No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Online workshop report: Integrated or blended learning


This is the transcript from the online workshop held on Tuesday 10 July on the subject of blended or integrated learning.

Carmen Holotescu Hello, hoping, I'm not too late!
Clive Hook Hi George, Hi Carmen.
Clive Hook Hi Jon.
George Reavis Hello.
Jon Seaton Hello everyone!
Clive Hook Hi Stephanie.
Stephanie Phillips Hi all.
Stephanie Phillips Looks like we have some early birds today!
Clive Hook What's your involvement and thinking on blended learning guys?
Jon Seaton Take me as a complete novice, Clive. I dropped in to find out more.
Stephanie Phillips Thanks all for coming along - welcome to Clive, who's running today's session for us.
Stephanie Phillips Clive - reckon we should get started with introductions!
Clive Hook Thanks Stephanie - what kind of area are you in Jon?
Jon Seaton I'm editor for HR Zone and work closely with Stephanie!
Stephanie Phillips There may well be a few more people arriving shortly...
Clive Hook OK. I work as a provider of blended learning for in-house corporate programmes - the business having moved that way because of customer/client demand.
Stephanie Phillips George, what's your interest in this area?
George Reavis I too would like to learn more about it.
Stephanie Phillips A good enough reason to pop along!
Stephanie Phillips Hi Carmen, just getting started with introductions.
Clive Hook Hi Carmen.
Stephanie Phillips Hi Mabyn.
Stephanie Phillips Maybn, Carmen, would you like to introduce yourselves quickly?
Carmen Holotescu Hi, everyone, I'm glad I'm here.
Mabyn Thomas Hi, this is my first attendance so bear with me.
Carmen Holotescu I'm Lecturer at politehnica University, Timisoara Romania, also Director of a small firm focused on e-learning.
Stephanie Phillips Clive is going to start the session shortly.
Stephanie Phillips Maybn - I'm sure you'll be fine!
Clive Hook Good to "see" you Mabyn.
Clive Hook Stephanie perhaps I'll start by talking about our "position" on blended learning?
Stephanie Phillips OK Clive - over to you! Do you want to briefly introduce the session for us?
Stephanie Phillips Beat me to it :-)
Clive Hook As I said before, we are in the business of blended learning because of customer demand and have found that it is a very powerful medium but needs to be carefully thought about and designed.
Stephanie Phillips Do you want to explain what blended learning is briefly?
Clive Hook To us, blended learning is using technology (probably web based) and classroom or other more traditional media together to achieve the best learning.
Stephanie Phillips Thanks - it seems to be gaining a lot of popularity lately!
Clive Hook Our interest is particularly in management development for middle and senior managers.
Clive Hook Hi elearnity?
elearnity admin Hi it's Sue.
Stephanie Phillips Hi Sue!
Clive Hook Hi Sue.
Stephanie Phillips (for those that don't know, elearnity are running our elearningzone )
Clive Hook Our learning and experience so far has been mixed. Some cultures seem to grab the opportunity but others are resistant since they have to do more than in passive learning mode.
Carmen Holotescu I admire what you do, elearnity.
Clive Hook Sue - what's your take on blended learning versus e-learning?
Jon Seaton By passive, do you mean pure technology based, Clive?
elearnity admin I think blended learning works best for those new to e-learning - a gradual transition with people contact.
Stephanie Phillips Clive - do you want to just outline again the main things you plan to cover in today's session, for those who haven't seen the workshop outline?
Clive Hook No not necessarily Jon - PowerPoint presentations or lectures are passive learning to me.
Carmen Holotescu Clive, can you be more specific please: Do you give consulting for developing integrated systems or for achieving from producers?
Jon Seaton Without interaction?
Clive Hook Carmen - we design and deliver programmes for managers in companies learning senior management stuff.
Carmen Holotescu Thanks.
Clive Hook Jon - yes, or the interaction is just note taking and an occasional question for clarity.
Jon Seaton OK.
Mabyn Thomas For me, the benefit of a blended solution is in being able to target the use of the classroom trainer's time to address the consolidation of new skills and particular work issues/problems. If the delegates can acquire basic knowledge/building blocks using e-learning systems then can then concentrate on applying that knowledge to working situations with the classroom trainer. Agree, disagree, other views?
Clive Hook I tend to agree, Mabyn, but it still suggests it's trainer driven. what about more self directed learning.
elearnity admin The aim should be to use the classroom for what the classroom is good at - I agree, Mabyn.
Jon Seaton blended learning relies on higher levels of learner interaction to consolidate the more passive aspects, yes?
Clive Hook But how do we know which is which Sue?
Clive Hook Jon - I think it does but that might be my prejudice.
