Agile design for blended learning
Are you ready to kick-start your blended learning activities? Based on workshops performed with trainers and other learning specialists, LearningStone has developed an agile method for designing blended training, that we've called "Track design". We've spent time with hundreds of trainers, working on designing a blended training course and have found that there are countless ways of doing it right, all depending on the learning goals, client, budget, target group, available time and materials and more but in all cases, it's important to think things through.
To start off with, we've found that it can be useful to create several “tracks” to organize your design. How ever you do it, you don't always need to decide what needs to happen online and what happens face-to-face straight away. For example: you might decide you need an evaluation at the end of each course. So you start by adding " Evaluation" and then later you decide if that will be a face-to-face conversation, an online form, a smile-sheet or something else. Start with the activities (e.g. "Evaluation") and then slowly work towards the implementation (e.g. "Online form in LearningStone").
We often use the following tracks to help organize the design:
Organization : what is needed to provide the training? This can be anything that has to do with the commercial, logistical or other no-training aspects of the service you are providing. Think of the first signature from a client, a list of participants, hiring a space, an evaluation by the client etc.
Content : what content needs to be developed? As this can be the most time-consuming part, it's good to think about production aspects but also about the timing of delivery.
Collaborative : we believe in the power of collaborative learning (even if it's just for motivation), so you need to add the group aspects into your training design. When do people interact with each other? Do you need to monitor or react the group activities? Setup group dialogues, stimulate collaborative feedback, add gamification elements etc.
Individual: which steps are taken that are personalized or which activities are for individual use only. Think of a personal intake, quizzes, a coaching session, quizzes etc.
Post-its or spreadsheets?
We believe in using light weight tools like paper and post-its during design when ever possible, but if you need to create a digital version of your walls or tables full of post-its, you can move to online versions of post-it boards but we've also created a simple excel sheet that might do the trick too and we hope you'll find useful.
Download a basic excel version of our Blended Learning Track Design Template.
Another option is working in a Google Doc or Shared online Microsoft Word file. A LearningStone groupspace can be a great place to work together and store your design work or links to online design.