Archive for February 2010

Having a good discussion in one of the ASTD LinkedIn groups on what makes effective blended learning – http://tinyurl.com/yb6y886.

Here are a few off the cuff thoughts on principles that we use, stemming from best practices that we have developed.

o Fit the modality to the learning and business objective. We use all of the ones you name, but often only a subset of them depending on the requirement. For instance, we are currently training 10,000 people how to use a new time and project accounting system. Don’t use things like committees or conferences. Might, however, for a mid-level leadership program.

o Speed to Proficiency model. We generally use our S2P model which calls for three phases of the learning program: Instruction (to get the vocabulary, concept, and procedures into the noodle), Reinforce (a repetitive cycle of performance on the job, coaching, refinement; performance, coaching…), and Application – moving from formal to informal learning via performance support, communities of practice, best practice sharing, etc.

o Measure all learning activities, not just content acquisition via SCORM. (That’s why our eCampus allows us to track web meetings, discussion forums, assignments, etc.)

o Track coach behaviors too. We find the 10% of coaches don’t do their jobs in a timely fashion, which can kill the program. We use the eCampus which does this automatically, but bottom line is you gotta find a way to do it.

o Turn one off projects into replicable programs. Unless your total audience is tiny, you have to plan for scalability, and that means being able to manage hundreds or thousands of learners in small groups, tracking all the activities, and not going crazy. Don’t assume that since you have a great idea that worked for 25 people it will work for 2500.

o Use the magic question: How would I teach this material if I had all the time int he world, the proper instructor/learner ratio, the appropriate setting… Then when you have that question answered, map that design into what’s feasible using the rich variety of social and learning tools available today.

Your thoughts?

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