How Can I Design Effective Blended Learning Solutions?

It is not uncommon for members of your team to have different approaches to learning and retaining new information. So how do you ensure that any training initiatives will be effective for each individual in a group?

Blended learning refers to the combination of online and in-classroom learning. This methodology has risen in popularity in recent years, and has been assisted with the development of purpose-built CMS systems that make it easy for users to learn and interact with content online.

Things to keep in mind

There are a number of things to think about when designing a hybrid learning programme. For example, if the majority of your team are baby boomers or older, this could potentially be the first interaction they’ve had with the online aspect of learning. Similarly if your workplace is deploying e-learning for the first time, you should ensure you have the right infrastructure in place to cater towards this, and to be able to quickly troubleshoot any issues that could arise and interrupt learning.

Blended learning solutions can be used across multiple disciplines, and can play a key role in helping your team learn new tools or further develop existing skillsets.

An effective blended learning solution should consider:

  • Employees/learners. What is the learning gap? How comfortable are team members with the introduction of online modules and content?
  • Content. What is best delivered in a conventional classroom setting, and what information is best delivered online?
  • Practicalities of implementation. What sort of budget is available? Are there appropriate resources to help with the online delivery? Is there substantial enough space for the classroom activities? Is there intranet available to ensure everyone can access content online at once?

Be prepared to adapt your blended learning solution; for example, a sales or client-facing customer service team may prefer a primarily classroom-based structure with the online aspect playing a supporting role, whereas a technical team such as IT support may prefer the opposite.

The key to building a successful blended learning solution is understanding how to utilise each aspect to best help your team. Engaging with your learners and monitoring feedback can help you make any changes necessary to roll out the most successful programme possible.

eLearning shouldn’t be a casual joy ride on a Sunday afternoon with the cruise control engaged. The sole purpose of eLearning is to teach, understand and apply.

Christopher Palm
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