Blending In

? Adopting a blended learning approach—combining distance learning and in-residence instruction—will allow the Air Force to deliver the highest quality education to airmen, stated CMSAF James Cody in the September 2014 Roll Call released on Monday. “The model is used at top universities around the world because it’s recognized as the most effective way to educate. We, too, recognize its value and are taking that next step,” he wrote. The Air Force has already instituted blended learning at its Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and will soon implement it in every NCO academy, said Cody. “The distance portion is about the information. Students can take up to a year, moving at their own pace, to learn theories and concepts that expand their understanding of the institutional competencies we need to win the fight,” he wrote. Then comes the in-residence portion. “It builds on the roots planted in the distance component by combining scenarios, exercises, and interaction with fellow airmen,” wrote Cody. “There is dialogue, leadership reflection, and opportunities to seek and receive feedback—everything students need to become more self-aware, deliberate and influential leaders ready and able to strengthen the team,” he added. (See also Restoring Emphasis on the Learner.)