In June of 2009, employees of the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts gathered to hear the news about state budget cuts. Within minutes, State Administrator for the Courts Jeff Hall relayed that the money for the Presiding Judges conference had been eliminated from the budget. The Washington Court Education Services team had to figure out how to provide appropriate learning opportunities for this important group. The answer came a few months later when the State Justice Institute provided a grant of $25,000 to fund a test of a blended learning model for the courts. This grant took advantage of resources already on hand at the Washington AOC: Skilled educators, well-established processes, and the newly acquired web-conferencing system Adobe Connect Pro and associated eLearning software Adobe Presenter to help solve the problem of diminishing budgets.
In this article, you will find a definition of blended learning, a description of the grant project, an outline of web-based learning capabilities used, and lessons learned for future blended learning projects.