Blended Learning: The need of the Hour

Blended learning is indisputably the need of the hour. With the advent of new developments in the learning arena, it is imminent to include those in the training program. But, at the same time, old techniques still work and in some scenarios, they are hard to replace. Thus, blended learning or hybrid learning makes perfect sense and incorporates the features of both processes to reach an effective and efficient learning model.

Blended learning is cost-efficient. Also, it offers the advantage of access to the knowledge to the learners whenever and wherever they need it. Also, the pre-training material can be shared with the required parties to be better prepared for the session. The usage of only the online training method sans any human interaction can generate data, but such data is comparatively less insightful than the one with the blended interaction. The foremost advantage of this approach remains to get the users engaged in training.

Blended learning as an approach requires a process to be followed

Choosing the LMS

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The first step of this process refers to the choosing of the learning management system according to your needs, something that caters to your needs and gives the flexibility to work around. Lessonly is an example of the LMS that can be used to formulate the blended learning approach to learning. The best part is, the way Lessonly cost is structured makes it affordable by almost every organisation, regardless of its size.

Communication of the goals & objectives

The next step of this process is to identify the goals and objectives that you wish to achieve. These same goals also need to be properly communicated to the team. This is important because if the team does not have clear-cut goals it makes achieving them that much harder.

Formulation of strategy

The third step of the process focuses its energy on the formulation of the plan of the learning activities. Which lessons will be imparted using the traditional approach and which ones using the new technology should be decided beforehand. Some of the new techniques that are being introduced into your program can be tested on test groups before actual inclusion in the training process.

Develop assessments

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Blended learning, also known as hybrid learning is the amalgamation of two techniques to garner better results than anyone can achieve. This means both training methods are used according to their strengths and assigned for the part of the module most suitable to their style and benefits organization and learners in the long run. Both techniques must reach a certain level of cohesion to bring out the best results. The assessment for both the techniques and their activities is also developed within this step.

Build a community

Only developing a course module and its assessment is not enough. For blended learning to reach its pinnacle, the building of a community to foster the minds of learners is as important. Collaborative learning can bring out better results than if the training is done in isolation. Inclusion of online chat to be in touch 24*7 and a forum to be able to discuss the ideas are both interesting ideas to build community. