What does the term “blended learning” mean”? The results

Back in December, I ran a poll asking you what you understood by the term blended learning, as I was hearing the term being used in many different ways. I provided three possible definitions plus an option to enter your own – as follows

A: A training programme containing a mix of face-to-face-and e-learning
B: A training activity containing a range of formats and media
C: A strategic L&D approach to supporting a wide range of learning initiatives
D: Other

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 10.03.16After 750 responses here are the results:

A: A training programme containing a mix of face-to-face-and e-learning: 49%
B: A training activity containing a range of formats and media: 21%
C: A strategic L&D approach to supporting a wide range of learning initiatives: 23%
D: Other: 7%

Other definitions included:

  • In addition to the mixing of f2f with digital content, blended learning provides the learner with some measure of control over time, place, path, or pace of learning.
  • personalised and mixed delivery methods
  • Any educational activity that uses an intentional variety of media to achieve demonstrable theoretical or practical learning
  • A training curriculum that uses a range/mix of formats and media, some activities in the curriculum are self-paced, some are synchronous facilitator-led
  • An experience or chain of experiences that don’t consist of a single medium or set of social connections. Blended experiences can include solo, one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, many-to-many, teams, associations, organizations, societies, and the world.
  • Blended learning might include technology. But it’s not about technology or media. It’s about providing opportunities to discover, achieve, connect, apply, create, and lead. These opportunities enrich capacity in areas that include skills, confidence, connections, grit, etc..
  • Learning design of near seamless layering of learning across f2f and online learning modes, complementing each other/scaffolded
  • There’s no such thing as blended ‘learning’. Blended ‘delivery of stuff’? – now that’s a different thing!

Although just under 1/2 of the respondents opted for the more traditional definition of the term, it’s clear that “blended learning” means different things to different people. So just like many other terms used in the field of learning, we need to be quite sure we explain what we mean by them to avoid any confusion. Personally, I don’t like the term – and tend to agree more with the last definition – so avoid it as much as I can!

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Jane Hart

Founder at C4LPT
Jane Hart is an independent workplace learning advisor, writer and international speaker. She is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Her recent book Modern Workplace Learning: A Resource Book for L&D is now available, which she supports with a range of online workshops. Find out more about Jane at JaneHart.com.

5 thoughts on “What does the term “blended learning” mean”? The results

  1. Tom Spiglanin

    I’ve said got years that people should describe what they mean by blended learning, that it’s become a buzzword, only to be told that the term is clearly defined. Perhaps it was when F2F and CBT/WBT were the only two tools in the LND tool box. Thank you for this survey.

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  5. odimegwu nnaemeka

    Blended learning means mixing asynchronous and synchronous communication methods in the delivery of your lectures or teaching or reception of learning.
    F2F and online mix I think is more to do with hybrid learning.

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