With the need to do more for less in this current economic climate businesses are increasingly coming under more and more pressure to continue to equip their workforce with the knowledge and skills to perform in difficult circumstances. Clive Shepherd's book is an excellent place to start if you need some practical advice to provide more efficient learning and development solutions but at the same time, maintaining effective learning to take place.
The book is a refreshingly clear explanation that cuts through the fog by determining exactly what blended learning really is. It is written with an unbiased view of media which so many others fail to do. It will open up a whole new range of opportunities to organisations that is beyond what we might call traditional training methods. Afterall, it's about blended LEARNING not blended TRAINING.
What it doesn't do, and rightly so, is insist that a blended solution HAS to include specific delivery methods to be a true blend; for example, blended learning isn't just combining classroom and e-learning which is a common misconception.
What makes this book the most valuable asset to anyone involved in providing learning solutions, whether classroom designers, e-learning designers, trainers, managers, senior managers or freelancers is take you back to basics and keeps you focussed on the learning rather than the media. Quality learning has too often taken a back seat in the struggle to find cheaper, quicker ways of delivering training. This book shows you how to keep the balance.
The reason it is a 'cook book' is that it gives a rich collection of real blended examples - or recipes to follow. There are plenty and I'm guessing there will be one that will be close to the situation you are currently facing. Even when we eventually rise out of the current downturn, The Blended Learning Cookbook will prove a useful, well-thumbed reference for its recipes.
If you think you know what blended learning is, think again - and buy this book.
The Blended Learning Cookbook is a guide for professionals in the learning trade. In it, Clive Shepherd makes the case for an approach to learning production, which he calls 'Blended Learning 2.0', combining classroom training with the technology available for computer based training in the 21st century.
The Cookbook contains 28 'Recipes' for how to approach learning and development problems and four appendices explaining the larger concepts behind them. The scenarios are explained in simple terms with the solution (the `Blend') explained in a table showing the optimal blended learning solution to each problem. Apart from the recipes and appendices, an introduction outlining the case for blended learning gives a useful background..
On balance, the Cookbook is more use as an introduction to the concepts behind blended learning and its applications rather than as a comprehensive guide to its theory and practice. The recipes are more than numerous enough to convey the implementation of blended learning and all are backed up with Shepherd and Sazen's rationale. Steps for each stage of the project are given along with methods and media for their delivery.
As a newcomer to the e-learning trade, I would recommend it for the way in which it presents various scenarios and media solutions (some of which I was not even aware of beforehand) without getting mired in the theory. Those looking for a detailed guide to blended learning should look elsewhere, but it is a great resource for dipping into and finding practical inspiration.
I was very disapointed with this book. I did a lot of reearch about which book to buy on this subject and chose it on the merits of the authors credentials. I feel that it was a complete waste of money and have now ordered another book that has some practical ideas rather than repetition of a very basic idea that blended learning includes lots of different methods. What a waste of time!