Soapbox: Top 10 Challenges of Blended Learning

blended learning | Online Discussions

“Blended learning is here to stay, but to be successful, trainers first must address a variety of technical, organizational, and instructional design challenges.”

Jennifer Hofmann explores the following 10 challenges presented by blended learning and how they can be addressed to create a more successful blended learning model.

Hofmann specifically addresses technical, organizational, and instructional challenges and presents concrete solutions.

1. Ensuring participants can successfully use the technology.

2. Resisting the urge to use technology simply because it is available.

3. Overcoming the idea that blended learning is not as effective as traditional classroom training.

4. Redefining the role of the facilitator.

5. Managing and monitoring participant progress.

6. Looking at how to teach, not just what to teach.

7. Matching the best delivery medium to the performance objective.

8. Keeping online offerings interactive rather than just “talking at” participants.

9. Ensuring participant commitment and follow-through with “non-live” elements.

10. Ensuring all the elements of the blend are coordinated.

Hofmann’s  solutions are clear and offer insight into how blended learning can be implemented in a successful way!

Although this article is not specifically targeted at teachers in the traditional educational setting, the article has given me some additional ideas for my own book on blended learning. I agree with Hofmann that a blended learning model of instruction must be implemented with forethought and intention. Starting small and using simple technology is the smartest way to begin, then a teacher can build on their successes and evolve as a facilitator. Teachers, like trainers, need support and instruction to fully understand the technology as well as how to best integrate that technology into their teaching (or training).

As I have discovered in my own on work leading a virtual professional development course, keeping work done online interactive is crucial to engaging participants. I build in time during my webinars to have participants discuss topics related to the subject and to share their experiences. It has personalized the webinars and made the online work more meaningful for everyone involved.

I would definitely recommend Hofmann’s article to any teacher or professional development instructor interested in learning more about how to make a blended learning model of instruction more meaningful.

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