So what could we, in the professional education world, learn from college kids these days?  Well, aside from the latest in campus athletics, discount textbooks, and possibly the best energy drinks.  Corporate educators can actually learn a lot about their style of learning.

Today’s college level students are not just learning in a classroom.  They are using email, chat, social networks, and all kinds of other digital media to extend their learning experience, both with and without their instructor.  Does this fit in today’s corporate workplace?  Absolutely.  In fact, the ProEd division of Blackboard believes that businesses that don’t embrace digital media miss opportunities to solidify training material, broaden classroom experiences, address different learning styles, and improve learning effectiveness overall.

This concept is often referred to as “blended learning,” and corporations are taking note.  David Mallon, a Principal Analyst with Bersin & Associates, takes a deeper dive into this topic in a research bulletin titled “Using Higher Education’s Model Blended Learning Model as Corporate Social Learning Strategy.”

As many companies are discovering, it just so happens that the world of higher education has a jump-start on this kind of classroom-inspired blend of formal and informal; both the experience gained by higher education and the technologies developed in support of this activity can be of great help to corporate L&D.

Mallon acknowledges that the amount of “blending” to embrace will vary based on business challenge and audience, but found that integrating informal learning, a large component of e-learning, can achieve the following results:

  • Helps to address complex topics and learners who need extra support
  • Leverages diverse array of technology tools available to facilitate informal learning
  • Optimizes time and resources of the instructor

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