Clive Hook Hi Skillsoft!
elearnity admin Not necessarily - you can use synchronous tools to have e-learning interaction, so e-learning is not all low level/passive.
Stephanie Phillips Hi Skillsoft - who's there?
Clive Hook I think blended learning offers tremendous possibilities if we really think about how, for example we use fixed and dynamic information. For example case studies are much more interesting if we know what's happening today as well as when the case was written.
Clive Hook As my passion increases my typing deteriorates :)
Stephanie Phillips Clive - you mentioned there were learning theories which back blended learning up?
Clive Hook For us blended learning is in its infancy and there's not much real experience to go on. There's also (like the case method) little or no theoretical evidence or models to say it's better than other methods...
Clive Hook Our anecdotal evidence is that it provides more scope for embracing different learning styles, a la Honey and Mumford and that the level of engagement with the topic is more enhanced.
Carmen Holotescu Clive, blended learning is addressed to industry firms and also to academic medium?
Clive Hook Yes - both and our work tends to span the two. We are taking a somewhat academic approach to business and management development. Something like an MBA.
elearnity admin Many management & postgraduate schools have been doing 'blended' learning for a long time, but it's not been described that way.
Clive Hook Thus blended learning allows us to include academic texts, discussions with experts as well as personal research to explore a theoretical approach further and bring this to the learning group.
Clive Hook Yes I agree Sue - I guess the technological advances allow us to further enhance that approach and, for example, use synchronous conferencing to being people together as well as interacting more with the fixed information.
elearnity admin I think the mix of activities that Clive describes means the learning is a richer experience for all - and that is what blended learning should be.
Clive Hook Absolutely - including the trainer/lecturer who may find he/she has to revisit their knowledge base and re-think against new/live data. For example, if you were running a session on strategy and had Marks and Spencer as a case, the breaking news could change or challenge your theory on-line.
Clive Hook Our biggest learning in a way has been how much learners (and lecturers?) need support to thrive in such a rich environment.
Stephanie Phillips George, Maybn, any thoughts, experiences to share?
Clive Hook We are interested to know what types of corporate culture or conditions are needed for this approach to work best. Certainly if information sharing is not encouraged then most collaborative approaches seem doomed from the start.
Mabyn Thomas Clive - What approaches do you recommend to enable the learners to thrive in this environment? Do you have to battle the ingrained need for face to face interaction?
Clive Hook Yes - but then we include face to face as part of the blend and we need to do a lot to show them (a) how the technology works and (b) how they can use it to best effect although they need to recognise there is a time and contribution commitment.
elearnity admin... and finding both a topic and an online approach that suits the culture. It does take time.
Clive Hook We've realised that there's a lot about learning to learn and people may have forgotten that there's more than PowerPoint in life and learning.
George Reavis Can you give a brief description of the "environment" for blended learning?
elearnity admin...and it is easy for people to duck out if they are not in a classroom. It's a new self-discipline for some.
Clive Hook Absolutely Sue - although I like the challenge of taking the topic and working out how to make the blended approach most rewarding.
Clive Hook George, say a bit more about "environment" technical or sociological?
George Reavis Technical, such as the tools...
Clive Hook OK - there's probably a campus or other central place that learners "meet", there's likely to be places to read/write stuff (technical term) and there's then such things as chat rooms, voice/video conferencing, testing mechanisms and multimedia such as video (either on CD or over the web). We also like to have people take a reflective stance on their learning and thus include a private study, learning logs or journals which may or may not be assessed as part of the learning process.
Carmen Holotescu I understand that a blended solution adapts in tools and also duration.
Clive Hook Yes - if the context within which people are working allows for that. The organisation or sponsor may require full completion or that people stop/start as they need.
Jon Seaton Sounds like half the battle for the organiser is constantly keeping upto date on available resources, Clive!
Carmen Holotescu Clive, can you provide us a few figures about the dimension of blended learning?
Clive Hook Yes Jon but not being seduced by the latest techie whizzy thing, unless it actually and really meets a learning need.
Clive Hook Carmen - what kind of figures?
Carmen Holotescu About the people involved in teaching and learning in such a system...
Clive Hook We have found that (with the variations in participation) groups of less that 15 are hard work to keep up the momentum. We are still working out what the ratio of facilitator to students should be. Do you have any views on this?
Clive Hook There is theoretically no limit - a colleague of ours in Hull has just been working with more that 70 people.
elearnity admin I know of someone with over 100. But it depends on the level of support the learners need.
Clive Hook Hi Peter
Carmen Holotescu I'm used with academic; more than 20 is toooooo much.
Clive Hook Ah - but perhaps the approach has to be different (the 70 are on a Masters programme by the way).
Mabyn Thomas In my previous company we ran sessions over the company's intranet for up to 200 with one "leader" and 2 support...
