Blended Learning

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The decision to implement e-learning largely depends on the specific needs of each organization. However, many organizations have a variety of instructional and training objectives. E-learning might serve some of these objectives, but not others. For this reason, many organizations have chosen to adopt a blended learning approach. Blended learning combines e-learning and classroom based instruction into one learning experience. Blended learning grants greater freedom to incorporate the advantages of both e-learning and classroom based instruction. Organizations that realistically consider their instructional needs should be able to easily maximize the potential of both formats.

E-learning can improve or detract from an organization’s ability to offer instruction.

For example, a course for lifeguard trainees on how to perform CPR is probably best delivered in a classroom setting that allows ample opportunity for guided role plays. Clicking across a screen, no matter how well-designed the e-learning module, is simply not the appropriate format for teaching these types of skill-specific performance objectives. On the other hand, a lifeguard staffing agency with personnel and pool locations across the country that wants to deliver its agency’s history, mission, and professional expectations to all new recruits would probably find a well-designed e-learning program a very cost-effective way to meet its instructional needs.

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Against isolation

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Often an organization needs to achieve many different kinds of learning objectives.

Some of these learning objectives lend themselves to classroom based instruction, while others can be effectively achieved through e-learning programs. In such instances, organizations will often incorporate both methods of instruction into a “blended” learning program. Blended learning experiences combine both e-learning and classroom based methods into one instructional system. Blended learning allows organizations to strategically assign the appropriate method of instruction delivery for each learning objective.

There are no hard and fast rules on how to most effectively blend e-learning and classroom based instruction.

Individual organizations must assess their individual needs. Classroom time can be used to engage students in advanced interactive experiences, while the e-learning portion of the training offers students multimedia-rich content any time of day, anywhere they have Internet access.