Shaping the blends

Bob Little (Bob Little is a Partner in Bob Little Press & PR, St Albans, UK.)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to describe and critique “blended learning”, with examples of the use of this approach to delivering learning.


The paper contains information from leading authorities in the UK on e‐learning and blended learning – the eLearning Network, the e‐Learning Centre and Learning Light – along with comments from leading providers of blended learning, including Echelon Learning, Open Mind, Tata Interactive Systems and Trainer1.


Blended learning is not new and has its critics, but the key principle behind this concept – that learning activities must be appropriate for the learners, not only with regard to their learning preferences but also within the context of their organisation culture – is vital to producing a successful learning programme.

Practical implications

The paper argues that blended learning can – and does – work, providing effective learning solutions. However, it is more important to find an appropriate learning solution – which may well be some sort of blended learning. This calls for a disciplined approach to designing learning solutions, by professionals who have experience in organisational behaviour, pedagogy and learning technologies.


Highlights the principle that learning activities must be appropriate, not only with regard to learners' learning preferences but also within the context of their organisation culture.



Little, B. (2006), "Shaping the blends", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 190-195.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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