Utilizing Blended Learning in Social and Behavior Change Communication Capacity Building

Utilizing Blended Learning in Social and Behavior Change Communication Capacity Building

{Photo credit: MSH staff.}Photo credit: MSH staff.

This post originally appeared on the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) blog.

In my role as a capacity building advisor, I design a lot of learning programs. Time and again, I find myself asking:

How can I present technical content in a way that will best enable my audience to apply new knowledge and skills in their work environment?

Should I use a mobile phone app?

What about some on-the-job-learning?

Or maybe an expert lecturer with case studies?

As I design these learning programs, I come back to two key questions:

  1. What’s the right learning environment: instructor-led, team-based, peer-to-peer, or self-study?
  2. What’s the right media: face-to-face, online, radio, print, mobile, or social media?

The blend of media and learning environment is a key factor in best preparing an audience to apply new knowledge and skills. There is no one right solution or one right blend–it depends on the content, the people, and what you want those people to do differently as a result of the capacity building program.

So, how can I make the most informed decision about selecting the right blend for my capacity building effort?

The HC3 project recently completed a literature review [PDF] to determine promising practices for utilizing blended learning in social behavior change communication (SBCC) capacity building activities, to identify considerations for designing the correct blend of media and environment, and to examine the implications of using blended learning in low-resource settings. These best practices, pulled from the literature, can help me as I craft the best approach for my audience.

On June 17, 2014, the HC3 project is convening an expert panel on blended learning to provide insight, advice, approaches, and suggestions on how to use blended learning to build the capacity of SBCC professionals. The results of this panel will be shared publicly. Details will follow.

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), a five-year, global project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU-CCP) in collaboration with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), NetHope, Population Services International, Ogilvy PR, Forum One, and Internews.