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Public Sector Informant : PSI - October
THE PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMANT 15 [OCTOBER 2010] think | write | speak | act » » » » » Phone Email Website » » » » » » Ask us about rates for group enrolments AN ELEARNING COURSE THAT BUILDS THE WRITING SKILLS OF PROFESSIONALS OUT NOW & TRAINING DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONSADVERTISING FEATURE 10-12581/1 Blended learning: the perfect combination Results: Chas Savage believes that blended learning is the perfect combination of elearning and face-to-face training. INCREASINGLY, organis- ations are looking at elearning as a way to build the skills of staff in a cost effective way -- and it shows in the level of invest- ment made by organisations. In 2014, global investment in elearning courses is expected to reach $53.6 billion. Chas Savage, managing direc- tor of Ethos CRS, a Canberra- based communications com- pany, said that to get the best results, elearning has to comp- lement and energise face-to- face training. "Blended learning is the term we use to describe the optimal combination of elearning and face-to-face training. Blended learning is an approach that capitalises on the benefits of- fered by the two learning meth- ods in a cost-effective manner. By blending, we play to the strengths of both -- and achieve the best training outcome," Mr Savage said. "Learning is like coffee. The blend has to be absolutely per- fect. Otherwise, there's a bitter aftertaste. Elearning suits con- tent that has to be learnt as rules or by rote. For example, the elearning course -- from gram- mar to clear writing -- is all about learning the principles that underpin clear writing. It's based on rules. This means that elearning is the perfect vehicle to deliver this content efficiently. "Other skills, such as presen- tation skills, require immediate feedback and interaction with peers and trainers. This can't be done online. Presentation skills have to be practised in front of an audience. Without this dynamic interplay, skills just won't improve," he said. Mr Savage said the majority of courses are enhanced by blend- ed delivery. Basic principles and concepts are delivered online in a way that suits a trainee. In the face-to-face component, in- dividuals explore ideas, test concepts and practise skills---all the time receiving comment and feedback on the work that they do. The face-to-face component therefore becomes more like small-group coaching that is personalised to meet individual needs. In addition, the elearning component can form a prerequi- site for attendance. Individuals would be required to complete the elearning course -- perhaps to a particular stan- dard -- before undertaking face- to-face training. "Here, a good example is the development of ministerial writ- ing skills. This is a skill that can't be learnt just from the textbook, whether it's online or in print," Mr Savage said. "Elearning enables trainees to master the procedural and for- matting requirements of minis- terial writing. In an online course, it's an easy task to guide trainees through a ministerial template for briefs, to outline the process, to define critical times and to alert trainees to each element of a brief. That is, it's easy to explain the theory and to show good examples. "The trick, however, is to put this theory into practice. And this is then done most effectively by energising elearning with face-to-face training. Face-to- face training consolidates skills and allows people to practise what they've learnt online. It enables trainees to efficiently test ideas and explore options," he said. Because Ethos CRS is expert in the design and delivery of online and face-to-face courses, it can provide organisations with a complete and cost-effective training service. And because Ethos CRS compr- ises trainers, writers and experts in film and video, it can develop content for any elearning course. Chas Savage said this combin- ation enables Ethos CRS to pro- vide services that result in better skills, more productive staff and more efficient organisations.
PSI - September