Putting the learner at the heart of blended learning in Defence
Posted on 20th June, 2017 by Julie Read
The Defence industry has been using TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) applications for many years, and examples of good practice have often been prevalent. Today, the potential for transformational TEL-enabled blends, supported by the ever growing range and applications of new technologies, presents challenges for Defence Training Delivery Authorities (TDAs) not just in selecting the most appropriate methods and media, but even more so in combining them into effective, engaging, sustainable learning blends.
Yet TDAs are under increasing pressure to exploit TEL to meet the demands of both the wider organisation and the new generation learners.
- The New Employment Model and the growing reliance on Reservists increase the requirement to distribute training to the learner, especially via the Moodle-based Defence Learning Environment (DLE).
- Learner-centred training, self-regulated learning, inclusion in training, the use of learning technology, and standardizing training are five of the six DSAT (Defence Systems Approach to Training) Principles of Training Delivery. Used appropriately, TEL can support and enable all of these.
- Designing effective, learner-centric blends requires not just subject matter knowledge, but also both pedagogical knowledge and learning technologies knowledge, together with an understanding of how these three interact. That’s a big ask for military personnel on a 2-3 year posting.
- A learner-centric approach aids retention by considering the needs of the trainees and increasing their involvement in the learning process. Indeed, JSP 822 recognizes both the advantages and the challenges: “Wherever possible, a learner-focused approach should be adopted, although this is not always as simple as it seems”.
LEO’s strategic blend design process extends the familiar ‘methods and media selection’ to also consider the overarching learning approach, the learner journey, and the support provided to ensure that students can learn effectively, independently and collaboratively.
Learning does not happen in isolation, and the motivations, capabilities and conflicting priorities of each learner are unique. The key is to engage the learners right from the start, use learning activities and resources that keep them focused, and provide them with opportunities and tools to embed their learning, reducing skills fade.
Want to delve deeper into this subject? Join LEO’s Defence and learning experts, Simon Fyfe, Imogen Casebourne, and Julie Read, for their upcoming webinar ‘Technology enhanced learning – the strategic blend design’ on Wednesday 5th July at 3pm BST.
Through our research, experience and expertise in a wide range of learning technologies, LEO has developed a range of learning approaches to meet different learning requirements. Our experts have worked with clients across all sectors, including Defence, to design TEL-enabled blends that work for the learners and the organisation.
Webinar attendees will uncover:
- Examples of blends with impact
- Putting the learner at the heart of the design
- How to approach a blended learning design
Julie Read is LEO’s Defence Learning Consultant.