It is difficult to find one simple solutions for a complex issues. The expectations with regards to performance at work place or at home are complex; we need a blend of various learning solutions to resolve these complex issues. In such a scenario, Blended learning offers a greater chance of success.
Blended learning is not new concepts. In fact, it is an age-old concept that existed for several centuries. In ancient India, the pupil leave with their teacher or guru for years in Ashrams. The pupil was imparted theoretical knowledge, in the presence of the guru, sitting under the tree. The requisite physical training took place in open places. The pupil would also help the guru in the preparation of food. And, many such areas of learning were available under a single roof under the aegis of a single teacher. Blended Learning is akin to the form of pedagogical practice such as the Gurukul where there exists a blend of various training or learning strategies.
Today, the needs and challenges of learning have changed. Enlisted below are a few such challenges:
Total number of students that can be reached
Learners being distributed at far different places
Complexity of tasks to perform
Complexity of content
Forms of content (Audio, Video, Text etc.)
All these factors necessitate a unique learning strategy; a strategy that constructs a learning environment that has the following features.
Ease of access of content to remote learners
Platforms to deliver various types of content anywhere and anytime.
A learner-centric Learning Module/Design.
Multiple delivery of learning content
Regulatory or supervisory control over content, trainer performance and learner’s understanding.
The above learning environment is a blend of technology and traditional learning strategies.
E-Learning and Blended Learning:
Technology helps create most effective blend of learning solutions. E-learning, itself, is a technology-enabled blended learning concept. It can be mixed with traditional learning solutions like instructor-led training programs, books, field trips, etc.
Blended learning is the latest product in the arsenal of e-learning. Companies that develop Learning solutions help organizations build a blend of learning solutions suitable to their requirement and resources. Technology enabled Blended Learning includes all the advantages of e-learning and it offers more time and variety of platforms to deliver content.
Blended Learning solution does increase the cost of learning but the benefits, in terms of the significant impact on business goals, mitigate its costs. Blended Learning helps bring a very real and desired change in employee performance which in turn boosts the organization’s performance.
Learning managers or Officers face the challenge of application of Blended Learning. It is indeed a challenge because they are the premiere points of contact with an overview of various processes and have the requisite expertise to identify the areas of improvement. And so, they must lead the process of incorporating a suitable Blended Learning technique in the learning environments of their company by understanding the specific needs of the organization and employees, and developing a suitable strategy to combat the same.