Learning can be delivered via a variety of different channels: classroom instruction, online courses, video, assignments, group projects, campaigns – the list is endless. We also learn a lot informally and independently. Blended learning is often used to describe using a combination of online and offline learning activities, but it’s also possible to blend a variety of just online or just offline elements.
The main advantage of blended learning is that it allows you to take advantage of the benefits and suitability of different delivery modes for different learning outcomes and audiences. Classroom based training is particularly good for practical tasks, discussions and audiences with low IT skills. Online training is often better for large audiences, conveying information and smaller chunks of learning.
The challenge of blended learning is that it’s easy for your blended learning solution to become a disjointed collection of individual learning experiences rather than a single blend with many elements. This can be confusing for the learner and lead to duplication of content across different elements, wasting time and resources.
Blending your blend
It’s important that learning designers have an overarching design for their blended learning solutions that the individual elements fit into. It’s also important to create links between the different elements of your blend so that it feels like a seamless solution.
That’s where xAPI comes in. Because xAPI frees the data, your learning experiences can not only send data to the Learning Record Store, they can receive data about other experiences too. You can use xAPI to create experiences for learners that are adaptive based on their progress and success within other elements of your blend. Here are some examples:
- Mike attends a face-to-face training session and the facilitator records that Mike struggled with some of the concepts. As a result, Mike gets a fuller version of the supporting e-learning course for those topics and gets more questions on those topics in the quiz.
- Tim completes an online simulation and does exceptionally well in one area. As a result, Tim is promoted as a peer expert for this topic on the company’s social learning platform.
- Andrew makes an error as part of a job task. As a result, Andrew is mailed a collection of curated internet resources to help in this area.
The Run a pilot page includes one example of a pilot project you could run in your organization to get started with linking the learning experiences in your organization. Why don’t you give it a go?
Want to get started with linking elements of your blended solution in your organization?