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What is...blended learning ...
What is...blended learning

Once e-learning was the solution to all our ills: development at your desk and in your own time.

But now we are told it's not good enough on its own - we need blended learning.

Virtual classrooms and new technologies are the stalwarts of the blended approach, but traditional teaching approaches also play their part.

Roger Delves, programme director at Cranfield School of Management's Centre for Customised Executive Development, says: 'Any form of teaching that involves face-to-face tuition as well as the web would be defined as blended learning,' he says. 'It's not just a question of which media you are using.

'For example, many blended development schedules include web-based programmes, face-to-face tuition, coaching and experiential learning.'

Not that different from good old-fashioned classroom teaching, then? 'No,' says Mr Delves. 'But there is one key difference, and that's technology.'

A clash is developing between synchronous forms of communication, like chat rooms or video conferencing and asynchronous forms, like email.

'The whole selling point of e-learning was it gave people the freedom to do their work whenever it suited them. With chat rooms or virtual classrooms, everyone has to 'attend' at the same time.'

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