COVID-19 has accelerated the need to move the ILT sessions to a virtual training mode. Blended learning is the optimal approach that you can adopt as embark on your virtual training transformation. In this article, I share its top 10 benefits.
What Is the Blended Learning Approach and, Specifically, Blended Learning 2.0?
A median offering of the two modes, blended learning is often the optimal mode that uses an ideal mix of Instructor-Led Training (ILT)/classroom sessions with online training.
The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the workplace dynamics. With employees working remotely and the norms of social distancing at the workplace, there is an immediate need to evaluate the options to replace the facilitated, classroom training session.
In today’s context (where learners and trainers necessarily need to connect virtually), the blended delivery goes fully virtual and is termed as blended learning 2.0. It is a combination of the Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT sessions) with self-paced online training.
What Is Causing the Acceleration in the Conversion of ILT to a Blended Learning Approach?
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a different workplace. With social distancing at play, majority of the organizations offer work from home. Over the last few months, several organizations have had to use this approach as a standard practice and this is likely to be the case for several months in the near future.
- The remote operations have led to a reconsideration on how the ILT/classroom training should be handled. Blended learning 2.0 is the optimal way forward – although a smaller percentage of the training may convert to VILT or fully online mode.
- Besides the pandemic-based trigger, the acceleration in the adoption of the blended learning approach over the ILT is on account of the way learners prefer to learn. They want higher control on the way they want to learn and would prefer to see a combination of instructor-led sessions and self-paced online learning.
- Additional reasons for acceleration in adoption of blended learning approach are – challenges on budgets, limited trainers, and the need to reach a distributed audience in a short time.
Hence, blended training and notably, its next-gen variant, the blended 2.0 mode must be a core part of any organization’s overall training delivery.
Note: The degree of blend (what should be handled in the instructor-led mode and what should be provided in the online mode) can be arrived at by looking at the content, audience expectations, and how the learning goals will be met optimally.
What Are the Benefits that Blended Learning Offers?
Blended learning provides several advantages over the traditional ILT mode of training. Take a look at its key benefits of blended learning – mapping to the value for the learners and for the organizations.
Benefits of Blended Learning for the the Learners
- The key benefit of blended learning is that it aligns better to learner needs and enables them to leverage the best of both mediums.
- The access to online resources provides additional flexibility to the learners, particularly since a large percentage of the workforce is working from home – they can access this post the facilitated session. They get access to supporting resources online and on demand – giving them the control to access it when required and consume it at the pace they are comfortable with. This is particularly useful to refresh or review the learning.
- The collaboration features of the platforms (like threaded discussions or chats) enable learners to retain the connect with their peers as well as the trainers – even after completing the planned session successfully. With this, they can exchange ideas on the learning or knowledge application. In today’s dynamics of remote operations, this connect is a great way to foster social or collaborative learning.
- It has been confirmed by research that online training facilitates a stickier learning experience and 24×7 access to online resources makes it easier for learners to review and refresh the training course and related resources. As an extension, the blended learning approach offers better retention vis-a-vis ILT programs.
Benefits of Blended Learning for the Organization
- From organizational perspective, the key benefit of blended learning approach is that enables them to reach remote learners – a necessity today. In the blended learning 2.0 mode, both learners and trainers can connect virtually.
- Furthermore, they can easily reach out to a geographically dispersed audience in a shorter time.
- It also enables organizations to reduce their budget outlay.
- The conversion of ILT to the blended learning mode reduces the time required to meet the same learning mandate. Typically, the revised seat time for the blended mode is 33%-50% of the ILT seat time.
- For the online learning part, organizations can use immersive learning strategies that offer high engagement quotient and create sticky learning experiences.
- The learning pathways created to deliver blended learning can be extended to provide further connects (after completion of the planned sessions) – including curated content to foster self-directed learning or social and collaborative learning.
If you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.
- eBook Release: Blended Learning 2.0: Adopting The Next Gen Blended Learning Model For The Digital Workplace
- eBook Release: Virtual Training Guide: How To Future-Proof Your Virtual Training Transformation
- Why Should You Adopt Blended Learning, and How Can You Design It to Ensure Success?
- 24 Virtual Training Best Practices to Follow When Shifting to Remote Learning
- 9 Definitive Blended Training Strategies to Coach and Mentor Your High-performance Employees
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