Blended learning is an approach that more and more companies are taking to train employees. There are still those who rely either only on instructor-led training or only on online courses, but those that combine the two witness the most benefits.
Instructor-led training is still vital because of the human element, but online learning is much more convenient. It enables learners to train anytime and anywhere, and learn at their own pace, without sacrificing too much time in the office.
Combining the best of both worlds is easier than you may think. Here are the essential steps you should take.
Set Your Learning Goals and Objectives
You need to set the goals and objectives of your blended-learning course first so that you can know which learning activities and technology tools to implement.
You need to ask yourself:
- What do you want to achieve with your training course?
- What skills do you want your employees to develop?
- What information do they need to retain every time they leave your classroom setting?
- How will your training course help them perform better at work?
Once you know your goals and learning objectives, you’ll know how to tailor course activities around those goals and objectives.
This will serve as a road map that will help you see where your training course is going, and everything you need to cover going forward.
Decide How and When You Will Use Technology
First, you need to know what technology tools you’ll use in the training.
Choose the tools that will enhance the learning experience, and help your employees develop and practice their skills, as well as retain information better. They should offer simulations, scenarios, interactive activities, instructional videos, and any other exercise that will improve the learning experience.
The best tools you can use are a Training Maker and LMS software that will help you deliver your course and track your learners’ progress.
Then, decide how and when your learners will use technology.
- Are they going to use it in instructor-led activities, or will they only use it for online learning?
- What are the challenges that technology implemented into instructor-led activities will help you solve?
- How will it keep your learners engaged, helping them better retain knowledge?
- How will it help them hone their skills?
Create Both Instructor-Led and Online Learning Activities
This is what blended learning is all about, but the key to an effective strategy is making sure all the activities perfectly blend together.
For instance, you can provide them with videos, graphs, and articles that will assist them with steps for completing certain tasks and projects. They can explore all that content as pre-work so that they can practice what they’ve learned during the instructor-led part of the training.
Incorporate Collaboration into the Activities
Collaboration is one of the best ways for your employees to train effectively. Working with their peers to solve a particular challenge will help them better understand the learning material and retain more information.
So, create online discussion groups, and chat rooms where they can communicate in real time. They can share knowledge with one another and gather useful feedback that will enhance their learning.
They can also collaborate in your classroom setting by working in pairs or groups to complete a particular project.
Offer Resources for Online Support
You can use technology to help your employees further dig into the topics of your training course. Provide them with an online knowledge base that they can access 24/7.
That way, they won’t have to wait for the next classroom-based training session to address any issue they may have. You’ll also give them the opportunity to step up their learning.
Fill your online knowledge base with articles, videos, scenarios, webinars, links to reference sites, and anything else that will help your trainees master their skills and achieve the learning goals.
You can use your Training Maker to add media, articles, presentations, documents, and various other learning materials to your training course.
Gather Feedback from Your Learners
Feedback is the key to measure the effectiveness of your training course. Use your LMS software to create surveys, and ask your trainees to complete the surveys to help you improve your training course.
Ask them to be completely honest, so that you can see what they like and don’t like about your blended-learning strategy, and how they think the training could be improved.
Encourage them to share their opinions and suggestions whenever they want, because both them and you will benefit that way.
Utilize Tools to Assess Your Learners
Both your LMS software and Training Maker can help you assess your learners, as you can create quizzes to test their knowledge. Regular assessments will give you an insight into their strengths and weaknesses so that you can know who, and in which areas, may need additional training.
These tools will also help you monitor your learners’ progress, which will further help you assess their knowledge. You’ll see their level of engagement, and get reports and analytics regarding their overall performance.
Blended learning is one of the best approaches you can take to create an effective training course. It may seem complex at first, but these tips will help you stay organized and know which direction to take.
So, start with your learning objectives and goals, and proceed with technology tools that will enhance the learning experience.
Create online and instructor-led learning activities that will seamlessly blend together, and enable your learners to collaborate both in your classroom setting and online.
Provide them with valuable resources for online support, and gather their feedback for continually improving your training course.
Last but not least, assess your trainees regularly to see how they’re performing, and help them get the most out of your training.
About the Author:
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & e-learning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.