In this blog we talk about how blended learning solutions help enterprises get better training roi.
Blended learning, as the name suggests, is a blend of traditional face-to-face learning and online learning.
It is also sometimes called hybrid learning since it uses a mix of different learning and development strategies to achieve results.
Blended learning solutions include the use of various digital media types, technology, and evolving pedagogical practices. Any blended learning program thus reaps the benefits of both classroom and online learning.
Blended learning results in better learning outcomes, more satisfied and empowered employees, which in turn, translate into better training ROI for the enterprises. Here are the Best Ways to Deliver Online Learning Courses to Employees.
One reason why blended learning is gaining ground is the fact that it works as a bridge between two different worlds – traditional learning, which provides the learners comfort of peer and instructor presence; and online learning, which passes greater control of learning to the individual and makes learning a more personalized experience.
While advances in technology may be redefining business landscapes, it is important to keep in mind that people are generally resistant to change. Several studies point to the fact that there is a reluctant majority that needs to be convinced about the benefits of online learning.
Blended learning, thus, is a way for enterprises to take the middle path rather than make a dramatic shift from traditional to online.
With blended learning, learners do not have to forego the comfort of face-to-face interaction while at the same time, they gain from a sea of information and online resources with a just few clicks of the mouse.
Blended learning, therefore, translates into higher acceptance by employees, increased engagement and greater reach, all of which translate into better ROI for enterprises.
Here are some benefits of blended learning solutions:
Instructors have to spend a lot of time in creating teaching resources, for example, they have to source and collate material, have it printed, and then distribute to the student. Needless to say, this is a time-consuming process.
A better option is to access online resources, upload on an online corporate training platform and then send the link to the article, PDF, presentation or a document to the learners. Many instructors have already adopted this practice, thus, saving precious time
Blended learning solutions are also cost saving as enterprises don’t have to invest in printed copies of their training content. They can simply upload their training resources on a central repository and make it available for reading, downloading, and editing.
Besides, they also save in terms of accommodation and travel costs as employees can access classroom training sessions using online environment.
Most online platforms offer a vast range of in-built communication tools such as live chat, messaging boards, video calls etc. These tools make interactions between the instructor and employees more effective.
Instructors can upload assignments, share information, assign due dates, and address questions. Besides, online forums and communities also provide employees a platform to debate, share, and seek information, all of which makes the subject under discussion more relevant and interesting.
The fact that blended learning combines the best of classroom and online learning helps enterprises to expand their reach. In classroom learning, employees can interact with their instructors and peers, and also learn from hands-on activities.
With the face-to-face interaction, they can also understand where they stand in respect to their peers and also share experiences and gain perspectives. Online learning, on the other hand, is more personalized, allowing them to learn at their own pace and expand their knowledge beyond the classroom.
Also, blended learning allows enterprises to extend training beyond geographies at minimal costs. Employees can log in to an online environment, for example, WebEx, at a designated time and participate in training sessions.
Besides, blended learning also enables learners to access content while on the move, on their smartphones or device of their choice.
Online content is created using several digital media types, such as audio, video, text, graphics, animations, etc. These media formats help to bring alive complex concepts and make the content more engaging, immersive, real-time and contextual.
Take the example of sales training. An instructor can supplement classroom lessons with presentations and also online games that allow employees to practice their skills in a virtual environment, get a ‘first-hand’ experience how the knowledge can be put to practice in real-time settings, and also learn from mistakes.
With these formats and activities, learners are more likely to engage with the lesson, retain the knowledge and apply them in actual situations.
The second aspect to consider is that employees are busy with their jobs and so it is difficult to align classroom learning with so many different schedules. By adding online learning to the training, enterprises can provide their employees more flexibility to access and participate in training.
Learn whether Blended Learning the Right Approach for Your Enterprise.
Pre and Post-Training:
Instructors can use readily available online resources to supplement their classroom lessons. They can also share links of these resources and ask the employees to come prepared for the lesson in the classroom. Then there may be some employees who are already familiar with the concept and others who are not.
By sharing these resources beforehand, instructors can bring all employees on board and even administer tests to check their proficiency on the subject. Pre-training through online resources saves valuable classroom time and provides a more level-playing field for all the trainees to grasp the lesson.
Apart from pre-training, blended learning can also be an effective means of post-training. Employees can be provided links to online resources to supplement classroom teaching.
Blended learning also simplifies assessment. Instructors can use online tools to administer tests and quizzes to assess the proficiency of the learners.
And by using a learning management system (LMS) to administer training, they can also leverage its analytical and reporting tools to automatically generate statistics and analytical reports which they can then use to judge the capabilities of their learners and also to fine-tune their future training. Learn How to Leverage your LMS to Create a Blended Learning Environment.
Blended learning is a form of learning that allows employees to access the best of both worlds – the comfort of classroom interaction and access to a wealth of readily available sea of information.
Besides, online communication tools help to take learning out of the bounds of the classroom, providing learners an opportunity to debate and share knowledge and experiences, thus, generating greater involvement and connect with the subject.
Enterprises not only benefit in terms of better learning outcomes from their training investment but also save in terms of other costs such as accommodation costs, travel costs and costs associated with printing and storing material. (more on Switching to Blended Learning for Better Learning Outcomes)
Thus, with blended learning solutions, enterprises can achieve better training ROI.
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