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Training Video: Blended Learning Challenge #10: Coordinating the Elements

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Published on Jul 25, 2012

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Coordinate the elements of your blend with the help of your producer or assistant instructor. Use the course map and provide facilitator and user guides. Just sending PowerPoint slides with notes is not enough.

"Our last challenge is ensuring that all elements of the blend are coordinated. Who sends out text books? When do you get your pre-work? Who is monitoring the discussion board? How do you make sure everything is tied together? Our participants tend to complete only the easy components, or simply schedule it on their calendar, but they have a harder time dealing with stuff that they need to schedule on their own.

"You have probably also run into this, that participants don't read everything they receive. We all get so many emails; we've probably gotten twenty emails in the course of this webinar. They don't read everything, and they miss key points. How many times do we hear, "I didn't get that participant guide," or "I didn't see what time it was," or "I didn't know what time it was," or "I didn't realize it was on Tuesday instead of Wednesday." A facilitator will start to feel very overwhelmed as well because there are so many pieces to keep together. This is when that second set of hands, the producer, is very, very helpful.

"We want to go back to that course map. Publish your communication plan, and we do need a facilitator guide that has everything in it. A technical background, and instructional background, and a communication plan. We tend to, when we go online, throw away all of the things that were important to us in the face-to-face classroom. We tend not to use facilitator guides. If we've got notes in our PowerPoint slides, we're happy. However, online, with so many different components, and so many different people playing a role, a facilitator guide is key. Facilitator notes with key text, with transitions, with what technology you're supposed to use, all become critical. When you get to use a facilitator guide, I bet your programs are 100% better right away.

"Use a participant guide too, not just for the live class, but it ties the self-paced stuff in as well. If you've got Module 1 which is online, Module 2 which is a discussion board, Module 3 which is self-paced, all those components should be structured in the participant guide in order. Whether that participant guide is delivered as a .pdf or it's printed, it needs to be incorporated and used. Don't just send out slides. As a matter of fact, Training Magazine Network doesn't even send out slides ahead of time because if people feel like they've got the slides, they feel like they've got the content.

"We want to make sure that all of the elements of the blend are coordinated and the keys here are a strong facilitator document, and a strong participant document. "

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