It’s all in the blend

Rachel Winfield explains how eLearning has helped create engaging, blended learning experiences at Leeds University Union.

“Our use of eLearning has enabled us to move away from solely delivering in the classroom, to using a blended approach – creating more engaging learning experiences.” Rachel Winfield, Leeds University Union

One of the most important turning points in the uptake of eLearning was when organisations started to use it as the backbone of a blended approach. A blended programme uses multimedia to deliver a topic in an efficient and effective way, generally as an alternative to running a face-to-face workshop over several days. 

Typically, eLearning courses are used to deliver core theoretical knowledge, and ensure everyone has mastered those basics. This can help ‘flip’ the classroom, preparing learners before other types of training, and reinforcing learning afterwards. eLearning combines well with a whole host of different learning approaches. This might include live online sessions and virtual classrooms as well as face to face, to provide opportunities to reflect and practice new knowledge and skills. 

Having access to a suite of eLearning provides a great foundation to create all manner of blended learning initiatives. Individual courses can be ‘packaged up’ with a customised workbook, a webinar, or a short virtual classroom session to create something tailored to your organisation’s needs. 

Thinking bigger, entire curricula can be developed, where multiple courses can be combined with a wide variety of multimedia resources to create easily accessible learning pathways. With a suite of eLearning always available to you, there should be no shortage of ways in which you can use, and reuse, them to quickly create blended learning solutions to meet your ever-changing needs. 

Case study: Rachel Winfield, Learning and Development manager, Leeds University Union

Our use of eLearning has enabled us to move away from solely delivering in the classroom to using a blended approach, creating more engaging learning experiences at the same time. Now when new colleagues and volunteers join us, their core compliance knowledge has been provided via interactive eLearning, as opposed to just reading a policy document. All the time we get to spend with them face-to-face can now be more about them: what they need in order to get the most from their role now, as well for the future once they’ve left the university. 

In terms of the learning team’s input, we can now spend more time on activities that add the most value, such as coaching, mentoring and creating more content, rather than training. 

We will soon launch action learning sets and have developed a blended approach for these too. To kick start this, we’ve created video-based eLearning to educate participants. We’ll then bring them together for a short workshop, where they’ll meet the members of their set. They’ll be taken through a facilitated experience, before heading off to work with their group for the next six months. Without this blended approach, we’d have to spend more face-to-face time explaining how action learning sets work. Ultimately, that would have meant fewer people being able to take part. 

Rachel’s eLearning top tip: Mix it up!

Think beyond just blending eLearning with face-to-face activities. There are so many different ways for people to learn. Using a multimedia approach helps to create more interesting and engaging blended learning programmes. 

’10 reasons why charities should use eLearning’

There are hundreds of reasons of why charities should use eLearning but we’ve whittled it down to 10. 

Whether you’re making the case to start your eLearning journey or are looking to enhance the investment you’ve already made, these are the benefits of eLearning that will deliver significant results. 

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