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Blended Learning: Embracing Individualism
Today's knowledge workers frequently have to take on new job roles and responsibilities for which they were not trained. The key to ensuring easier adaptation and productive cooperation is using a blend of informal and formal training that keeps the &
The term "blended learning" means different things to different people. Virtually by definition, the "blend" in blended learning encompasses multiple combinations of learning approaches, depending on need and circumstances.
Formal versus Informal: The Key Distinction
When blending learning is in the context of embracing individualism, the most important distinction is not necessarily face-to-face versus e-learning but the blend of formal and informal approaches to learning. Formal learning is the traditional, preparatory approach in which learning takes precedence over all other activities. Formal learning can be - and increasingly is - blended learning, taking place in classrooms, on computer screens and via other technologies. Whatever the delivery method, formal learning requires the learner to be exclusively engaged in learning for the duration of the course or module.
By contrast, informal learning takes place anywhere and everywhere except in a formal setting. It might be learning via an instant message exchange, a conversation with a subject-matter expert during a collaboration on a specific project, a colleague's referral to "the guy who knows all about that" down the hall or many other informal interactions that take place throughout the workday.
While formal learning provides a foundation of known skills, values and processes, informal learning helps to harness innovation and meet organizational challenges.
Informal learning disseminates knowledge through an organization more quickly than formal learning, which typically requires the creation of structured content. Informal learning is essentially individualized learning because all learners can choose - or find - their own way to transform a moment in the workday into a learning experience. Indeed, as formal learning processes and infrastructures mature, and the nature of work continues to evolve, informal learning becomes increasingly important in the blended learning mix. Knowledge workers especially need to share their experiences in context to ensure learning becomes part of the work of meeting business issues and challenges.
Individualism, Informal Learning and Innovation
There is both an important and inevitable link among individualism, informal learning and innovation. Innovation, in turn, is key to an organization's ability to thrive in an environment of continual, fundamental change. Reflecting the sentiments of business leaders around the globe, Siemens CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said, "You can only win the 'war' with ideas, not with spending cuts."
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
May 29th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
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