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WED: Blended Learning for CPD:A case study on the development & implementation of a blended learning model to enhance study day learning opportunities (Robert Avery)

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Robert Avery
7 January 2015

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Blended learning as a mode of e-learning has been around for more than a decade and has been researched extensively over this time. The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation (2012) identifies four models of blended learning that are implemented within education and provides a definition which indicates that blended learning is a modality which includes an element of online learning. It could be argued, however, that the concept of the flipped classroom, in which students participate in online learning off-site in place of traditional homework and then attend the brick-and-mortar institution for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects, that is identified as an approach to blended learning has been around as a concept that predates the evolution of online learning, particularly in higher education.

As an approach to providing opportunities for continuing professional development for graduates, blended learning provides opportunities for students in employment to undertake activities related specifically to their area of work without having to take significant amounts of time away from the workplace to access the learning experience. The impact of resources in the health and social care sector has been highlighted in the news recently with the implementation of ‘major incident’ protocols at a number of NHS Accident & Emergency departments (BBC News, 2015). Working with local health education commissioners and local managers, requests for continuing professional development learning opportunities that reduce the amount of time that staff need to be released have been increasing. However, NHS managers also recognise the benefits to staff of having opportunities to meet with colleagues from across Trusts and within a physical space away from the normal workplace. A number of study days have been developed within the author’s institution to facilitate continuing professional development that targets specific areas but only requires a single day of attendance.

This case study will provide a review of the challenges of developing and implementing a blended learning model to a particular study day that focuses on veteran’s awareness. It will explore the processes of reviewing the content of the study day, identification of types of material suited to e-learning and the restructuring of the experience for attendees. Feedback from attendees indicates the discussions around particular aspects of the study day are the most beneficial, so the revised delivery model focusses the contact time around these. This approach is also facilitating the development of a virtual hub for staff in this sector to maintain contact, give peer support and share good practice.

BBC (2015) Scarborough Hospital's A&E 'in day-to-day mayhem'

Clayton Christensen Institute 2012, Blended Learning Model Definitions Available from

Robert Avery
15:15 on 27 January 2015 (Edited 15:22 on 27 January 2015)

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added by Robert Avery


4:52pm 17 January 2015

Hi Robert. Sorry to post this on here but with no 'normal' messaging facility I thought this might be the most frequented place over the next few days. Would I have your permission to quote from the comments you left me on my padlet regarding my classroom footage?

Robert Avery
4:06pm 19 January 2015

Hi Marese,

Yes, that's absolutely fine.



8:29pm 19 January 2015

Thanks Robert

Much appreciated

catherine wilson
5:54pm 28 January 2015

Hi Robert,

I enjoyed reading your abstract , which has relevance for me in my setting. We use f2f, blended learning and some pure online, especially for the mandatory element to improve the compliance figures! As you say , this reduces time away from 'patients' but relies  on good will often to complete in own time,even if factored into the study allowance the reality is it creates variability is student support. On the positive side an online element is great for those who may need extra time to read etc.

Sheila Greenwood
4:17pm 6 February 2015

Hi Robert

An interesting abstract for me- not least because I am new to the world of education and the concept of blended learning.  Reading the abstract I can see the advantages to the employer and employee as CPD is convenient to both.

How is the on-line part of the learning monitored? Does the candidate have to complete certain targets/ deadlines in their own time?

Stefanie Anyadi
7:56am 8 February 2015

Hi Robert,

That looks really interesting, and to some extent reflects what we're trying to do. We haven't yet any concrete plans for putting together online learning material, but have started to think about it. Our experience of study days and an online forum seems to mirror yours, so will be interesting to find out more, particularly how you decide what material to choose for your online training and how you would produce the material.

Dr Simon Ball
10:47am 12 February 2015

Your questions and comments from the live conference presentation are below:

  • how did you decide which CPD were going to be used? did you have a rationale/list of criteria
  • Some work I did in Hospital sector found that consultants didn't like being trained with juniors because they didn't want to look stupid on the technology - have you found that AND couldn't this be an argument for elearning.
  • doing the e-learning pre-study day might help motivate and engage people more for when they attend f2f
  • A side note, but Jippes et al. (2013) "How Do Social Networks and Faculty Development Courses Affect Clinical Supervisors’ Adoption of a Medical Education Innovation? An Exploratory Study" found that targetting key consultants had a massive impact on uptake of training due to social network effect. Perhaps an idea :-)
  • You've mentioned E-tivities; was Gilly Salmon's 5-stage model considered to structure and define them?
  • chance to share learning after sounds really important. You often dont see the complexity of your learning until you reflect later
  • Are there issues around confidentiality, where people might be happier to talk about challengens and problems face to face rather than online?
  • did analysing his own practice lead your trainer to improvements in his subsequent work?
  • Once you have run your first blended version, feedback from your participants will probably encourage other lecturers to follow!
  • Will online activities require an e-moderator? IS there resource or training available?
  • nice example of where elearning can fulfill a distinct function/audience

Jane Ballans
2:05pm 13 February 2015

Hi Robert, Sorry to have missed your presentation on the live event, but I have accessed the recording. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. You have a nice easy tone to listen to . I particuarly enjoyed the background information you gave when answering questions at the end. Most interesting.

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