In this article, I highlight five compelling reasons why you should evaluate a blended training approach that combines classroom and online training. I also share two examples to show how you can use it to create a high-impact blended training.
As the name suggests, the term blended training, or else hybrid training, combines different learning techniques. It offers a combination that brings in the best of both forms of training, namely:
As it offers a blend of both formats facilitated as well as self-paced, it maps more effectively to suit the learning expectations of a wider audience.
While the pressure on training budgets may often trigger conversion of ILT programs into eLearning or online training programs; it is equally important to assess if a middle of the road, that is, a blended delivery offering a combination of classroom and online training, may be the right answer.
The push from learners is probably the biggest factor for that. This is driving the momentum to convert Instructor-Led Training, or ILTs, into blended training. If not fully online or eLearning programs.
Certainly, pressure on budgets and a need to reach a wider audience in lesser time are two other factors. Actually, these two are significant drivers from the organizational perspective.
Each learner has a different learning style and they relate differently to a given training format.
Blended training solutions can be rendered in multiple ways based on the nature of training. Broadly, this maps to:
Here, the training is facilitated by an instructor, just like in ILT, but a virtual platform is used to connect learners who can be geographically spread out. The session integrates many online aspects like polling questions, online questions, and breakout rooms to conduct group activities. These sessions can be recorded and made available to participants as an online learning aid. The instructor can provide pre-workshop material in an online format that is accessible to the learners. Online delivery also enables the instructors to obtain feedback quickly. Since the assessments are online, the results can be shared quickly and more significantly, this data can be used to track the learners’ performance and determine the training impact.
NOTE: In this case, the primary training is facilitated or instructor-led, and eLearning or online training supplements it.
Certain training needs cannot be mapped readily to a pure ILT or pure eLearning formats. In fact, they need both components. A good example is an induction and onboarding program where significant parts of the training can be offered in a self-paced, eLearning format. However, to successfully induct and onboard an employee, several components of this program need face-to-face sessions. In fact, some sessions will greatly benefit with group activities.
NOTE: In this case, ILT and eLearning-based training complement each other.
Let me share two examples that will help you see the value that a blended training approach will bring.
Example 1: Features our platform eSpace, a unique online framework for offering ILT and blended learning that enables you to go beyond the traditional ILTand blended delivery to a new-age digital experience.
eSpace retains the edge of the ILT delivery and offers the benefits and flexibility of online delivery. This unique framework allows you to offer ILT or blended training through an online platform. It is a cloud-based system and works on all devices including tablets and smartphones.
eSpace gives you the opportunity to:
Take a look at this video to see the features of our eSpace platform and how it can be used to enhance the effectiveness of Instructor-Led Training and blended learning deliveries.
Example 2: For our own Induction and Onboarding program, we use a blended training approach.
Part 1 – Online Learning Path: The essential elements of induction are available to the learner through the online portal, which supports multi-devices including smartphones and tablets. The learner goes through a multi-stage learning journey. The journey features various learning resources in microlearning format.
Part 2 – ILT Supplement: At each stage of the learning journey, we do an online assessment of the learner’s progress. We also provide additional face-to-face, facilitated ILT sessions. The focus of the facilitated sessions is to push knowledge acquisition to application. We must then also ensure that the new inductee can begin contributing quickly and effectively.
The online portal features innovative approaches, including:
I hope this article gives you a balanced perspective as you evaluate the transition of your ILT programs into online training modes.
I firmly believe that a middle-of-the-road approach is often a more sensible choice if you are in early stages of eLearning adoption. It is also a better choice where learning gains are directly linked to a human intervention. If you have any further queries, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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