Providing Blended Learning as Part of Your Corporate Training Services?: A Learning Theory You Can’t Afford Not to Know

Recent advancements in e-learning technologies have inspired many corporate trainers to search for more creative ways of maximizing employee productivity and performance in their work place. As discussed in my previous posts, empirical findings from university settings have convinced many trainers that blended learning can have a significant positive impact on the company bottom line.  This is not surprising as blended learning provides a pedagogical design where characteristics of online environment (e.g., time flexibility, student autonomy, reduced in class requirement) complement the characteristics of a face-to-face environment (e.g., higher quality of interaction between students and instructor, more direct feedback from instructor, and more instructor-controlled course structure).

Although many companies have begun introducing blended learning as part of their training and development services, very little is known about the motivational, cognitive, and behavioural attributes that may contribute to employee performance and productivity in the work place. In recent years, some researchers have turned to the social cognitive model of self-regulation in order to examine the role of cognitive and motivational attributes in online and blended learning environments (Joo, Bong, & Choi, 2000; Kitsantas & Chow, 2007; Lin, McKeachie, & Kim, 2003). Self-regulation is a multi-dimensional construct that combines behavioral, motivational, and cognitive components of learning in order to understand how students attain their learning goals (Zimmerman, 1998, & 2002).

By understanding the role of self-regulation in blended learning environments, corporate trainers can focus on the factors that can contribute to employees’ performance, thus maximizing their potential in the market place. To date, four self-regulatory variables have been shown to influence one’s performance in blended learning environments:

  1. Self-Efficacy
  2. Intrinsic Goal Orientation
  3. Time and Environment Management
  4. Help Seeking

A description of the findings for each of these domains will be provided in my upcoming posts.

References

Joo, Y., Bong, M., & Choi, H.  (2000).  Self-efficacy for self-regulated learning, academic self-efficacy, and internet self-efficacy in web-based instruction.  Educational Technology Research and Development, 48, 5-17.

Kitsantas, A., & Chow, A.  (2007).  College students’ perceived threat and preference for seeking help in traditional, distributed, and distance learning environments. Computers & Education, 48, 383-395.

Lin, Y. G., McKeachie, W. J., & Kim, Y. C.  (2003).  College student intrinsic and/or extrinsic motivation and learning.  Learning and Individual Differences, 13, 251-258.

Zimmerman, B, J.  (1998).  Academic studying and the development of personal skill: A self-regulatory perspective.  Educational Psychologist, 33, 73-86.

Zimmerman, B. J.  (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview.  Theory Into Practice, 41, 64-70.

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