I love blended learning. The 702010 concept has helped organisations realise there's much more to learning that putting people through classroom based courses. Even so I'm starting to wonder whether this blended learning is a load of nonsense. Not the concept, more the interpretation of the title. Here's why.....
There have been a few occasions where I've found myself disagreeing with the view of what blended learning actually is. I've heard, and read, many views that says that blended learning is a combination of face to face classroom learning and online. The suggestion there is that for something to be considered as a blended approach, it must have a face to face classroom element to it. If I took this as being correct:
1) A programme which consisted of some elearning followed by a 'classroom' event would be blended learning
2) A programme which consisted of some elearning followed by a live virtual classroom would not be considered blended learning (because there is no physical classroom involved)
I just don't get it. Surely these are both examples of using different methods and blending learning? Is the second example not worthy of being called a blend?
In my opinion, that's just nonsense. There are so many approaches we can take digitally, mixing up both live and on-demand. In virtual classroom spaces, the presence of audio and or video chat, great human interaction, collaboration and shared learning can exist.'Blend' in with that the personal facilitator around to coach, mentor, support and inspire, there's a winning 'online' blend there. Here at DPG we mix it up even further with Virtual learning scenarios like those used in DPG's totally Online Programme in Human Resource Management. There's no 'workshops' in that programme, but trust me, the online experience is like no other I've seen.
Blended learning is a title that programme most certainly is worthy of wearing with pride.
I think in the context of blended learning being a definition that applies to approaches that always MUST contain on and offline, then yep, blended learning is non-sense. I think however, if we were to agree that the term 'blended' as evolved over the years to something broader than it's original sense, that would make perfect sense.
And that makes the world of blended, very exicting.....innovative......leaving us all with a strong appetite to mix up and blend some real funky cocktails of learning.
What do you think? What blends of learning methods do you use in your organisations? Are there some initiatives that you use just online or just offline? I'd love to know what you think.