Earlier this week I attended InterAction’s annual Forum in Arlington, Virginia, to connect with my colleagues in international development, learn what they are doing, and showcase K4Health’s recent accomplishments and offerings in eLearning.
Marie McNamee of InsideNGO brought together and moderated a panel on Harnessing the Power of E-Learning – What is on the Horizon.
As NGO workers, we’ve become adept over the years at training ourselves to meet the challenges of global relief and development work. But we continue to do so predominantly through face-to-face, classroom-based methods. Recent trends in aid - including the need for rapid scaling of operations, greater cost efficiencies, and expanded use of partnerships - are placing tremendous strain on these time-tested approaches to staff development. In order to achieve greater reach, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness, the NGO community is increasingly turning to e-learning and blended learning approaches to help complement existing training methods. This workshop will explore the emerging fields of e-learning and blended learning as illustrations of how technology is shaping the future of humanitarian and development action. Participants will not only learn about current directions in e-learning and blended learning - they will be invited to help shape its future development based on their own experiences and recommendations.
Eric Berg, Executive Director of LINGOs, delivered the first presentation and asked the audience if they had ever been on a conference call and learned something from it. When almost everyone raised their hands, he explained that their experience was a form eLearning.
Disaster Ready Initiative's web-based portal.
George Devendorf, Director of Disaster Ready Initiative, spoke next about his group’s new web-based portal. Devendorf described how they developed eLearning courses and what they hoped to achieve.When it was my turn, I discussed the value of delivering eLearning courses in the context of other types of training. The presentation, Blending Learning: Knowledge Acquisition to Application, was developed by MSH’s Liz Mclean as part of K4Health’s management of USAID’s Global Health eLearning Center and the associated Blended Learning Guide.
The definition of blended learning: a combination of learning media and learning environments that reinforce and accelerate mastery and application to the job.
Blended learning is a combination of learning media and learning environments that reinforce and accelerate mastery and application to the job. Examples of learning media include: face-to-face, online, print, social media and radio. Examples of learning environments include: instructor-led, group-work, peer-to-peer interaction and individual work.
A blended learning approach, such as the one described in a previous post, can help learners move from knowledge acquisition to knowledge application, as defined in the infographic of Bloom’s Taxonomy.