The Blended Learning Process
This learning model combines several instruction methods for all learning types, visual, audio, kinesthetic, reading, etc. It leverages modern learning practices that include instruction of the appropriate learning steps, reinforcement of what is learned through feedback, and teach-back components. So, it maximizes learning outcomes for everyone.
“Online education, then, can serve two goals. For students lucky enough to have access to great teachers, blended learning can mean even better outcomes at the same or lower cost. And for the millions here and abroad who lack access to good, in-person education, online learning can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.” — Daphne Koller
This method also blends all learning styles and assesses learning along the way. So, it doesn’t matter what type works best for you. This style works for visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. This method makes sure they achieve the targeted goals.
We find that many traditions use the same or similar preparatory steps. So, we can combine or blend these steps. The blended learning strategy enables us to teach several spiritual technologies in a short period. We keep the integrity of the traditions intact but accelerate the learning process.
Feedback is a way to ensure the learner is ready for the next step. Reinforcing learning reduces many of the problems. People progress at their own pace. This process results in better learning outcomes.
The best way to ensure you know something is to teach it. So, we’ve built the teach-back opportunity to share and help others. Everyone in the process is both a student and a facilitator. The more we learn, the more we can pass along. It’s also a way for people with natural leadership abilities to come forward. This method of teaching isn’t new. It follows an ancient pattern Joseph Campbell called The Hero’s Journey.
Keeping Ancient Traditions Intact
The blended learning process isn’t new. It’s a common thread we find in many ancient knowledge systems. They may not have understood modern learning theory, but their systems often mirror this methodology.
We believe it is an effective learning forum for people at all levels. Another aspect of the process is reinforcement through teach-back opportunities. One of the best ways to ensure you know something is to teach it. So, we’ve built the opportunity to share and help others right into the culture.
“The problem now is that young people, young indigenous people, are not so interested in preserving traditional knowledge. So for them, seeing that it was important for us and for the outside world, this traditional knowledge, it was a big deal to them.” — Ciro Guerra
Another critical point is that we keep the integrity of traditions intact. We do not change the actual process. Feedback checks throughout the process ensure the learner is ready for the next step in the learning progression.
The Hero’s Journey
This learning process we’ve described isn’t a new model. However, it is probably one of the most effective ever devised. You might say that modern learning theory recognizes this pattern in ancient methods. The early pioneers of consciousness may not have had all the learning tools we do today. They did not have video and recording devices. However, they learned to leverage the tools they had. Many traditions follow an ancient pattern Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.” ―Joseph Campbell
The Hero’s Journey is the story at the heart of many spiritual philosophies and religions. So, our blended learning process naturally mirrors this pattern. You can find it in the stories of many famous teachers like Buddha and Jesus.
Although every tradition has its own characters, the story contains the same underlying pattern. It is the story of a special person who awakens, fights battles, and overcomes obstacles to become a champion. This story resonates with us deeply because it describes the visionary journey of our spiritual exploration.
We divide the Hero’s Journey into three phases. The three natural phases of this quest are awakening, transforming, and inspiring.
You can break it into as many as 36 separate elements, but these three are the primary divisions that are easiest to recognize. These phases overlap and sometimes repeat. You can find this pattern in your spiritual journey. This pattern shows up as cycles that repeat over and over, again and again.
Phase One – Awakening
Awakening involves exploring the essential tools for consciousness exploration while building community. Here is where we build a foundation of basics. We begin to explore and awaken the gifts we have in our DNA.
It’s all about building a foundation for your own spiritual practice. For example, we learn about the benefits of using a journal to spot incremental growth and obstacles. We provide opportunities to learn several basic meditative practices like mindfulness meditation and forest bathing. We facilitate the use of the Enneagram Personality Profile questionnaire and the emotional check-in process.
We create a forum for people with different backgrounds to come and share. Small group learning exercises are another primary tool. In this phase, we identify our strengths. Throughout this phase, we are using the tools for teaching, reinforcing, and providing opportunities for teaching-back.
We learn new technologies like the emotional check process and the repeating exercise process, then teach them. The preparation phase enables us to be “ready to learn” more profound practices. All the while, we are building a diverse community.
The advantages of using a blended learning model are evident from the beginning. Many people tell us they learn more in this awakening phase in a few short meetings than in month-long seminars. Additionally, participants learn they are co-teachers and coaches. Helping each other reinforces learning and helps to overcome obstacles.
Phase Two – Transforming
The second phase (Transforming) ideally takes place on a face-to-face weekend retreat when it is safe. For now, a virtual learning weekend event with some outdoor meetings is adequate.
Setting aside a whole weekend is essential for several reasons. Because many techniques build in a sequence, it is imperative to have enough time to practice and get comfortable with one step before moving on to the next.
We’ve found it takes a weekend to adequately understand and practice the basic strategies that incorporate both seated and moving meditation. We learn techniques in the morning and practice in the afternoon. This process ensures that the methods accommodate everyone’s learning style and abilities.
With this method, everyone has the time to assimilate the new information. By the way, we use the evenings to celebrate our successes. The weekend is a time for the emersion in more profound practice, which we rarely do in our modern lifestyles.
It’s common for people to say that the weekend experience, even the virtual ones, are “an oasis,” the stress of everyday life. When we can’t meet face-to-face, we’ve found the virtual learning classroom to provide a good substitute.
It’s a time to share our personal “stories,” re-charge our spiritual and physical bodies, encourage and be energized, and heal. The weekend goes by often too fast for most who want to stay and bask in the synergy and positive energy generated by so many involved in this noble aim.
Third Phase – Inspiring
The third phase (Inspiring) occurs when we get back together after a weekend immersion event. After a week or two, we have new experiences to share. Perhaps some issues may have arisen that we can help to address.
We continue building, sharing, and helping others overcome any personal roadblocks. We reach out and partner with other like-minded people and groups. It helps us follow through, develop, establish our spiritual practices, and further our spiritual exploration. It is the Hero’s Journey.
Above all, follow the desire to explore the mysteries of the inner world. It is one of the main reasons we are here. The existence of non-ordinary states of consciousness is proof that we should explore. It opens the door to experiences that are beyond the realm of the ordinary.
We provide a personal virtual learning event to receive more than four hours of individual instruction. We tailor these sessions to meet your specific learning needs, so they are appropriate for any level of experience.
Check out the curriculum and sign up for a free learning readiness assessment meeting. You’ll get a free Enneagram Personality Profile assessment of your dominant personality, wing type, and instinctual stack. You will participate in a photo recognition exercise. The result will give you a good indication of your receptiveness to a blended learning platform like ours. It will help you understand your strengths and any obstacles that may hinder your participation and readiness from learning in this kind of forum.