got to come back here when I have a clear block of time
By Kaye Thorne, 2003, Kogan Page: London, ebook, ISBN 0-7494-3901-7
Thorne writes from the perspective of learning functions within an organisation, and blended learning as a new method for increasing organisational performance. The target audience is the 'trainer, performance coach, facilitator, developer, internal consultant, learning designer, educator or line manager.' (page 1)
P18 "The real importance and significance in blended learning lies in its potential. If we forget the title and focus on the process, blended learning represents a real opportunity to create learning experiences that can provide the right learning at the right time and in the right place for each and every individual, not just at work, but in schools, universities and even at home. It can be truly universal, crossing global boundaries and bringing groups of learners together through different cultures and time zones. In this context blended learning could become one of the most significant developments of the 21st century."
At regular intervals through the book, Thorne poses questions to the reader that encourage reflection on the information presented, and linkages to the reader's specific context.
This book would be a good one to lend to staff who are interested in integrating some aspects of online learning with their existing practice, and those staff who are looking for detailed guidance on how to go about training needs analyses and responding to those analyses.
In Chapter 2 she explores blended learning in terms of meeting the needs of learners, with a brief summary of the following as they apply to learning:
- Honey and Mumford's learning styles
- Kolb's learning cycle
- Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
- Goleman's Emotional Intelligence
A suggested approach for initiating the use of blended learning within an organisation is outlined.
Implementing blended learning with reference to learning styles requires insight on the part of the learner. Thorne provides guidance in how this process could be facilitated and stresses the need for negotiating with the learner 'who they are will impact on what they want to do and how they are able to achieve their goals. (page 45)
The roles of the trainer, line manager, and personal coach are explored in chapter 3.
Chapter 4 discusses 'Designing Blended Learning', starting with an exploration of creativity and innovation (pages 56-65) in the design and planning process.
The checklists on pages 69-70 would provide a valuable evaluation for the instructional designer.
Interestingly the chapter on 'Designing Blended Learning' concentrates on designing the online learning experience.
In Chapter 5 Thorne addresses issues such as feedback and evaluation of training as it relates to the design process, and also advice regarding Training Needs Analysis.
Chapter 6 is packed with case studies, which include information from those involved in the use of blended learning within the following organisations (mix of UK and USA):
- Rolls-Royce plc
- Diageo plc
- DaimlerChrysler UK Ltd
- Avis Europe plc
- Basic Skills Agency
- Computeach International
- CNDL Group
- Nationwide Trust
- The US Department of Health and Human Services
- THINQ Limited
Pages 120-121 provide a summary of 'lessons learnt' from all case studies.
Chapter 7 provides advice aimed at the trainer in managing their role, professionally and personally.
Chapter 8 reiterates key points from the proceeding chapters, and points a way forward while emphasising the benefits of blended learning.
Overall I can see this book being useful for the training professional and staff development or human resources personnel. It talks very much to the trainer in terms of their role in creating blended learning and provides information that would be useful for building a business case for the increased use of blended learning approaches within an organisation.
For someone based in an educational institution, I think key sections of this book are Chapters 2, 4 and 6 (especially for those involved with promoting blended learning to enterprises.
Questions to answer:
What have I learnt from this book?
That when promoting blended learning make sure it is more than online + traditional learning. It needs to encompass the full range of possibilities of blending. The case studies provided some useful reminders about the preparation of in house trainers for facilitating a blended approach where they have not been instrumental in the planning and development.
How does this apply to my context?
The process suggested in chapter 2 for promoting a blended learning approach could be adapted to 'selling' blended learning to teaching teams and also enterprises.
The section on creativity and innovation would be good to share with other people within the organisation eg the Flexible Learning Champions, and maybe use in workshops with staff.
I will be presenting a poster session for the Best Practices in e-Learning Conference held by the University of Calgary from August 23-27, 2004. My presentation is 'Constructing an elearning foundation for all', and this presentation will explore the implementation of elearning foundation sites for all courses offered by the Institute of TAFE Tasmania, with the goal of providing additional support to students, and enhancing current teaching and learning practice.
This will be an exercise in leading through sharing and discussing the 'elearning foundation' strategy. I have decided on a poster session as I felt that lends itself more to a demonstration and exploration approach than a traditional academic paper.
It is an online conference, and workshops will take place in the week before the conference dates above. I have my eyes on the 'Adapting e-Learning to Different Learning Styles Workshop' and will be in Victoria that week, so I'll need to hunt out some affordable internet access to take part.
link to website
by Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink
Education leaders want to accomplish goals that matter, inspire others to join them in working toward those goals, and leave a lasting legacy.
This article talks from the context of the school sector, and the key message is about sustainability of leadership initiatives.
At the Remarkable Cave on the Tasman Peninsula, I learnt all about how the cave formation was created by the geological composition of the cliff and the wave power from the southern ocean. A perfect example of just in time, relevant and contextualised learning.
Beyond the Break starts tomorrow. see conference website here
Went for a drive around the Griffith Uni Campus to see what the location is like - it felt like driving through a bushland area, all the roads are lined with gumtrees so you don't really get a feel for the layout. That will have to wait until tommorow.
