I think this is a really interesting question

and as a trainer and training designer I am really pleased to hear you thinking about this stuff before you jump straight in.

Traditionally, on-line learning has tended to focus on more information and knowledge based learning – perhaps having developed from the previous computer based training packages often designed in-house by organisations needing to ‘test’ learners’ understanding of key processes and technical knowledge of a role. There is a huge shift now though to make the most of the interactive options provided by the on-line approach – the use of film, case studies, embedded power point, discussion groups, blogs and social media are just some examples.

So, with this in mind, you could make a case for any sort of learning being easily transferred into this format, but there will always be the challenge of how you replicate the ‘classroom’ experience. I do think it’s important with on-line learning to ensure there is a balance with either face to face or telephone/email/video conferencing contact. These aspects can be built in to complement what you are offering on-line and help you create a truly ‘blended’ learning experience. Remember also, that some learners will completely embrace the on-line approach and simply see it as an extension of how they would usually learn, reflect and gather information. For others, it will be about learning a new way of learning before they can even begin to engage with the content.

In terms of determining which aspects of your programme to start with, think about these questions:

  • How might the use of technology add value to specific areas of the learning?
  • Why do we want to incorporate an on-line aspect?
  • What do we want learners to be able to know/do/understand from this learning?
  • How can we ensure the content remains current and relevant?

There are many more questions I am sure, but hopefully these will be useful. And, a great resource for all things training is the website Training Zone – http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/ There are some really useful articles about learning technologies as well as resources and discussion groups. You will need to register to gain full access to the content, but it’s free and I would highly recommend it.

Hope this is helpful.

SUE

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