Blended Learning

Through blended learning, innovative, technology-supported learning tools and methods can be mixed with more traditional learning approaches to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a learning event—the ultimate goal being to minimize the amount of time providers must spend away from the job, in a group-based learning activity.

This “mix” of training approaches is called “blended learning” and can be constructed many different ways. It can be a formal learning arrangement—such as a computer- or Web-based program to be completed—or more informal, such as through relationships, conversations, self-study or independent research.

Clinical skills courses may also benefit through use of this approach, when possible and appropriate. Decision-makers in the sponsoring program/organization may determine that blended learning is appropriate in the context of a particular skills course if:

  • There is a need—Customers have demanded training efficiencies or to shorten training;
  • Resources are available—Necessary technologies and equipment, as well as people who know how to use them, are available;
  • Learners are deemed willing and able to commit to self-paced learning—Although independent learning is a hallmark of adult learning theory, this remains a serious consideration; and
  • The learning activity can be adequately structured and supported—As a whole and in its components, the learning activity is structured and includes a process for feedback to support the learner.