The corporate world’s learning and development landscape has significantly changed in the last few years. Delivering training that best satisfies a diversified workforce’s interests and capabilities have become increasingly important as organizations grow. Even though many L&D professionals are aware that training can’t be a one-time affair, they frequently encounter time, money, space, and geographical constraints that make it challenging to give training when it is most needed.
To address this challenge, organizations are using a blended learning approach. It ‘blends’ a face-to-face or virtual setting with an online learning setting. With a blended learning approach, learners can benefit from the flexibility provided by online training programs while also taking part in instructor-led training courses.
Let’s delve deeper into what is a blended learning approach and highlight the different models and benefits it offers that promote hybrid learning.
What Is Blended Learning?
Blended learning combines the best elements of traditional face-to-face instruction and online learning, making it suitable for the changing demands of modern learners. With the help of blended learning, employees can now complete training outside the four walls of the classroom and leverage both offline and online materials. This flexibility encourages participation from all learners, including those working from home.
Models Of Blended Learning
Online Driver Model
Live face-to-face sessions are typically not essential with the online driver model. Due to its exclusive reliance on digital training delivery, this strategy is the antithesis of traditional classroom learning. It integrates synchronous (peer-to-peer, live webinar training sessions, etc.) and asynchronous learning (self-paced study). Live face-to-face sessions are typically not essential with the online driver model.
Flex models give learners the freedom to design their learning paths and timetables. With this strategy, learners receive a flexible and individualized learning experience tailored to their needs. Flex models enable instructors to provide necessary support in small-group situations while letting online learning lead the way as the primary transmitter of the content in the overall learning experience.
Enriched Virtual Model
The enriched virtual blended learning technique is similar to the flex model, with online training as its primary component. The popularity of this paradigm has increased in the age of remote work. Learners must show up for a scheduled instructor-led class. It could be either in person or online. This paradigm enhances the remote learning experience by enabling online communication between learners and instructors.
A-la-Carte Blended Learning Model
Employee training is not directly related to the a-la-carte blended learning concept. A-la-carte is described as taking additional online courses on top of what learners would generally learn in person.
A la carte forms of learning are typically associated with learners who want to take additional classes to advance their academic careers or to enter desired university programs.
Which, once more, has no bearing on the personnel you need to train.
Employees can also make use of it, though. They can use a form of a la carte blended learning if they want to spend money on additional online training and the in-person instruction they receive.
Perhaps a particular topic sparked their interest, and they desire to learn more about it. They might decide to study more on the subject if they feel their instruction is lacking. Or they’re doing it to gain more knowledge and develop expertise in that subject.
Here Are Four Benefits Of Blended Learning
Blended Learning Saves Time
Employees only have 24 minutes each week to dedicate to training, making it challenging to find the time needed to complete lengthy training programs. This situation is where blended learning becomes relevant.
Online modules are used in blended learning to disseminate knowledge, and instructor meetings are scheduled to address queries, check in on learners, and assess progress.
Employee progress can be monitored online and at in-person check-ins via a top-notch LMS. Employees gain from blended learning because they can confer with one another throughout the day and use what they have learned online.
Blended Learning Boosts The Effectiveness Of Your Training
Blended learning employs a variety of methodologies. Because concepts may be learned online and later reinforced face-to-face, challenging concepts are more readily accepted and digested by employees.
Since not all employees acquire similarly, blended learning can cater to a broader learner landscape. More skilled and motivated workers result from more effective training.
Soft skill training is a prime illustration of this advantage of integrated learning. Although soft skills training is best carried out in person with plenty of practice, a “take-home” online learning component can reinforce concepts taught in person by offering simulations and opportunities for practicing away from the gaze of coworkers. This balance can support workers who have difficulty in this area by allowing them to practice and learn without feeling judged.
Blended Learning Is Simple To Track
Getting feedback from an in-person employee training session can be challenging, and survey-based self-reporting is well-known to be inaccurate.
However, with an LMS that analyzes employee engagement and task fulfillment in online courses, the effectiveness of blended learning in the office is more easily monitored and recorded. You can also utilize an LMS to gather feedback.
Additionally, with the help of such insights, you can alter your training materials based on completion rates, employee feedback, and other factors.
Blended Learning Can Be Customized
While instructor-led training must cover various topics in a scattershot manner, combining it with online courses offers a singular opportunity to tailor training to reach employees exactly where they stand regarding abilities and knowledge.
As a result, employees are kept interested, and time and money are saved. Such savings also lead to an improved return on investment.
More organizations are moving away from traditional on-site training, and toward blended or hybrid learning models as travel is reduced, and remote work is still prevalent globally. Blended learning aims to integrate the benefits of both conventional and online learning approaches, providing learners with a more enjoyable learning experience. Through blended learning, organizations are given an advantage in increasing learning efficiency and knowledge retention rates.