Blended Learning Course Design

Blended Learning courses typically comprise of a number of modules delivered using a variety of methods and media. Theory based subjects can be delivered via e-learning or Computer Based Training (CBT), whereas practical subjects lend themselves to traditional instructor led face to face delivery or workplace learning utilising various methods and media such as simulation, emulation, part task trainers or full task trainers.

 

A number of tools are available within the Defence Systems Approach to Training (JSP 822 DSAT) framework to assist the designer in identifying suitable delivery options. The MoD Blended Learning toolkit was developed several years ago to support the decision making process. The tool assesses Enabling Objectives and Key Learning Points (KLPs) via a number of weighting factors in order to determine suitable delivery methods and media.

 

Although not infallible the tool does provide more objective than subjective results thus facilitating an audit trail, that said it is a tool to assist the decision making process and not the decision maker. Difficulty, Importance and Frequency (DIF) and Knowledge Skills and Attitudes (KSA) should be considered during the analysis process.

 

Blended Learning Design Considerations

 

There are many other factors that the analyst should consider during the design of a  Blended Learning course:

 

  • The availability of students to attend an instructor led face to face course in a central location.

  • Commitments

  • The cost effectiveness should be assessed within a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA). Developing CBT or an online module may be costly, however when assessed against the savings in Travel and Subsistence (T&S), facilities, instructor costs etc. It may be that the initial expenditure will be cost effective in the long term.

  • Learning needs - people learn in different ways, learning styles should be considered when developing methods and media for a Blended Learning Course.

  • Assessment in Training will need to be considered during the analysis process. The manner in which written and practical assessments are conducted should be reflected within the Learning Specifications (LSpecs), Assessment Strategy (AStrat) and Assessment Specifications (ASpecs).

 

Example of a typical Blended Learning Course:

 

  • Module 1; an e-learning module that teaches the majority of theory based objectives.

  • Module 2; practical instructor led training and exercises.

  • Module 3; workplace training.

  • Assessments: formative and summative assessments conducted during and post module.

 

Prior to any Blended Learning development taking place it is recommended that the organisation commission a Scoping Study in order to assess the impact, identify issues, risks, findings and recommendations before embarking on the development.

 

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