Blended learning is used to describe the way digital learning is combined with traditional classroom training and independent study to create a new methodology for learning. Rather than simply adding one type of learning to another, it represents a change in approach to learning and teaching.
Why blended learning?
It is getting harder to get people to commit to a face to face classroom training course with a 'teacher and student' learning approach. Even when someone commits - accepts the calendar invite, engages with the coordinator - this does not guarantee that they will turn up on the day. Business pressures, operational emergencies, calls that go on unexpectedly – there are many reasons why the training is missed.
Outside of the workplace, we are immersed in a easy come, easy go, on-demand learning culture. Knowledge is accessible and everywhere. If we want to learn how to do something new - from cooking to learning a language, there is surely an app to download, a blog to read, and/or a video to watch. We take the knowledge and use it immediately.
If we need to check back on something, we know where to find it and review it quickly to find what we need. We binge watch, we push ourselves - life today is rarely passive. We want it - we order it. The competition for our attention span is high. If we don’t like what we see we move onto the next thing. And then we go to work and sit in a physical classroom for 6 hours in a passive stance and are expected to learn.
Blended learning for impact, flexibility and efficiency
On the job training is essential in many organisations and it is certain that collaborative learning can be effective, engaging and a bonding experience. Colleagues learn, as they work and no one is required to be away from their desks for long periods. ‘Sitting next to Nelly’. But what if Nelly isn’t very good at what she does? What if she was out the day she was supposed to learn the new process? What if Nelly doesn’t care very much? It can work but it can take a lot longer to for someone to get up to speed on everything that they need to do and there is limited independent learning and support available to them.
So how can L&D delver the ideal blended learning experience? The answer can be with the development of a digital learning culture.
A digital learning culture is one where learning, both formal and informal is accessible, flexible, encouraged, discussed and shared. Learning can be both in groups or self-directed. It does not in any way dismiss classroom based learning, but combines online and offline training. This is about learners engaging, and expanding the range of training opportunities; improving and enhancing all learning offerings and developing a suite of digital learning options which will meet the learning needs of the organisation, as well as the learning needs of the staff. Digital learning includes:
- Flexible self-paced elearning modules accessible from multi devices to allow for mobile learning
- Online learning resources such as quick reference guides
- How-to videos
- Microlearning modules
- Virtual classroom offerings
- Blended learning programmes, including a mix of traditional classroom deliveries, ‘flipped classroom’ deliveries and virtual training blended with self-paced independent learning and assessments
- Links to external sources for information through briefing tools for example Anders Pink
- Curated eBooks
- Collaborative online learning communities
- Accessible support network for questions and follow up queries following training for on the job performance support
Blended learning success - begin with the end in mind
For blended learning models to work effectively, the content must be easily accessible, well curated, relevant and up to date. User experience is key. Learner expectations are exceptionally high and must be met to engage and motivate the learners. An investment in digital learning can be seen as an investment in staff.
Where does the journey to digital start?
At the very end!
The hardest part of this journey can be agreeing within your organisation where you want to be at the end of it! How do you want people to learn within your organisation by, for example, the end of this year?
Once that destination has been agreed a strategy can be put in place to get there. Logicearth Learning Services will partner with you to ensure that you reach your destination.
Based on a comprehensive analysis of your existing training we will develop a strategy which will lead to the development and deployment of as much or as little digital content as your organisation needs. This plan will include recommendations on:
- Change management
Contact us and start your journey to blended learning success with our vast range of learning content and digital technologies.