The right Blend

Blended Learning

Individuality, practical relevance, meaning – these values are often associated with the generation Y. These values are important to me – not only because I am part of this generation, but also with regard to learning strategies: I do not want to follow a strict “master plan” because it can never suit everybody – individual learning is the answer, mobile based, in small units, in exchange with colleagues and coaches, exactly when I need it.

That’s why I am a passionate advocate of the blended learning approach: Start a learning path at work on the laptop, edit the next learning nugget on my iPad at home on the couch, listen to a podcast on my iPhone during my ride back to work in the underground and afterwards quickly answer a single choice question. Within the community and during live workshops I am looking forward to exchange experiences with colleagues and coaches. I discuss best practices with colleagues and my coach gives me feedback on my performance and on my learning progress. Learning – exactly as it fits into my life.

During the 3 years of working for a language learning provider as a project manager and instructional designer, I have experienced the requirement for individualized learning methods: the need for application-oriented learning tools (Why am I doing this? In how far does that help me?) is as present as the requirement for mobile solutions (Is this exercise optimized for my iPad? Can I practice on my smartphone? Will my learning progress be synchronized across devices?). Students who exclusively learn digitally for themselves often confirm not having passed a low level of competence. I also noticed for myself: I appreciate to pursue my personalized learning path – but I am unable to go ahead without exchanging ideas within my group and getting support from my coach.

For the development of blended learning concepts, it is important that all stakeholders are involved from the beginning: not the teacher who claims for himself to know better, but the learner is in focus. With the learning path being designed dedicated to the learner’s needs and with the system being extensible, the learner is able to learn based on individual likes. The system provides continual development and includes relevant and current content.

It was very exciting to participate in TCJG’s development of this blended learning concept:
As part of the project team I created a competency-based curriculum with methodical and didactic recommendations for an international leadership development program. Hereby the following questions were elicited: What does the learner need to accomplish the goals? How to structure the learning content to fit into the (working) day? How to consider different knowledge levels and priorities? The comprehensive answer is a modular design, consisting of small, varied learning units, which together result in a useful learning path. My didactical background and my practical experiences on development of educational content and environments helped me to consider a sensible combination of joint attendance phases and digital self-learning units.

The learning paths are based on a qualification matrix, which was concluded and developed from a project team based on the employees’ competence profiles. Further exciting processes were the analysis of needs in advance, which for example included Interviews with all stakeholders, the development of a credit point system and the field test with all participants who tested the concept in an interactive workshop. High value was put on the continuous development of the project and the consideration of feedback and learnings. The benefit of an iterative approach with regular testing phases is to develop in respect of the learner’s needs and not to miss the learner’s goals. That is my role as a conceptionist at TCJG.

A blog from one of our Guides