Did you know that e-learning started in 1924? This was long before the internet even existed! It all started with distance learning.

In the 1840’s Isaac Pitman taught people shorthand. Shorthand is writing in symbols and was used by secretaries and journalists to write faster, for example when they took meeting minutes or conducted an interview. This was taught as a ‘correspondence’ course via the mail system – similar to the way one studied through UNISA before we had access to computers.

In 1924, the first testing machine was invented – and failed. Then, in 1954 the “teaching machine” was invented which was used in schools, but only in 1960 the first computer-based training (aka CBT) program was introduced to the world – to improve basic literacy. As more people got access to computers, e-learning became more popular in schools, universities, businesses and with all other training providers. E-learning is also referred to as online learning or virtual learning.

Blended learning means we combine different types of learning, for example online learning is combined with face-to-face classroom learning.

You may be wondering why Guest Resource Services is implementing blended learning, given that fact that we have been successfully offering face-to-face classroom learning opportunities since 1996. We are not changing our winning recipe, we are simply addressing our clients’ needs and adding new solutions to our portfolio.

Blended learning will prepare our learners for a technology-centred world of work and offer the learning material in a more flexible manner. Learners can study at times that are convenient to them, learn at their own pace, and watch a video more than once to ensure they understand. Many learners perform better on blended learning programmes and enjoy it more than the traditional classroom training.

Implementing blended learning will not be without challenges, but Guest Resource Services is confident that the team of dedicated employees will ensure that offering blended learning becomes another successful chapter in our organisation’s history. We are already piloting our Learning Management System (LMS) by offering online modules for internal employee development and will be piloting our first registered Skills Programme as a blended learning programme, early in 2021!

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Alan Watts. INDEX