Better Blended Learning

Blended Learning

Over the last decade blended learning has advanced significantly, largely due to the incorporation of Learning Management Software (LMS). In the past LMS would have provided the online courses for learners but now there is the theory that students and staff should be provided with resources not courses. When implementing a blended learning model, it is important to be aware of key components and steps to integrate into their plan, but that’s for another blog. Inspired by Totara Learn we’ll be looking at a few key things to keep in mind when implementing Blended Learning :

Have the right Mix

In a recent study it was stated that 52% of organisations lack a blended learning strategy for new staff and this could create a real barrier to progress.

The general consensus on blended learning is that you have to get the right mix. An efficiency and empathy matrix needs to be created when coming up with a course structure. By this we mean that there needs to be a balance between trainer contact and independent study online. It’s difficult to get this mix correct and depends on how many people are learning at any one time. Obviously if there is a class of over 30 people it will be difficult for a trainer or teacher to give each attendee one-to-one attention.

Keep it Personal

As mentioned above providing face-to-face learning allows the facilitator to customise the learning towards the needs and requirements of that particular learner depending on how they respond to content. There is also the opportunity for the educator to ask the attendees questions and gauge their knowledge based on their answers. This also allows the course curator to understand whether course content is relevant. Combining this with online learning can enhance the benefits. For example trainers can recommend online courses to enable employees to meet their personal objectives. It’s much simpler to find out what they would like to learn and get them involved in the process – by focusing on what an individual needs to know to learn and do their job or pass their exams you avoid the frustration and confusion of information overload.

Not all learners are the same and it’s worth keeping this in mind as not everyone will embrace the same learning styles so offering options online and offline is necessary for your organisation.

Be Flexible

Exclusively offering offline content is just not feasible in this day and age. If you only have offline courses available this limits learners to certain days, times and relies on group schedules being devised specifically for courses.

In complete contrast online learning provides true flexibility for everyone involved. Users can access information on a variety of devices at a time that suits them best. In the workplace this means that staff can develop themselves around their workload.

What’s more, Social Learning Management systems like Totara Social create forums for learners to chat and iron out problems where necessary. Imagine this scenario in a classroom? Learners who understood course content would undoubtedly be disturbed by those who didn’t.  

Involve the right people with your Online courses

During recruitment in a business environment there’s always a lot of information to cover when a new person joins the team. Giving a new employee on;line courses to complete alone is a terrible onboarding process. For a start they will not be able to digest large amounts of new information alone and secondly, first days can be pretty lonely. Managers, coaches and buddies are all vital support here, providing context and personal insights that help the new recruit apply the information to the immediate workplace.

Studies tell us that people managers and peers are key to successful onboarding. A major reason why newly hired employees struggle and ultimately leave is a failure to establish connections and build strong interpersonal relationships within the company.

If you would like to speak to our team of experts about implementing an effective elearning strategy call us on +44 (0) 28 9042 2000 or email info@www.synergy-learning.com.