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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blended Learning Case Studies, Current Trends, & More

When training departments mention the term “blended learning,” they’re likely to see some eye rolls from other co-workers and management. The term blended learning has been around since the early 2000s, so many wonder why bother now. However, blended learning is continuing to mature and become more innovative, making it an attractive option right now in the workplace.

"Blended Learning 2010: Trends and Descriptions of Real-World Initiatives", written by analyst and popular e-learning blogger Janet Clarey, overviews recent trends in blended learning, highlighting the benefits and challenges of undertaking this type of training initiative.
This report--newly updated and for members only--touches on the models, methods, and theories used when designing blended learning. It includes recent case studies from our Excellence in Learning Awards program and recommendations for further reading.

Is blended learning simply integrating face-to-face learning with online methods?
Does it combine media and tools, or does it combine pedagogical approaches?
How important is the technology being used in blended learning?

After successfully defining a term no two experts seem to agree on, Janet’s report than explores research conducted in the area of blended learning – specifically studies addressing its benefits over other forms of learning. Beyond the research studies, the report also discusses why actual corporations choose to use blended learning and what they perceive as the benefits. Some reasons to use blended learning include the following:

  • To reduce costs
  • To increase reach and volume
  • To keep pace with rapid changes in training curriculum and technology

Once an organization decides to use blended learning for its training program, designing such a program presents challenges. Some challenges organizations need to overcome when designing blended learning include the following:

  • Learning new technology
  • Expecting learners to adapt to blended learning
  • Finding sufficient resources
  • Obtaining support from management

Finally, “Blended Learning 2010: Trends and Descriptions of Real-World Initiatives” closes by summarizing blended learning case studies from the 2009 Brandon Hall Research Excellence in Learning Awards and listing two full pages of blended learning references for further reading.

Published March 2010 • 68 pages

Source: Brandon Hall Research