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Journal cover: Journal of Management Development

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Online from: 1982

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Blended learning and learning communities: opportunities and challenges

Document Information:
Title:Blended learning and learning communities: opportunities and challenges
Author(s):James Fleck, (Open University Business School, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Citation:James Fleck, (2012) "Blended learning and learning communities: opportunities and challenges", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 31 Iss: 4, pp.398 - 411
Keywords:Blended learning, Business studies, Distance learning, Learning methods, Open University, Teaching methods, United Kingdom
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/02621711211219059 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the nature and development of blended learning and the emerging notion of learning communities, with particular reference to management and business education.

Design/methodology/approach – In total, four specific models are explored to highlight some of the issues involved and the challenges and opportunities arising. These models draw primarily on experience with the UK's Open University, arguably the most successful exponent of blended learning and widely emulated around the world. In particular, the simplistic idea of “content” versus delivery is critiqued, the primacy of technology rather than pedagogy is challenged and the importance of fine operational details in achieving an appropriate fit for the required purposes is stressed.

Findings – There is no doubt that blended learning will become more prevalent. Even conventional face-to-face campus-based teaching operations will use on-line activities as important supporting elements, and information and resources available over the web will take over from printed library resources.

Originality/value – The challenges and opportunities of blended learning are summarized in this paper.

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