Clive Hook Good or bad experience Mabyn?
Mabyn people. We were dealing with product information and company strategies. Reception was mixed though over half felt the experience was worthwhile.
Clive Hook What, in your opinion, made the difference between positive and negative perceptions?
Peter Welch Hi Clive and all - it's Peter and I'm a very late joiner.
Clive Hook Peter - what kind of learning and development do you get involved with?
Peter Welch My consultancy has been working with a large Gov't department to develop blended learning solutions.
Mabyn Thomas Some responses definitely related to learning styles. A number of sales people - Activists - did not want to sit for long and listen even though they were encouraged to take part in the discussions.
Clive Hook Are these management type topics or technical/policy subjects Peter?
Carmen Holotescu Clive and all, thank you very much, I must leave now, I'll read later the transcript. Bye.
Peter Welch Generic things about developing leadership across the organisation and I'm just started on Management Development.
Stephanie Phillips Bye Carmen, thanks for coming along.
Clive Hook Mabyn - That's a real challenge for us how to keep people with a sort attention span involved. Theoretically the span of technology allows for this, but this adds another design dimension.
Clive Hook We're really excited by management development and the scope for creating knowledge rather than just knowledge transfer or data download.
Peter Welch We believe that self-directed learning is a critical factor and start with this with learners, supported by a learning adviser or coach/mentor.
Clive Hook ..for me, management development is where there is not a single answer and the agenda is partly about developing the thinking skills to discriminate between options and strategies.
Clive Hook Peter - how do you get them to "buy in" to the self -directed learning ethos - this has been a challenge for us.
Peter Welch Totally agree - we are trying to create an interesting blend of usual learning resources (books etc) plus online materials, plus action learning sets to let them engage with the learning on a deeper level.
Jon Seaton I too must go. A really thought provoking workshop Clive. Thank-you! Bye all!
Clive Hook Ahhh - action learning is absolutely core to this approach I think.
Clive Hook Bye Jon.
Stephanie Phillips All - we've reached the end of the allotted time for this session. Many thanks to Clive today, happy for people to stay on and chat if they want to.
Peter Welch Our experience in self-directed learning is that people need at least 3 significant experiences to the concept before they start to understand it. We try to create "learning challenges" for them to overcome first before they start learning!
Clive Hook What kind of thing is a learning challenge Peter?
Mabyn Thomas This has been a useful first Chat Session. I will definitely sign up for more. Thanks and Bye for now.
Clive Hook Thanks Mabyn - bye.
peter welch For example, persuade your boss that this learning programme is useful, find a mentor who could support you, write a short paper on (say) current leadership thinking...
Clive Hook Great stuff - if they don't achieve that do they still get on the programme? We have people research a guru and have to attend the workshop and introduce themselves as that guru - some do some don't but we don't stop them attending.
elearnity admin Bye I need to go now. Clive, you might want to reiterate your company name as it was wrong in the intro e-mail.
Clive Hook I like the idea of getting the support from their manager - this has been a problem factor in our equation.
Clive Hook Thanks Sue - Clearworth not Clearwater - I had TrainingZone change it this morning!!
Clive Hook Are there two Peters?
Peter Sorry, got timed out. I was saying that we try not to let learners off the challenge but the client often does - inclusiveness and all that...
Peter No it's still me/one.
Clive Hook Yes - but it's then an interesting predictor of their likely future commitment and we have to turn on the support for a time to really find out if this is going to be mutually worthwhile, i.e. this is for them.
peter I agree. Commitment has been a difficulty for a lot of people. It's the dreaded time management thing, or perhaps the relative priority overall. That's where the mentor can make a difference.
Clive Hook But then we approach the whole subject of what the mentor is there to do - and it's probably not teaching....
Clive Hook OK I'm getting the "wind it up" signal from our sponsors. Thanks for taking part - we are on and you can get me at [email protected]
Peter Definitely not. Our mentoring approach is all about making the learning urgent and important for the learner. They can also be a door-opener to the organisation.
Peter Many thanks for the chat. I'd like to continue another time. Sorry I was so late joining.
Clive Hook Peter - come and play on our site and keep in touch about what you're doing.
Clive Hook Oh Tanya we're just going....
Peter Will do Clive. Our is
Tnaya Willis Never mind, I seem to have missed it, will check out the transcript.
Peter Can we set up another general chat room or is this the last of these?
Clive Hook Great stuff - bye to you all and thanks again for your interest and contributions. You could take our M&S challenge if you think you can hack it....
Tnaya Willis Sounds interesting...
Clive Hook Peter suggest you contact Stephanie - I'd love to do another related topic...
Clive Hook Got to go thanks again


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!