Get the Best of Both Worlds with a Blended (or Hybrid) Learning Training Approach
If you haven’t considered combining your learning methods, now is the time to start!
Before advancements in technology over the last several decades, in-person instructor-led training was the only way to provide engaging corporate training. The last year has led trainers to the opposite end of that spectrum, with eLearning being the only viable option for many instructors to continue training in the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all continue to adjust to the new normal that has come out of the past year, many trainers may be finding more opportunities for in-person instruction. Both eLearning and in-person instructor-led training have many benefits, but can be better suited to different learners, which may leave you wondering what the most effective way to train is.
Why not both? This is commonly referred to as blended (or hybrid) learning in the training industry. Blended learning is training that combines traditional face-to-face instruction and electronic learning. Now is a more ideal time than ever to implement blended learning into your training programs. Below are our top ten benefits of blended corporate learning.
1. Health and Safety
With the unique and ever-changing needs of every learner during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a variety of preferences that each training cohort may have and need to be accommodated. Blended learning can be used to reduce the amount of time spent with others, increasing social distancing and minimizing the spread of COVID-19. It also gives people the option to learn in a way that they prefer and that meets their personal needs. For example, a vaccinated training participant who prefers in-person training can attend that while someone who is immunocompromised can learn with eLearning content. Options provide flexibility, so everyone can focus on learning. 7
2. Flexibility for Learners
Blended learning can provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning, accommodating all preferences and providing flexibility through the use of technology while still maintaining some personal connection.
You may be wondering, what is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?
Synchronous learning occurs when participants are all being trained together in real-time. An example of synchronous learning is a live instructor-led training session.
Asynchronous learning occurs when participants learn independently on their own time. There is no live interaction during asynchronous learning. An example of asynchronous learning is eLearning that includes all the content needed for self-study.
Providing this flexibility boosts morale for your participants and gives them opportunities to learn at the times where they are in the optimum headspace to take in new information, increasing the material’s effectiveness.
Blended learning provides access to all learners. eLearning can be vitally important for training participants who need subtitles when receiving information. Whether a participant has a hearing disability (5% of people globally do), or is taking in the training in their second language, or simply processes information better by reading it, providing some form of a caption or subtitle can contribute to better learning for all. Providing this in combination with instructor-led learning allows learners to take in information effectively, while still having the opportunity to ask questions and have discussions in an instructor-led setting.
4. Covers All Learning Preferences
We all have preferences with how we take in information. Some prefer to learn with a presenter standing in front of them in a classroom setting, while others prefer to read or view information that they can take in at their own pace. Blended learning provides opportunities to learn in a variety of different learning preferences. For those who prefer visual cues or reading content, eLearning provides ways to watch videos, view digital infographics, and read content through slides or links to articles.
For those who prefer to take in information in an auditory way, the in-person component of blended learning will allow them to process information through lectures, presentations, and discussions. Participants who prefer to write down information to retain it can benefit from both learning methods by taking notes as they are given information. Through online quizzes and in-person demos that be provided in a blended learning experience, those who learn best through hands-on experience also have opportunities to take in info in ways that suit their preferences.
With a blended learning approach, everyone can be accommodated for a balanced learning experience. Incorporating the most beneficial parts of your training through blended learning will allow for everyone to learn effectively.
5. Access to Content Outside of In-person Training
When the in-person training ends, all learners have to rely on if they need to reference information is any notes they took or perhaps handouts given out by the instructor, if any. A blended learning solution integrates technology to allow learners to better their understanding once their time together in the classroom is over. Keeping the information in your training program in an eLearning format or LMS that is easy for your participants to access once again. Providing the information discussed in a tangible, digital format can help your learners prepare for in-person class time, boosting productivity. Not only that, going back after class time to review information will increase retention.
Blended learning has the ideal output versus input for productivity and effectiveness for both the instructor and the learner. The learner gets to work at their own pace in the blended learning’s online formats, and the instructor reduces the amount of time lecturing in person and more time for quality discussions to complement the material. Furthermore, eLearning allows for automation when tracking performance and providing feedback to your learners. Quizzes and tests through eLearning can be done online and be automatically graded, making it the most efficient way to put your participant's understanding of your material to the test.
7. Cost Effectiveness
If the above reasons aren’t enough to consider implementing blending learning in your training programs, the expenses it will save you just might. In a cost/benefit analysis by trainingindustry.com, they determined that blended learning is the most cost-effective and results-driven format compared to solely in-person workshops. Between minimizing the time instructors spend teaching and reducing the costs of commutes and accommodations required to get participants to in-person training, many logistical costs can be saved by supplementing online learning in your training workshops. This makes it the ideal balance for training delivery.
Get Started on your Blended Training Solution
We offer a variety of different training formats to jumpstart your blending learning program. Our Workshop Training Library includes everything you need for engaging instructor-led training such as Instructor guides, PowerPoint slides, quick reference sheets, and more for over 170 courses on soft skills and Microsoft Office.
Our eLearning Library includes self-paced online learning versions of all of our training programs. Our workshops are editable and come in SCORM files ready for immediate upload to your Learning Management System. Our eLearning Library is a one-time licensing fee for an unlimited number of users, making it the ideal addition to blended learning programs.
Need a Learning Management System for your blended learning program? Our cloud-based LMS includes our entire line-up of self-paced online courses. You can also upload all of your own SCORM compliant courses. Quickly add learners, track progress, and create detailed reports in minutes. Interested in reaping the benefits of a blended training solution for yourself and your participants? Get started with a free course sample and see what our training materials can do for you!
Posted by Katelyn Roy on