A Few Resources and Research on Designing Learning Experiences

We are helping one of our clients design an employee onboarding program. Our goal is to help their organization support new employees in locations across the country using a consistent, scalable approach while maintaining a strong community culture. To that end, we have recommended blended learning.

While the approach you decide to take depends on a number of factors (desired outcomes, personnel, what they need to do their job(s), timing, etc.), consider the research outlined in this list to determine when blended is the best approach. An important point is that, when we design quality learning experiences, elearning is as effective, if not more effective than classroom in most situations. The key to effectiveness is quality design, regardless of how it’s delivered.

In the theme of working out loud and sharing what we’re doing and learning, we thought we’d share this list with all of you.

The Resources and Research

Action Mapping – Cathy Moore
This process works across all delivery modalities.

Designing Learning for Mental Models – Connie Malamed
Important as you transition to or add systems and processes that may be counter to existing mental models.

Does eLearning Work? – Dr. Will Thalheimer
When learning methods or factors are held constant between elearning and classroom instruction, both produce equal results.

What matters, in terms of learning effectiveness, is NOT the learning modality (elearning vs. instructor-led); it’s the learning methods that matter, including such factors as realistic practice, spaced repetitions, real-world contexts, and feedback.

Blended learning (using elearning with classroom instruction) tends to outperform classroom learning by relatively large magnitudes.

Strategies for Tacit Knowledge Transfer – Connie Malamed
As we determine what tacit knowledge we want to capture and then teach/transfer, these strategies will be useful.

No Significant Difference
This site catalogs reports, summaries, and papers that document no significant difference (NSD) in student outcomes based on the mode of education delivery.

Best Practices in Blended Learning – Connie Malamed

Debunker Club Resources
Debunking myths and misinformation in the learning field.


Learning on Demand – Reuben Tozman

Blended Learning – Jennifer Hofmann

Design for How People Learn – Julie Dirksen