Content Analysis: Key to Excellence in Your Blended Learning

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Recently hired as training manager at a manufacturing company, Jane manages instructional designers and trainers in several branches in different cities across the region. Among many training programs that she inherited was an instructor-led safety training program for all employees of the company.

Many of you may find yourself in a situation similar to Jane’s. Whether you are working in the manufacturing industry, the healthcare industry, the banking industry, or the military as a learning and performance improvement professional, you need to pay attention to performance-oriented instructional design principles. You may also agree that adoption of e-Learning can improve overall cost-effectiveness and consistency in instruction. However, e-Learning is not a panacea; learning and performance improvement practitioners need to know when and how to blend e-Learning with conventional methods.

In this article, we intend to offer several important instructional design principles for blended learning to help practitioners who are situated similarly to Jane. However, regardless of whether the designer creates the content for face-to-face learning, e-Learning, or blended learning, there exist different structural levels of content; for example, curriculum-level, course-level, lesson-level, and topic-level. The duration and type of instruction may also vary from several days of an industry training program to a semester-long academic course. In our discussions, we shall focus on the training context with course-level content as the highest level. Also, although e-Learning can be synchronously or asynchronously delivered, we will focus on asynchronously-delivered, self-paced e-Learning programs.

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