Today, more time and resources are being utilized than ever in creating training and delivery platforms that are best suited for different kinds of learners and varied content. When talking about delivery platforms, a term that is well-liked in the learning industry is Blended Learning. As the name suggests, Blended Learning is a platform which combines two different tools of training- diverse in their strengths and benefits.
We bring three distinct examples stemming out of our experiences – which illustrate how a blended approach creates trainings that best suit the learning objectives of the organization as well as the needs of the learner.
A Blended approach to Soft-Skills training
Soft skills and personality development trainings are best suited for a Classroom. True, but what are the ‘take homes’ after the classroom sessions? No matter how impactful an instructor is in the class, a lot of what is taught is lost with time. There is a need for constant re-enforcement and refreshers of the training, which is often a challenge with the classroom-only approach.
Also, some learners may need refreshers only for certain sections of the training and that need may not wait for an instructor to be available! Some learners may need help in certain sections, while the others breeze through them. These were the problems faced by an organization which provides soft-skills and personality development programs for corporate learners. A learner-centric solution was needed to address these gaps.
The Blended Solution
While the sanctity of the classrooms was maintained and the trainings continued to be delivered through this trusted medium, a strong enforcement was made available through a series of short online capsules of the trainings. Benefits of this solution were manifold.
Overall, it improved the quality of training and with time, it was also reflected in the improvement in working standards and productivity of the trainees.
A Blended approach to Content-Heavy courses
Many organizations believe in imparting training which is content heavy, much of it created with good intent and circulated among its employees regularly. But how much of it is actually utilized remains a mystery to most. An organization grappling with this problem was presented with a blended solution that gave them a robust solution and then some more!
The Blended Solution
The content remained same but its mode of delivery was changed. The chosen medium of online delivery was backed up by instructor-led sessions which created a space for interactions, re-enforcement and even evaluation.
This solution introduced a completely new mode of learning – the online approach, but complimented it with another approach – an instructor led one, which made sure that learner felt more connected with the course and was encouraged to learn more.
A Blended approach to Technical courses
Technical courses are often the most in demand, with newer technologies and software doing the rounds every day. For such a continuous demand, a blended solution was a perfect solution for an organization, which encouraged its employees to keep up-to-date. Much of the software used by its employees would go through version-changes, creating a need for training – which needed to be quick but efficient.
The Blended Solution
The need of the learner-group was not uniform. New recruits needed to be trained in detail, including the basics of previous versions. For users working with the software for years, only the changes in the newer version were suffice. The training was divided into two sections. The online version was presented first to the learner, followed by the instructor-led sessions.
The online version helped to create a foundation for learning and the instructor-led session built up on it. The blend of the two approaches made sure that the learner was able to extract the best of both.
So, in conclusion, Blended Learning can be implemented across different types of courses and trainings. The focus is not, what comes first – online or classroom. It is also not which is more important, e-learning or instructor-led trainings. It is about finding a perfect balance of both, that suits a particular training or learner. There is no common formula or blend that can work as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. The ingredients of the blend and their treatments have to be considered keeping the course, learning objectives and the learner profile in mind. Then only can we look forward to enjoy the success of Blended Learning.