According to Wikipedia blended learning is education (or training) that combines face-to-face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities. According to its proponents, the strategy creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and learners.
Definitions of blended learning range from some so broad that practically any learning experience that integrates some use of educational technology might qualify, to others that focus on a specific percentage combination of online curriculum and instruction in a face-to-face setting. At a minimum blended learning entails combining several training delivery methods as a means to an end and that end is improved learner performance; therefore blended is a way to deliver a ‘learning process’ that effectively gets results, cost effectively. For our purposes blended learning permits almost any combination of online and face-to-face. However, it will be somewhat biased toward a larger percentage of e-learning as that is what corporations are, generally speaking, demanding.
Blended learning is used from kindergarten to corporate boardrooms. A rapidly growing percentage of the work force have been learning this way since grammar school. It is ingrained in todays learner and is therefore their preferred method of learning. It is infinitely simpler to deliver and manage than classroom training where all too often students move not at their own pace but at the pace of a languid instructor or a C student or trainee.
The best and the brightest do not want to be held up by anything other than the amount of time they devote to learning. For corporations, allowing training to proceed at the pace of their slowest learners means their most valuable assets, i.e. their smartest and most energetic employees, are slower to take their training to the market. Why hold them back if you can let them learn at their own speedy pace, especially since todays technology provides web-based training, offered with a modicum of coaching, that is arguably much more effective than hands-on classroom training.
Blended learning is about delivering better results at a lower cost.
Social technologies are finding their place at work, often brought in by new employees, who are very comfortable with the consumer social networks. This is your opportunity to leverage new technology to bring greater benefits and profitability to your company.
One of the most significant roadblocks to the efficiency of new and established workers alike is access to necessary information. You and your co-workers spend significant amounts of time and cost trying to find this information; creating an easily accessible, easily shareable repository streamlines the working day for everyone. Mobile access also helps, as whether your job has you on the go or in the office, the flexibility of anytime, anywhere access helps just about everyone meet their commitments.