning can have on all ages and stages.

As we head into a new decade, new possibilities and new ideas will come rapidly and readily into our everyday lives. The speed of change we have seen over the last 50 years is unprecedented and with that, comes many challenges - how do we best educate people in a digitally connected world? And how do we upskill those who need to adapt to the changes around us? To ignore this and not be prepared to offer digital and blended learning solutions to students, learners, employees or ourselves limits the opportunities to learn and relearn available to us.

‘Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.’
George Evans

The key to creating positive blended models is to find the right balance. This means not adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach but looking at which models will best fit your organisation or institution - the people, their learning styles and work patterns. It also means finding the right balance in how you deliver the learning available. Not everyone enjoys face to face training and, likewise, not everyone enjoys learning online. Forcing everyone to adopt one model can have a detrimental effect on how people best develop and learn. There has to be a variety of learning options available.

Educational programmes in 2020 should not be differentiated based on whether they blend but rather by how they blend. This question of how to blend is one of the most important we can consider as we move into the future.

Here at e-Learning WMB we have worked closely with our clients to understand which models work best for organisations. I wouldn’t say there is a secret formula to ensure a successful model of learning is put in place. However, from our experience, a successful blended approach involves; engaging and interactive learning content, a learning platform which is comprehensive, accessible and intuitive, curriculums and programmes which can be bespoke and tailored to individuals and incorporates a variety of instructional approaches. Finally, a successful and balanced model should involve fully trained staff who are aligned in how they develop their learners matched with a learning culture which is embedded into the company’s values. Bringing all these aspects together will certainly provide a more rounded and positive learning model for all involved.

‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’
Stephen Hawking

If you are currently reviewing your learning models or looking at how best to deliver your learning programmes then please get in touch. We’d love to discuss how we can help you and will provide a balanced view on what options are available to help your organisation or institution move forward in 2020.