The days of learning being solely instructor led are gone forever. Today we have multiple sources of learning, even with the same content.
The best way to learn a particular piece of content depends on the time, the place, the learner, and the urgency. Blended Learning may be a video, an online course, or an instructor-led course. The key is to have the proper content available in the best form to suit the learner at that time. Course content has advanced to the use of multiple media within the same course. Courses now combine eLearning, video, instructor-led, and both hard and soft document learning objects leading to a complex matrix that must be assembled and managed.
Your LMS should handle all of this for you.
The core is a learning object. A learning object is the smallest information nugget and is designed to provide the learner with one skill at one level. A learning object never has multiple skills and never has multiple levels for one skill. A learning object has one medium, such as eLearning, instructor-led, and video. Courses then, are a collection of learning objects. A course on Microsoft Excel would contain several learning objects for Excel fundamentals, Excel pivot tables, and Excel macros for example. This then becomes the agenda for the Excel course.
Using learning objects inside of a course adds some interesting and useful options. For example, the GyrusAim learning management system allows for drop-ins to take a part of a course. Instead of making a learner sit through five learning objects as part of a course, he could attend only the learning object that applies to the skill that he needs to acquire. This reduces the burden on the learner, the instructor, and the work flow as the training lessens the worker’s time away from work.
A learning object can have a prerequisite. The prerequisite is not for a course or even another learning object however. The prerequisite for a learning object is a particular proficiency in a skill. A learning object is not concerned with how the learner acquired the skill, just that there is a certain expectation of what the skill proficiency of the learner is before attending the learning object. This makes the learning more effective, not just for the learner, but also for the other learners if it is an instructor-led learning object.
See Also: blended learning