Blended learning offers an ideal balance between virtual training and in-person classes. It harnesses the power of online resources but also includes the human component. If done well, the learner gets the best of both worlds, creating a more robust experience.
This method also makes it easier to balance the cost of a training program. You can choose more affordable online options, which cut down on time spent managing and using the program. It also gives you access to materials and resources on a global level. You don’t have to rely on local subject matter experts when you can tap into the vastness of the internet.
The key is figuring out how to balance your blended learning program to give trainees everything they need to be successful.
Find Balance Based on Learner Location
Learner location will determine accessibility when it comes to in-person employee training. Consider where most of your team is located. Do many work remotely in different parts of the country or world? Are they all located close by or do they come into the office regularly?
If your learners are physically on-site all or most of the time, then you can work in more in-person activities into your blended learning program. For those that aren’t, you can rely more heavily on internet-based activities.
List All of the Activities Classes Need to Complete
Make a list of the activities that classes need to complete in their training courses. Do they have to take a test, give a demonstration, or write a paper? Are there digital solutions available for some or all of these or are there activities that must be completed in person?
This will help you identify which areas absolutely must be done on-site and which may have virtual options. Technology like augmented and virtual reality makes it possible for a learner to demonstrate a skill that a trainer can observe. However, some businesses may not have the resources available to offer this yet or may require an in-person demonstration for verification or certification.
Use this list to find which areas of your training program could be offered online and which cannot. This will help you save time later when balancing your blended learning offerings.
Make Sure You Can Measure All Progress
Blended learning is effective, but it can create a challenge when it comes to monitoring progress. Some systems only record activities completed within an LMS. That means they have to be digital or there is no way to add them to the learner’s progress.
Others have expanded to offer tracking tools for things done offline. It’s important to be able to track everything to get a full picture of what an employee has done and what skills they possess. Make sure your LMS is ready to track both online and offline activities before you begin a blended training program.
Use Group and Individual Exercises
Your program should offer both group and individual activities. These allow trainees to connect and help each other but also leaves room to work independently and reflect on what has been taught.
It can be easy to skip one or the other by requiring constant group discussions or only offering self-paced classes. Mix things up so that your trainees get a bit of both for the best possible outcome.
Make Training Work with Learner Schedules
Many workers must complete training while on the job. Make sure your program works with their schedules. Doing so makes them more likely to complete the course and will help maintain high levels of employee satisfaction and motivation.
The online training part of your blended learning program can help tremendously. It takes seconds to log into an account and start learning. The internet gives users 24-hour access so they can learn whenever it is most convenient for them, whether that’s during a lunch break or late in the evening.
Individualize the Training Experience
An individualized training experience will have a bigger impact on the employee. There are several ways to do this. Some LMS platforms automatically curate content and recommendations based on employee behavior and status. This will help each worker find content that is most relevant to them.
Learning paths are also a great resource. These can be built around specific job roles and guide employees directly to the careers that they want. They can also be used to help employees work toward a goal, like a promotion.
Not only does this encourage active learning and motivation, but it also helps businesses fill skill gaps.
Use Different Materials and Media in Training
Deliver information, instructions, and more using different methods. This will help trainees gain a better understanding of what is being taught.
Your blended learning courses should include text, images, videos, and audio wherever relevant. Some LMS platforms include features like interactive videos that engage learners with questions and informative highlights while they watch.
Exposing the trainee to different media will help them gain a deeper understanding of the material while assisting those with different learning styles.
Make Sure Everyone Knows the System
If you are implementing an LMS for the first time or switching to a new platform, your trainees must know how to use it. This should be the first set of instructions they are given before they dive into course material.
It may seem like a waste of time, but it is beneficial in the long run. Not everyone has the same background and understanding when it comes to technology. Go over all the basics so that no one is left behind at the start of class.
It’s also important to outline what the class will entail so that trainees are prepared for situations that require online learning and those that may be held in person.
Ask Your Training Class for Feedback
This tip is essential whether you are moving to a blended learning program or something more traditional. Ask your training class for feedback. They are your best source of information when it comes to the effectiveness of your courses.
Find out which material works best, and which may be lacking. Also, ask for suggestions to help you strike a better balance between the online and offline components of your training program.
Blended learning can have a profound impact on your workforce. Visit LMS.org to learn more about learning management systems that support blended employee training.