7 key elements of effective blended learning
The key to blended learning is all in the name. The perfect blend of eLearning and classroom-based training is the core component of successful learning in the workplace. However, it’s not just about the courses you offer and how you deliver them. When it comes to creating effective training courses for your employees, it’s vital to assess your current practices and how they can be improved. The perfect blend looks different to each organisation and each course your employees are undertaking. So we’ve put together our top 7 key elements of high impact blended learning programs.
1. Clearly defined learning objectives
Before you can begin putting a learning program together, it is important to fully understand and evaluate the objectives of the training. The objectives you set will impact the way the courses are delivered and the blend of eLearning and Instructor-Led Training (ILT) you need in order to achieve them. A varied approach to learning is shown to increase engagement with learning as well as information retention. Your learning objectives provide the blueprints for any training program so it is vital that everyone involved in the creation and implementation of your upcoming blended learning program has a clear understanding of what is expected from your learners.
2. Analysis of current completion and engagement rate
Another important step in creating a new blended learning program is understanding your current completion and engagement rates. Measuring engagement in workplace learning is multi-faceted and a vital insight when it comes to planning new courses and modules. From collecting feedback from your learners to assessing your current completion rates, these insights will help you shape more effective and engaging learning for your new blended learning program.
3. Understanding the needs of your learners
The final key step in pre-planning for your blended learning program is understanding the needs of your learners. For example, what percentage of your employees work remotely, from home, or in the field? This will change the proportion of ILT and eLearning as well as allow you to adapt your program to suit as many employees as possible. It’s also worth considering the mobile/digital literacy levels of your workforce. The introduction of digital learning can come with some resistance, so understanding where your employees are currently at and how they feel about upcoming changes will help you to meet your learners in the middle which should ultimately improve engagement rates.
4. Balance of eLearning content and ILT
Now that you have an understanding of what your employees need from you and what you need from them, it’s time to start piecing your blended learning program together. As we said earlier, the key to effective blended learning is to provide the right balance and a variety of training resources. ILT is highly effective in specific circumstances, for example when collaboration and group discussion is needed or when providing training on particular equipment. Other elements of training benefit more from engaging eLearning content, but in order to maintain top engagement levels and employee participation, a balance of the two is needed.
5. An LMS that can track ILT as well as eLearning
As you’re going to be introducing a blend of multiple types of learning, it’s important that you can track completion rates of everything involved in your program. Kallidus Learn, for example, enables you to input data from face-to-face training to help you manage ongoing engagement levels and provide complete visibility of your blended learning programs. Blended learning provides the perfect balance of classic training and going digital, so for it to be as effective as possible, it requires proper analysis and understanding of all elements of the training. An LMS that allows you to do this ensure you won’t have any blind spots, and your employees can make the most out of your learning.
6. Integration of digital resources into ILT
Using a combination of eLearning, mobile learning, and face-to-face training doesn’t mean these elements have to remain separate. A high-impact blended learning program integrates these components into one seamless learning experience. For example, getting your employees to interact with effective eLearning content on smartphones and tablets while in a classroom environment can increase both engagement levels and learning retention.
7. Device-Adaptable Learning Content
In order to successfully integrate digital resources into your ILT, the last and possibly most important component of high-impact blended learning is high-quality adaptable eLearning content. Microlearning, for example, is a fantastic attention-grabbing, high-engagement form of content perfect for short attention spans and a multitude of devices. The ideal accompaniment to face-to-face training, microlearning and adaptable eLearning content are short, sharp bite-sized chunks of training ranging from 1-10 minutes long.
Highly effective blended learning revolves around a few key components: understanding of your user base, great eLearning content, and the perfect balance of eLearning and Instructor-Led Training. Once you combine all of these elements, you are sure to create a high-impact blended learning program destined for success.
This article was originally posted on eLearning Industry.