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How New Employees Learn Their Professional Role: A Case Study of a Blended Learning Program Open Access

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Organizations face constant pressure to remain competitive in the marketplace by utilizing technology, controlling costs, and increasing effectiveness of practices, procedures, and employees. Training and development are commonly used tools to assist with these efforts and which utilize more economical methods of instruction including the use of blended learning. There is a need to ensure these broader and increasingly popular methods to facilitate learning are effective in teaching new hires their role in an organization. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine how blended learning (i.e., which elements of blended learning) affected an employee’s abilities to learn their roles in an organizational setting. An established survey, Learning Management System data, observations and interviews were used with new hires, managers, HR managers and training personnel to understand the impact of the current blended learning program at a large organization. The results showed a deficiency in the program to adequately instruct new hires regarding their role. The results also show that the blended learning program was not being utilized as designed, which contributed to the findings. This study offers practitioners insights that can be adapted and applied in the design of a blended learning curriculum as well as insights on the need to utilize all the design elements to ensure adequate instruction is taking place. Recommendations are offered for future areas of research, such as blended learning in additional contexts and the role different types of learners might have on training outcomes.

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