Experiences with Blended Learning Program Delivery for Apprenticeship Trades: A Case Study

Rosemary Vogt


In many trades the demand for training seats has strained the conventional delivery capacity of training providers in Canada. Manitoba, along with other Canadian provinces is experiencing a shortage of skilled tradespersons required to enable current and future economic expansion. Due to the deficiency in the skilled labor force, a community college in Manitoba designed, developed and delivered an alternate model of program delivery for apprenticeship trades education comprised of distributed learning using blended learning methodology. The objective was to realize fruition by employing the use of an online blended delivery model as an alternative to traditional block release training typically comprised of 8-10 weeks of face-to-face instruction at a community college. The delivery objectives focused on creating course content that could be delivered through the Internet to any apprentice regardless of location. The model would permit apprentices living in remote northern regions to remain in their communities to complete their level training as opposed to leaving family and community to complete their training at one of Manitoba’s technical colleges. This case study is founded on the requirement in the project Request for Proposal to collect data for continuous improvement purposes for subsequent component development and/or delivery. The data indicates that apprentices identify the opportunity to remain at home in their community to take their level training as the programs greatest strength. The challenges associated with designing, developing and delivering a blended model of apprenticeship training center around institutional engagement, subject matter expert availability and instructor preparedness for using technology for teaching and learning. This case study is significant as the literature is void of empirical data pertaining to an alternative model of apprenticeship training in Canada.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v3n4p85


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International Journal of Higher Education
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