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Blog: Adopting the blended approach

Lauren Tomlinson

Learning is usually focused on a specific methodology or technology. This can make it easy to fall into a channelled way of thinking. This is particularly true when designing blended learning solutions.

Often, people add components to their existing programs, usually because they have found new technology such as eLearning, videos – or simply because they want to include a new type of methodology. For example, collaborating – and with this, feeling as though they now have a blended solution.

Adding something new to an existing learning solution, or swapping something you currently have for an alternative delivery method, may feel like it is new, as it has different components and now it is a blend. But this is not much more than having new alloy wheels put on your car and claiming you have a new car. The car is the same, it just has new features. Moving from a ‘chalk and talk’ learning solution to a blended solution is like buying a new car.

You may be thinking, why designing a blended learning solution is the equivalent of buying a new car; why can’t you just add new features and remove old ones? But that is exactly what the difference is – to get the benefits of a blended learning program or a traditional program it is best to start afresh. It can have some similarities to your existing car, but it has a different engine, alloys, and provides a more economical journey.

The first step towards designing a blended learning solution really happens in your head, it involves a complete mindset change. It is not a matter of what you can add and swap out. Blended learning needs to engage and excite the learner and it needs to support them even after the learning has taken place. When delivering a blended approach, you don’t deliver content, you deliver a learning experience and culture.

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