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Certified ergonomist Blake McGowan summarizes the findings of a study that compared the outcomes of online learning, blended learning, and face-to-face classroom instruction in this month’s Bottom Line series.

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Blake McGowan, and I’m a certified professional ergonomist with Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics). A common method of educating employees is using blended learning. Well, blended learning is a training method that combines different learning techniques in order to optimize understanding. For example, you might be using web-based training to teach people the fundamentals of a topic and then following that up with some instructor-led training to strengthen those fundamentals, as well as apply those concepts to real-world problems.

So, how effective is blended learning? Well, in 2013, a group of researchers from SRI International, which is a non-profit research scientific group in Menlo Park, California, conducted a very nice review of the literature trying to compare the effectiveness of in-person training to online training, as well as blended learning. They were able to review and summarize about 45 really high-quality articles. So, what did they find? There were two major outcomes.

The first is that online training produces better learning outcomes compared to face-to-face training. The second one is that blended learning provides even better learning outcomes compared to face-to-face training as well as online. There are a few reasons for this. One, during blended learning, we’re able to spend more time with the employees. We also have more resources available to understand the information. And lastly, there’s a lot more opportunity for interaction.

So, what does this mean? What’s the bottom line? Well, the bottom line is that blended learning is the most effective method to engage as well as educate our employees. So, for more information on Humantech and the Bottom-Line series, please feel free to visit us at Humantech (now Thanks, have a great day.