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Taking Blended Learning to the Next Level

by Catherine Lombardozzi

February 10, 2014

Feature

by Catherine Lombardozzi

February 10, 2014

“The L&D profession is steadily expanding from creating targeted training to conceptualizing blended learning programs to designing more comprehensive learning environments. For your more robust projects, consider the ways that learning and application can be supported in an ongoing way rather than defaulting to an instructionally designed event or traditional blended learning approach. Employ readily available tools to collate additional resources and enable ongoing interaction.”

In industry blogs, conference presentations, and journal articles, you can’t help but notice the news that the learning and development field is changing fairly dramatically. We are seeing—and will continue to see—real changes in what our organizations expect from us in terms of how we do our work and the contributions we make.

The message is that our old models of supporting learning in organizations need to be set aside, and we need to find modern ways to champion and scaffold learning. The techniques that are gaining attention include informal learning, social learning, narrating our work, and learning in the flow of work—techniques that, by the way, don’t necessarily need L&D support to flourish.

What’s next in L&D

Whether we talk about breaking up with training, revolutionizing L&D, building a learning ecosystem, or defining new roles, it’s clear that, if we want to remain relevant, we need to craft ways to support learning well beyond designing training. It’s equally clear that learning remains the life blood of organizations in our fast-paced, ever-changing workplaces, so the right kind of support would certainly be welcome. Learning resources may be widely available, but finding the most useful can be a daunting task. While learners appreciate diverse options and individual control over when and how to engage, they also like to have some guidance and support in identifying the best sources, checking their understanding, and getting feedback on application.

In A New Culture of Learning, Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown conclude that one of the challenges we face as learning leaders is “To find a way to marry structure and freedom to create something altogether new.”

But what is the “something altogether new” that L&D professionals should be creating? To answer that question, we can draw on what is emerging from the efforts of learners themselves.

The notion of a personal learning environment has been around for over a decade. A personal learning environment consists of resources and practices…

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This is the first time I have heard the term collaboratory...I really like it!
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