Blended learning ‘no longer just a buzz phrase’

by Brett Henebery19 Jan 2017
Andres Jonmundsson, head of learning and development at Fuji Xerox Australia, recently spoke at the Learning & Development Masterclass held in Sydney on 30 November.
At the conference, he outlined how Fuji Xerox is navigating the complexities of the modern economy, as well as how other organisations are trying to build their capability and brand in the year ahead.
In an interview with L&D Professional, Jonmundsson talked about the L&D trends he sees on the horizon, looming challenges for organisations and the benefits of blended learning.
In your view, what are some noticeable learning and development trends you’re seeing develop?
I am seeing a shift from traditional facilitation and classic eLearning towards a more agile learning philosophy. This involves producing smaller content in a fun and creative way to trigger the participant’s interest to learn more.
There would then be links to further learning and a mechanism to share thoughts. I think this year we will see more acceptance of social learning, and I believe learning practitioners will ‘influence’ their audience much the same way someone would do using Twitter or a blogging site.
Emerging technologies such as VR is on the way but too early for mainstream adoption.
You spoke of the benefits of a blended approach to leadership development. In your view, what are the most important aspects of this approach for an organisation and its learners?
Blended learning is no longer just a buzz phrase, but rather the ability to understand why people choose to take in information and how they retain it.
It is the offering of content that has been prepositioned as valuable, in ways that are appealing.
There is so much to choose from to describe blended learning, and my interest spikes when I come across content that is powerful in its simplicity and allows the participant to choose their learning journey.
My view is organisations should respect the preferences of their employees and build the learning team with skills to be able to develop content to match those preferences.
If you could name one major challenge for contemporary learning and development professionals, what would it be and why? 
The major challenge is fear; the fear of confronting long standing practices and being creative in organisations that are often traditional and risk adverse.
Curriculums can be so much better, learning experiences amazing and learning and development such a rewarding career, if L&D professionals are willing to be fearless.
The next Learning & Development Masterclass will be held in Melbourne on 6 April. Find out more and register here.