What is Blended Learning?

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bl01Blended learning is an approach to learning that utilises a range of appropriate learning delivery mechanisms. Before the world of online or computer delivered learning existed, it typically involved the use of face-to-face tuition, reading, audios and videos. Now there are many additions to that mix.

Arguably, blended learning is what all learning should be – using the most appropriate media/delivery mechanism for each learning resource used.

One potential of blended learning which is rarely seen is the use of several media create resources which address the same learning objective. By doing this, it is possible to cater for a users learning preferences.

Learning management systems (LMS) generally lend themselves to being able to deliver blended learning, especially those, like our L-Cubed system, where it is very easy to link to a whole range of different types of resource. Indeed, being able to do so, allows the course to continuously evolve as more information on performance is collected from users and subsequent improvements to learning resources/opportunities are made.

Programmed learning was around long before LMS and I remember working on one of these way back in the early 1980s. An excellent programmed learning text produced by Alan Schoonmaker – Selling: the Psychological Approach. I seem to remember that initially it involved a big text book together with audios and maybe videos. I was at Control Data at the time and we evolved this into a PLATO Learning Management delivered course with online assessment – even translating it from the American to UK English!

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