combining traditional and digital training methods
in the wake of the post-pandemic era, the ancient adage, “change is the only constant,” resonates more profoundly than ever. the turbulent times forced companies to reevaluate the way they operate. in the realm of learning and development (L&D), traditional learning methods faced unprecedented challenges. it was clear that a more versatile and resilient approach was needed, and that’s when “blended learning” came into the spotlight.
blended learning is a transformative educational strategy that seamlessly integrates traditional and digital training methods. it represents a powerful shift in how organizations approach learning and development. in this article, we will explore what blended learning entails and how organizations can harness its potential to optimize their L&D initiatives.
what is blended learning?
blended learning, as its name implies, harmoniously merges two distinct approaches to learning. it combines the traditional method, where the focal point is physical interaction between instructors and learners, with the digital approach that encompasses various online learning methods.
in the realm of learning and development (L&D), blended learning emerges as a solution to longstanding challenges associated with conventional training methods. these challenges encompassed:
a) limited flexibility for remote learners
b) declining engagement rates.
by incorporating remote, on-the-go, and microlearning modules into training programs, blended learning has emerged as a versatile strategy that caters to the diverse needs of learners and effectively addresses a range of L&D issues.
how can companies include blended learning in their L&D training?
- identify individual needs: in a diverse organization, understanding that not every individual starts from the same point is crucial. assess individual needs, skills, and competencies to tailor the blended learning approach.
- set clear goals: every training program should align with specific goals. whether it’s increasing total learning time or achieving a higher ROI in learning, the chosen goal should resonate with the company’s overall objectives.
- design the framework: once needs and goals are established, create the framework for the blended learning program. this includes defining content, objectives, and the overall structure of the learning experience.
- balance online and offline learning: blended learning incorporates both online and offline formats. balance them based on learners’ preferences. leverage existing conventional learning content and combine it with online methods. recognize that some topics may benefit from in-person training, while others are suitable for online delivery.
- create a clear learning path: develop a clear and structured roadmap for learners to follow. this path should guide them through the blended learning experience.
- train instructors and leaders: instructors and leaders play a critical role in the blended learning environment. provide them with training on using online tools effectively, offering guidance, and creating an engaging learning atmosphere.
- track learning efforts: tracking the impact of training efforts, especially when the goal is calculating learning ROI, is essential. consider using learning management systems (LMS) or learning experience platforms (LXP) to monitor individual training efforts accurately. platforms like byteEDGE offer finely curated microlearning content tailored to your organization’s needs and objectives, reducing L&D workload and ensuring accurate tracking.
the importance of the blended learning approach:
conventional training methods come with inherent disadvantages, often resulting in lower engagement and retention rates among learners. additionally, they do not always consider the availability of employees a factor that has gained paramount importance in the post-pandemic landscape.
on the other hand, online learning methods have their own set of challenges. studies indicate that learners tend to be more engaged when the learning process occurs in physical settings. moreover, the prevalent use of short, byte-sized learning segments in online L&D training may not always foster a deep understanding of the subject matter.
to harness the benefits of both methods effectively, it proves more efficacious to blend them. this approach allows organizations to leverage the strengths of each, offering a comprehensive and balanced approach to their L&D training programs.