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Learning Series – Blended Learning Design Models (Part 4)

Blended Learning Design Models

Blended learning design models are learner platform models that describe the design and delivery strategy associated with a particular learning program. Futureshift Learning distills the variety of blended learning models into two basic types: linear learning models and hub learning models, each possessing specific inherent strengths and weaknesses.

Linear Learning

In the linear learning model, participants are required to complete a series of training interventions in a stepped, or lock-step, manner. The example model shown in Figure 1 provides an illustrative view of a linear training program.

With linear learning, a participant is not permitted to move around too much within the program or curricula because most of the learning program’s design is based on a building-block design structure. These types of models are exceptional for certifications, pay-for-skills, or apprenticeship-style programs in which the participant’s progress is carefully tracked, and specific “waypoints” are used as progress checks to validate the participant’s mastery of the knowledge and skill elements.

Linear learning’s weaknesses are that the models tend to take much longer to design and develop, and much longer to complete for the learner. The model’s strengths lie in its structure and stepped process. Also, the building-block style of learning is beneficial because it is comfortable for many learners and allows the learners to achieve satisfactory performance at each step before having to move on to the next level.

Hub Learning

While linear learning provides tremendous structure and direction, hub learning design models give freedom to explore with a variety of choices from which to choose. Hub learning has the core content at its center with a variety of radiating supplemental learning elements available. Figure 2 demonstrates a representative hub learning model.

The learner has the option of selecting only those elements he/she desires (including the choice of selecting none). The mixture of selections varies for each learner dependent upon the preferences and needs of the learner. Hub learning programs are arguably more straightforward and faster to build than linear programs, and they are considerably more flexible and customizable. Hub learning’s greatest weakness is that it is highly dependent upon a self-motivated learner to gain maximum value from the model.

It is challenging to prescribe a single learning solution because of the diversity of the situations. Figure 3 illustrates some pros and cons associated with each model.

One additional factor that cannot be overlooked as you learner engagement. The critical feature is to ensure that the learner can use the training to develop skills and knowledge. The evaluate blended learning approaches is that experiential learning process is not necessarily improved just because learning possesses the highest learner applicability of your organization used high-quality 3D visuals. There is no learning. Numerous studies and professionals agree debate that better graphics add an aesthetic quality to a once a learner can apply learning in a presentation; however, aesthetic quality does not equate to the meaningful and experiential manner, he/she can see better learning. This is a common trap into which many completely learn the materials and successfully apply inexperienced training designers fall prey. Learning is not them.

You might also like – Learning Series – Blended Learning Approaches (Part 3), Learning Series – Why Blended Learning Strategy (Part 2), Learning Series – Crafting a Blended Learning Strategy (Part 1).