LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally.
Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.
Tess is a director of LAS. She has worked in a learning environment for over twenty years. First, as a senior manager in universities, moving into digital learning ten years ago.
By Tess Robinson
Posted 13 March 2020
Well this isn’t an article I expected to be writing. It feels a bit surreal at the moment with countries in lock-down, deserted streets, empty shelves and people wearing masks. Last week we ran a F2F workshop on blended learning in London and lost a third of the attendees to travel bans and emergency covid-19 contingency planning. If only it was a blended programme – oh, the irony! Technology saved us though, as our guest speaker, who was unable to join us in person, presented to the room via Zoom.
I think it’s fair to say that this particular outbreak has caught everyone a bit by surprise, but unfortunately is highly likely to become more common, particularly with increasing antibiotic resistance. Whist being mindful of the health risks, our workshop attendees were actually pretty upbeat about the situation. They felt it had the potential to accelerate more
innovation and digital transformation in the business as a whole, as well as increasing interest in using digital for learning. So how can a Next Generation Blend help?
1. Situations like this highlight some important things about the way that we are delivering learning. A mix of delivery methods not only helps to ensure that workshop learning is embedded and put into practice, but also means that at least
some elements of the learning are still available even if learners are unable to meet in person. Put bluntly, delivering your learning in a blend reduces risk, enables continuity and increases resilience.
2. Although a Next Generation Blend is a more thoughtful, human-centred approach to blended learning, it’s still possible to get started rapidly. The methodology enables you to focus on the elements of the learning programme that are the most
important and produce digital learning assets for those initially. Learning assets can be quite simple and so can be produced quickly to get something to your learners at speed. They’re reusable so can be used as performance support, as well as in a learning pathway.
3. As employees could well be stuck at home in quarantine for a couple of weeks – what better to do with that downtime than learn. As long they aren’t sick and elements of your learning are available online and accessible remotely, this presents a great opportunity for your people to do some personal development. Cultivate a great relationship with your IT team to ensure remote learning is well supported.
4. Just because you’re home alone doesn’t mean that collaboration and knowledge sharing can’t take place. Social elements of a blend don’t always need to be F2F, there are lots of great platforms that enable this to take place regardless of location. You’ll already have something you can use. It’s worth bearing in mind though that some facilitation is often needed to get conversations started.
5. If you’ve not tried out virtual classrooms before, this is your chance to give it a go. The Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) has a number of excellent resources to help you get started, including a free eBook guide to the virtual classroom and their Certified Online Learning Facilitator course.
The current health crisis and it’s ensuing risk planning as worrying as it is, presents a good opportunity to re-evaluate your programmes and to look at how they can be better blended so that technology can support your people in undertaking learning wherever they are.
The next time this happens, and there will be a next time, you will be well-prepared.
If you’d like to learn more about Next Generation Blended Learning we’re running a series of free interactive virtual classrooms. If you’d like to be invited please email
us to request a place.