In the past decade, technology-driven learning is adopted by organizations to support different learning requirements and varied audiences. The “classroom-only” approach is transforming and online training is no more limited by distance and cost.
Although most businesses are not fully abandoning the conventional modes to favor online learning, blended learning is emerging as the preferred route. To ensure that corporate learners have access to the right skills and knowledge to meet organizational goals, companies are choosing blended learning because they realize that plain, non-interactive online or face-to-face training sessions don’t work anymore.
While every method has its advantages and disadvantages, blended learning outweighs other learning methods by making instruction delivery effective and result oriented right from the start.
What is blended learning?
The perfect blended learning program includes web-based training supported by human touch and media. It optimizes the achievement of learning objectives with the application of appropriate learning technologies to match the personal learning style. It refers to an education program that combines teaching methods of the traditional classroom and online learning. Traditional face-to-face learning is combined with methods of eLearning so that learners can reach their full potential. Every learner has different needs and learning styles, so with this education program, they have greater flexibility of learning at their own pace.
This learning approach works best for organizations, which is why it has become a buzzword in the business world. Creating a blended learning approach demands time because organizations need to identify the “right” content for online, in-person training along with timings for virtual classrooms and in-person sessions.
Whether you are teaching students or training employees, blended learning works because it can make your teaching more effective.
Here are some of the key reasons why a blended learning approach is widely adopted by learning managers and chief learning officers and is becoming a trend.
1.Boosts learner’s efficiency
With blended learning, learning managers can provide learners with instant access to their learning materials wherever they are and whenever they need them. This is because blended learning relies partly on technology, and all the learning materials are accessible online. Due to that ease of access, learners can learn at their own pace and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in the way that best fits their individual learning styles.
That kind of learning is much more efficient because learners can get more done in less time, so they can complete their education or training programs more quickly. More importantly, they can complete them more effectively because self-paced learning takes the stress out of the equation.
One of the biggest challenges for learning managers is engaging the students and keeping them interested in the learning materials. Why? Their attention spans are short and they have higher targets to achieve.
In some instances, businesses may have a limited window of availability to enable workers from across the company to collaborate in a classroom setting for training. For instance, organizations operating off-shore rigs can’t spare crews for weeks or months to attend training.
In such a scenario, effective blended learning is the best way forward. Wondering how? Off-shore rig operators can take part in conventional distance or eLearning initiatives. Then to build engagement, the course moderators can set a series of shared targets for the learners to accomplish.
To further the engagement process and provide opportunities for assessment, consultation sessions about these shared goals and projects can then be held with the course moderators, in person or virtually.
With blended learning, you can easily update your learners on new announcements, assignments, test results, and anything else regarding your course.
Not only is this beneficial to students, but it is also vital for businesses (especially when they have remote workers) because good and effective communication is crucial for a seamless workflow and overall organizational success. With improved communication, stronger relationships are built, which is why blended learning has started to play a huge role in corporate training.
Collaboration is one of the key factors necessary for effective learning. Blended learning enables the course participants to work together, engage in discussions, and provide useful feedback to one another, which undoubtedly leads to improvement and higher engagement.
Dynamic online discussions and peer feedback can significantly improve learners’ knowledge and skills, especially when it comes to the workplace. Everyone is motivated to actively participate, which leads to much better learning outcomes.
5.Keeping track of learners’ progress
Tracking the progress of your learners is important but the traditional methods of learning don’t exactly make it easy for you to see how the course participants are performing before you actually assess them. Blended learning enables you to keep track of your learners’ progress at any given time so that you can better understand their strengths and weaknesses without fail.
With blended learning software, corporate trainers will be able to view reports of online tests and identify areas where learners need help, so that they can help them improve and reach their full potential.
6.Enhancing teaching efforts
Because every learner’s needs are different and every learner follows a unique learning style, it is important to try to meet everyone’s needs so your course is effective. You may encounter learners who will benefit more from reading text accompanied with presentations and others who will understand the topics better after watching relevant videos.
With blended learning, incorporating different learning styles become possible—for example, you can take advantage of PowerPoint presentations, images, audio files, or video files. This is one of the key reasons why blended learning is becoming increasingly popular.
Blended learning brings a series of benefits for corporate trainers and it is worth giving it a try. With blended learning, trainers are better positioned to bridge the knowledge gap and help learners reach their maximum potential.
To improve information retention, engagement, and teaching, blended learning is more important than ever, irrespective of the industry. A good blend of learning formats goes a long way in offering efficient training to your workforce, curtailing costs, and extending the training accessibility.
- Author’s bio
- 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 systems and eLearning authoring tools, currently associated with ProProfs.