One Size Fits One

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Having no direct source for the quote “one size fits one,” I hesitate to use it. However, it does express the movement toward providing learning to employees, clients, or children in a way that makes sense to the learner and not to the trainer, teacher, or instructional designer.

Although this does not seem radical, the process for creating an effective blend seems to be the stumbling block. There is a mind shift that needs to happen in order for the education community to embrace the idea of a blended learning process.

The true beauty of the blend is that it can be different for each learner, based on her preferred method of learning material.

Let’s be honest, creating a blend (oh no, change!) seems like more work. But it’s really just looking at the work we already do in a different way. Here are a few ways we need to change our thinking—and the thinking in our organizations—in order effectively create and deliver blended learning solutions:

  • People are in the middle of a blend, but presenting material online or on a mobile device does not a blend make. If the material requires collaboration, people need to be involved. You can use the technology to create that collaboration, but you can’t lose it.


    We may have to involve people we’ve never needed before, such as IT, supervisors, and online producers—the list is quite extensive!

  • We need to become discerning buyers. We must understand our population and their needs before we embark upon outsourcing any part of a blend. Good salespeople can be quite persuasive, but you need to understand what you need!
  • Finally, we need to become salespeople ourselves. We have to understand the needs of our learners and then be able to succinctly explain why a blend is the best solution.

Our job is to become change leaders! Join me in Seattle on October 6–7, 2014, or in Philadelphia on October 20–21, 2014, to further explore the process for creating effective blended learning.

About the Author

Nancy Mikkelsen is passionate about the power of being positive and integrating that concept into everything she does. Nancy has over 25 years of experience in training and development in a variety of organizations ranging from large Fortune 500 companies to not-­‐for-­profit organizations. Her attitude, drive and skill at working at all levels within an organization and her ability to design, develop and deliver training has lead to positive results and a better bottom line. Nancy’s technical background led her to become a strong proponent of using the power of technology to transform learning. 

In addition to an engineering degree and extensive graduate work in Adult Education, Nancy has also been certified in a variety of educational tools such as the Kouzes/Posner Leadership Challenge and Career Coaching. She is also affiliated with Harvard Business Publishing delivering their Leadership Direct and Breakthrough Leadership Programs. 

Nancy is a National Member of ASTD and also served on several local chapter boards during her career. She also serves on several volunteer community boards. She devotes many hours to local community theater in Allentown both on and off stage.

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