ATD Blog

What Is Blended Learning, Really?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

L&D professionals have been chasing the concept of blended learning for decades—and they seem to keep missing the mark. I think one of the first items we, as an industry, need to agree on and understand is what blended learning really is.

Is blended learning  a term that we use to denote training that is "cheaper" because the training experience and content moves out of the classroom? Is blended learning mostly e-learning with a little bit of classroom thrown in? Practitioners seem to have many answers to these questions.

Some have even latched onto the idea that blended learning might actually be a magic bullet. Granted, blended learning can be a cost saver, as well as increase retention and improve performance—but only when done purposefully and with thought behind it. 

The Blended Learning Certificate program is not only a certificate program, it is one of immersion. It allows the participant to experience a blended format and discover what it means to design, develop, and deliver a blended learning program.


Through pre-work, classroom experience, and online participation, each participant comes away with an understanding that blended learning is more than e-learning. Indeed, a great deal of emphasis is placed on discussing not only what blended learning really is, but also what methods are used in a blended curriculum. Learners discuss a strategy for developing a blended program, as well as how to build a business case.

Join me in Chicago on July 14, 2014, or in Boston on August 4, 2014, for my next Blended Learning Certificate Program.

About the Author

Nadine Martin is president and CEO of NWM Consulting, a small independent firm focusing on learning design, development, and delivery to help employees increase business results. She has spent the majority of her career in the technology learning field. She also has been the technology training manager for Northeast Utilities (a New England-based utility company), the IS learning manager for LL Bean and the e-learning manager for Bean. During her corporate career, Martin helped to introduce the accelerated learning methodology at both companies as well as help to redesign the way in which learning was done at the company. She is certified in the usage of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument and has been utilizing technology to deliver learning for most of her career. Martin has bachelor's and master's degrees in education as well as having done post-graduate work in counseling.

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