What Exactly is Blended Learning? New Workplace Learning Approaches for Health and Safety Training

The online world has influenced everything we do including how we search, shop, and sell; so, adapting to how workers can learn in new ways has become a focus for many health and safety professionals. eLearning, for example, requires developers to work closely with health and safety experts and instructional designers to customize a solution to fit worker training needs. Using eLearning as an option for organizational health and safety programs makes sense in that you:

  • are not bound to a specific location
  • can learn at your own pace
  • take advantage of tracking and certificate generation.

As eLearning becomes increasingly popular as a method of instruction, workplaces are discovering the varied methods in which you can customize course material and keep workers engaged.

But what about blended learning?

Blended Learning is defined as an education program (formal or informal) that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods requiring the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace. This combination of both eLearning and Traditional Classroom is being increasingly used in all aspects of learning as a hybrid teaching approach. Blended is proving to be an adaptable learning method and here at the Public Services Health and Safety Association, we are continually looking for new ways to integrate blended learning into health and safety training. The advantage of blended training is the eLearning component allows you to complete the modules on your own time at your own location and is proven to:

  • Improve efficiency
  • Personalize the learning process

While the classroom component allows you to:

  • Share and learn from other experiences
  • Ask detailed or situational questions of a Health and Safety professional
  • Practice the application of theory to enhance understanding
  • Work through case studies and examples in your workplace

Participants of PSHSAs blended learning for Joint Health and Safety Committee training, also save one day of training in the classroom and the time spent in classroom is optimized as result of the eLearning component. Participants of PSHSAs blended learning for Joint Health and Safety Committee training, also save one day of training in the classroom and the time spent in classroom is optimized as result of the eLearning component. Mathew Kennedy, PSHSA’s  Director Digital Learning Solutions, describes the blended learning as “a course that utilizes the strengths of both eLearning and classroom training. Our Blended JHSC Part 1 course is designed so that learners can learn at their own pace, from the privacy of their own home before attending a classroom session.  Once in the classroom, they’ll have the opportunity to work with a PSHSA facilitator and their peers to zero in on the important issues that they’ll face while serving on their own JHSC.  And once complete, learners can revisit the eLearning component any time should they need a refresher and/or some just-in-time learning on the job.”

PSHSA also offers blended training for our Working at Heights courses. Our program combines the ease of eLearning with the focused practical application of a traditional classroom environment. Complete the eLearning at your own pace first then attend a class with one of our experts to complete your course. You can attend the traditional classroom training in one of our regional training facilities or our instructors can train on-site at your organization. Blended learning is ideal for independent learners, those with many years of experience working at heights, or those who are used to taking eLearning courses.

There is evidence that students learn more effectively and have a higher satisfaction when courses are blended, as compared to online or traditional, face-to-face courses (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). It is apparent that the rapidly evolving education landscape each day requires us to incorporate technology in some aspect to further customize and provide flexible learning solutions.


Save Training Budget

The key benefit to a blended learning strategy is the fact that workers are no longer sitting in training classrooms for the entire duration of training. Blended learning is making the training process more efficient and saves your organization when it comes to your company’s training budgets.


Try the JHSC eLearning Free

If you are undecided and haven’t yet experienced the advantages of blended learning,, PSHSA is offering a free trial for the JHSC eLearning portion of our blended program. This provides an opportunity to experience what the eLearning component will be like as well as the course material. Learn more at: pshsa.ca/jhsc to see if blended can be a fit for you and your organization.

Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) works with Ontario’s public and broader public sector workers and employers, providing occupational health and safety training, resources and consulting to reduce workplace risks and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses