Converting to a Blended Learning Environment

Consider the following scenario:

A training manager has been frustrated with the quality of communication among trainees in his face-to-face training sessions and wants to try something new. With his supervisor’s permission, the trainer plans to convert all current training modules to a blended learning format, which would provide trainees and trainers the opportunity to interact with each other and learn the material in both a face-to-face and online environment. In addition, he is considering putting all of his training materials on a server so that the trainees have access to resources and assignments at all times.

With this scenario in mind, consider the following:

  • What are some of the pre-planning strategies the trainer needs to consider before converting his program?
  • What aspects of his original training program could be enhanced in the distance learning format?
  • How will his role, as trainer, change in a distance learning environment?
  • What steps should the trainer take to encourage the trainees to communicate online?

Formulate a best practices guide for trainers to follow when converting face-to-face programs to a distance learning format.

This was a really difficult assignment for me because I had a hard time aligning the scenario, the questions and the development of a best practices guide into one fused concept.  I am attaching my pdf and would love anyone’s comments on whether or not I succeeded.

Summary

I created a four page newsletter regarding Blended Learning and Best Practices.  The first page is devoted to the benefits offered by incorporating blended learning into a traditional face-to-face learning environment.  I also included some questions to consider when contemplating such a redesign.  The newsletter format I chose allowed for a 2.5 inch portion along one side of the page for tidbits of information.  On the first page I included a definition of blended learning. the key components of successful blended learning and a quote.

On the second page I incorporated a graphic regarding a continuum between learning resources and experience, a checklist for whether or not the program content would be a good candidate for blended learning, as well as a fairly detailed checklist for the many organizational considerations that have to be taken into account during the pre-planning stage. I used the side banner on the second page for the “Bates 12 Golden Rules,” listing Hot Tips, and the different types of instructional models.

The third page has quite a bit of information on it.  I tried to break it up with color, space and modular sectioning.  There is a section of tips on interactivity, communication and the changing role from program trainer to facilitator.  I also managed to squeeze in some tips for Learner Support.  I used the side banner to for focal concepts such as types of interaction, types of learning contexts, and a favorite quote from the text.

The fourth page is fairly simple in comparison to the rest.  I did find a great picture for blended learning from Google to include in the side banner, along with Moore’s description of “what all distant learners want, and deserve” (Simonson, et al., 2009, p. 151).  The top half of the page is focused on understanding learner characteristics and important questions to consider from the learner’s perspective.  The bottom half lists the many references I used throughout the development of the newsletter.

I am certain the newsletter is text-heavy and could use some redaction, but as a learning experience it was pretty formidable.  I was able to utilize a number of artistic tools in designing it, in addition to learning more than I thought possible regarding blended learning environments.

Any and all comments are welcome.

 

A7MunozL

Lynn

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