Blended Learning Networks
A Blended Learning Network, BLN, is a heterogeneous Community of Practice in which people with various backgrounds and with different experiences share a common interest and work together to achieve a common goal. In discussions focusing on an agreed learning project, participants(1) get to know and respect one another, share knowledge and experiences and learn from each other. They also support each other to make use of relevant research and development results within everyday practice and/or their own organisation. Over 150 BLNs have been carried out throughout Sweden since the start of the SFCCC in 2008. BLNs form an important part of the SFCCC's work and a successful way of gaining awareness and understanding of relevant research, at the same time as practical 'know-how' and unique individual experiences and to disseminate this not only within the BLN but throughout municipalities in Sweden.
Lessons learned from BLNs thus far – Examples:
- Participant carers felt themselves to be more equal partners sitting round the table together. They were treated on a more equal basis and attentively listened to by members of the other stakeholder groups and perceived this experience to be different from their previous meetings with professionals.
- In many municipalities BLNs have acted as important advisory groups to develop family care support.
- Greater awareness that support of carers is a societal issue and development of more preventive support has begun.
- An overhaul of existing family care support and formulation of a future strategy for partnership working with carers.
- Companies have started working actively with supporting working carers.
The meetings in the BLNs are carefully documented. After completion, detailed summaries form the basis of inspirational material or educational material that forms the basis for group discussions and study circles among the key stakeholder groups of the SFCCC.
(1) Carers and the person they care for, carer organisations and other NGOs, practitioners working in health and social care, decision makers, policy makers, managers, politicians and researchers.