02 Mar


It sounds like a snake oil sales pitch, but increased access to technology has made it possible to increase the effectiveness of your training in less time. This is achieved through blended learning – combining online and classroom for a single course.

Blended learning takes the content covered in the numerous slides full of text, and puts it in to e-learning which is completed prior to attending the class. This method allows course participants to go through the material at their own pace; more knowledgeable and experienced participants can review the material, and those new to the content can spend more time to learn.

With the lecture content already covered, the classroom time is now freed up to engage and apply the content. Dedicating the classroom time to discussions and exercises engages the higher levels of thinking which results in an increased transfer of learning to the job.

How is this more efficient? Studies show that participants complete blended learning courses in less time than traditional classroom delivery.  “E-learning programs saved 20%-60% in time compared with traditional classroom learning, and another study found a decrease from 3 hours for lecture learning to 2 hours for blended education” (Sherman et al., 2012, 187).

This approach is also more flexible. The online learning can also be completed at a time which works for your business and employees instead of having to replace employees  or pay overtime while they are in training. If your instructors are employees, they also spend less time in the classroom.

While blended learning does offer the best of both worlds, it requires an upfront investment in the online component and must be designed to utilize the classroom time to meet the learning outcomes.

Do you have any experience with blended learning? Has it worked for you?

Would you be interested in an online module on blended learning development?


Sherman, H, L Comer, L Putnam, and H Freeman. “Blended Versus Lecture Learning: Outcomes for Staff Development.” Journal For Nurses in Staff Development, 28(4), 2012: 186-190.

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