Traditional classroom-based methods, or offline training, have long been relied upon for delivering vital workplace compliance training to workers around the world.
In recent years however, E-Learning, or electronic and online training, has become a fundamental part of the way many organizations deliver compliance training.
If your organization is one of the myriad enterprises that utilizes E-Learning in their business model then it is likely that you have heard the term “blended learning”.
WHAT IS BLENDED LEARNING?
Simply put, blended learning is a mixture of the two, and the best blended learning programs harness the strengths and benefits of each approach in a complimentary manner.
Every organization is different and has different circumstances and requirements, and blended courses reflect that, making a comprehensive description of blended learning tricky.
But, essentially, blended learning is any course or environment that utilizes elements of both ELearning and traditional classroom-based methods, or a combination of online and offline, to deliver compliance training.
Blended courses still provide the teacher-student dynamic but allow the learner to work more at their own pace, and afford them more control over certain other elements of the training, such as where and when they complete it.
A BLENDED COURSE MIGHT INCLUDE:
- Elearning or face-to-face workshops, lectures, and seminars
- One-on-one and group discussions or online forums
- Online or offline journals and textbooks
- Live demonstrations or audio-visual components such as podcasts and re-enactments
- Practical hands-on activities or online simulators
A blended learning approach helps to create an integrated and complementary learning environment for teacher and student, or trainer and learner.
For example, traditional classroom-based lectures can be delivered online as live webinars using a webinar tool such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or any one of the many others, depending on how many people you’re delivering to, their needs, and yours.
Sessions can easily be recorded or pre-recorded and delivered to learners on an anytime, anywhere basis, and can also be fed into ELearning courses later down the line, affording learners greater control and learn-at-their-own-pace training.
This approach combines the traditional and digital methods to broaden the experience, while simultaneously making it more accessible for remote learners and people with difficult schedules.
E-LEARNING VS. CLASSROOM TRAINING
Both online and offline learning have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why a blended learning environment that harnesses each of their respective strengths can be such a powerful approach to compliance training and workplace development.
- $30 in productivity gains for every $1 spent on eLearning
- ELearning can take up to 60% less time to deliver than traditional classroom training
- Nearly ¾ of employers suggest E-Learning leads to greater learner satisfaction
- Provides greater control to learners over where, when, and how they learn
ADVANTAGES OF CLASSROOM TRAINING
- Provides learners the chance for greater interaction with teachers and peers
- Offers more occasions of immediate dialogue and feedback
- Allows for more open discussion and less rigid lessons
- Opportunity for real hands-on experience and superior collaboration
In 2014, IBM saved $579 million after switching half of their traditional training over to ELearning, and it is estimated that ELearning cuts costs for universities by almost 60%.
However, despite the convenience and cost-effectiveness of online training, traditional learning cannot be entirely replaced in many cases.
There are still aspects of training that are difficult or impossible to deliver online, such as practical tests and courses involving specialist equipment.
A blended learning environment broadens the learner experience and enhances compliance training and development programs for employees, contractors, volunteers, students, and management.
By providing the flexibility and control of online learning without losing the practical experience and socially interactive element of traditional courses, learners gain a more comprehensive understanding of training content.
But it’s not only the learners who see the incredible benefits from the blended learning approach, but organizations as well.
- Reduces traditional training expenses such as printed materials and lecturer fees
- Increased worker satisfaction increases worker performance, productivity, and retention
- Cost-effectiveness provides a larger profit margin against investment
- Efficiency provides a quicker return on investment
- Simplifies process of tracking and documenting what training has been provided and who has undergone evaluation and training
THINK BEFORE YOU BLEND
By now you know that developing blended learning courses and implementing them in your organization can be an exceptionally valuable enterprise.
But before you dive into a blended environment, there are a few important things to consider.
THE RIGHT LMS
Before you pick any old Learning Management System (LMS) for the online portion of your blended programs, make sure that the LMS you choose is the right one for your organization and your needs.
For example, if you’re focusing on webinars, don’t opt for an LMS that doesn’t support them.
CONSIDER THE CONTENT
Not everything will translate, so don’t assume that just because a course was successful in a classroom setting that it will automatically work as an online course.
For example, don’t go trying to deliver an online written exam for a practical hands-on test.
You will probably have to do a little work to make it work. Consider the content, the learners, and what aspects of courses need to change in order to deliver the most successful blended program.
TAKE YOUR TIME
There’s no rush. Moving some or all of your traditional learning online or into the blended environment is a big change for your organization and your learners.
It doesn’t have to happen overnight, allow ample time for everything and everyone to adjust, assess the progress and success of the change, get feedback, and make adjustments where necessary.
Remember, blended learning isn’t mandatory and shouldn’t be adopted for the sake of it or because you think you should. The goal of all workplace learning is for it to be the most accessible and beneficial that it can be whether it’s online, offline, or both.
If you’re looking for the perfect learning platform BusinessTraining-TV makes it easy to develop and deliver blended learning courses within your organization. Take a look, your training program will be stronger for it.