"Blended Learning is a learning program in which performance objectives are matched to the most appropriate medium to ensure that participants learn -- at least in part -- through facilitator-led delivery of content with some element of participant control over where, when, pace or path in the overall program sequence."
- Learning is a social experience. Ikujiro Nonaka proved in his work on Knowledge Management, that knowledge is not used until it is exchanged and vetted with another person. This dependence on social exchange changes the knowledge into application, and hopefully improves performance. It doesn't have to be done in person, so it does not limit virtual learning. The Knowledge-Creating Company
- Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence continues to provide a strong rubric for auditing the flow and content of a learning experience. Each of us are strongest in three to five of the Multiple Intelligences, and we can grow any whenever we want. Varying the delivery of learning across the original seven helps ensure that each learner receives the content in the way most meaningful to them. Receiving learning in different ways increases neural connections, making retention easier. Virtual learning is a bit more challenging, and expect advanced technologies to make it easier to implement. Multiple Intelligences- The Theory in Practice
- Learning depends on feeling safe. If your leader has threatened your job as s/he sends you to training, learning cannot occur. Due to the new research on Emotional Intelligence, we now know that fear and shame in a learning situation are disabling, blocking learning and retention.
- The traditional learning objectives from your School of Education days still are required to drive what is practiced in a learning experience. Because there is a learning objective that says our learners will be able to build a Project Charter, our learners build one for one of their real projects during our time together. The learning objectives play a dual role as they development project objectives. Skip these at your peril.
- Lecture as a Last Resort. Listening is not a strong skill. From the article "Listening to People" by Ralph Nichols and Leonard Stevens in HBR, "Our own testing shows—and it has been substantiated by reports of research at Florida State University and Michigan State University—that two months after listening to a talk, the average listener will remember only about 25% of what was said. In fact, after we have barely learned something, we tend to forget from one-half to one-third of it within eight hours; it is startling to realize that frequently we forget more in this first short interval than we do in the next six months." Practice, Do, Reflect. Repeat.
- Laughter and fun open the brain, create endorphins that link the memory to joy, and grow interest in future exposure to the topic. A positive learning environment drives positive application of learning to performance.
- Music (see Accelerated Learning Fieldbook above) creates a mood and can be very useful to manage energy and attention when used carefully. Quiet, major key, instrumental music has been found to help with lots of physical issues like stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, etc. In live and virtual classes, use it (legally, watch the copyright) to quiet the brain and drive focus.