On the plane trip to Brisbane, I found myself immersed in a book that spoke very directly to me, The Springboard by Stephen Denning. Denning writes about his experiences in using story telling as a means of engaging people thoughout the World Bank in implementing knowledge management. He argues that arguing a case for change that is based on objective analysis rarely will be successful. By telling stories, we allow people to draw their own conclusions. "When the story rings true, it enables the listeners to generate a new gestalt in their minds, which embraces the main point of the change" (p38)
Denning writes that, "The more I concentrate on the analytics, the more I run into difficulty and resistance. The more I put the analytic thinking to one side and instead put forward the story, the easier things seem to be." (P52)
The difficulty of letting go of the traditional approach to presentations and communicating is recognised - you really feel that you ae hearing a real person from the way that Denning writes. How (or how not) to gather and share stories is also explored. This will be very useful as I start down this path.
'Connectedness' the story, however condensed, has to link to the audience with a positive controlling idea and a protagonist with whom the audience empathises.
'Strangeness' the Springboard story must violate the listener's expectations in some way.
'Comprehensibility' the story has to embody the idea so as to spring the listener to a new level of understanding.
The book is written in the present tense which creates a different feeling to being written in the past. It feels like you are sitting alongside the author as he experiences and reflects.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in getting a message across - it's not just about using stories for change management, it's about connecting with people, co-creating vision, and recognising the complexity of organisational life.
Proudly wore my FLL name badge today - as well as the conference tag. Saw many others there too, and it was great to start catching up.
My trusty Palm handheld did a fine job today, as I arrived at Griffith Uni, I snapped these pics, then got into the more serious business of writing notes through many interesting presentations. At afternoon tea, I used the voice recorder when quizzing someone about their practice. I'll fill in the notes later, but am off to the conference dinner shortly, to 'network'.
Griffith Uni is really very very leafy.
Conference venue (or at least where lunch was found - very nice by the way)
After a strong coffee, Monday morning started with a predictable round of presentations about the future of vet: globalisation, current initiatives, changing workforce, individualised learning etc. Chris Robinson [Deputy Director General, QLD Department of Employment and Training] resisted the temptation to talk at length about the high tech future, reminding us that there has been huge growth also in the service industries in low level jobs and that they are essential to this new economy. A number of Future Directions projects managed by the TAFE QLD Centre for Innovation and Development are aimed at addressing these and related issues, so it will be interesting to keep a watching brief on the outcomes of these projects.
The first keynote was presented by Peter Scope of Cisco and Anthony Lupi of Positive Outcomes. Within Cisco, elearning is used as part of a blended solution to orientation and upskilling training for employees. It is built into their workforce optimisation strategies and includes reporting of skills mixes etc. One idea that captured my interest was the use of 'knowledge bites', these are 5 minute training chunks that are offered to employees by being scrolled across the bottom of their computer screens. I would be interested to know how mnay staff take up these knowledge bites and also how the materials are matched to the job roles. Anthony Lupi talked about the work that Cisco does in meeting the triple bottom line of profits, people and presence. Profit is obvious, people is the people internal to Cisco and external, and presence is the corporation's standing in the community.
Martha Goldman from Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE shared with us her experiences with classroom behaviour management. From the schools sector, training and processes are being adapted for VET = these include the use of peer observation, feedback and reflection on learner behaviour management techniques. The ten microskills that Martha outlined are clear, logical and easily observed, but the tricky part is the feedback and reflection and learning that must take place for skills to develop and grow in this area. Martha's presentation demonstrated for us just how well an experienced presenter and educator can engage an audience. I'd walked in not expecting to gain much based on the session title, but the strategies she described are ones that I can take back and share in my institute.
There's more to come from day one, but I must rest ready for the final day!
‘New Vocationalism’ is about the significant labour market transformation, and Stephen Darwin, from Canberra Institute of Technology, talked about the new ways that teachers need to work to address changing workplace realities and changing learner needs. CIT runs a graduate program in tertiary education, which is based on critical reflection of teacher educators. Old models of instructional design based on a behaviourist or cognitive model do not necessary meet all the current needs, so emergent instructional design practice along constructivist principles is now brought to the fore.
Looking through my notes from this session I have a note that ‘informal PD’ is important for staff, but no notes about what CIT provides in an informal manner, other than the plan to establish a community of practice for new teaching staff. Stephen provided several references to texts on instructional design and Chappell and Johnson’s 'Changing work, Changing roles for vocational teachers and trainers’.
The final session I attended on the first day was a workshop by Christy-Lee Hunt from the Institute of TAFE Tasmania about the evolution in her team’s teaching practice in Aged Care. Christy’s changes addressed two different problems: the demand from local industry that students on vocational placement should have entry level skills before vocational placements, and a particular group of students who were not responding to a problem based learning approach. A videoconference with Dr David Merrill was a catalyst in reassessing the delivery strategies, as was a LearnScope project that included an investigation of digital imaging. Merrill’s model of instructional sequencing provided the structure that the students seemed to be looking for, with a gradual progression from high levels of guidance upfront, to a more student directed approach over the timeframe of the course. Digital images are used extensively to set the context for exercises, and this works especially well where students do not have any experience in Aged Care and this introduces them to the realities of the industry.
Of course there was far more detail from each speaker, this is just a summary of key points that I heard from each presentation.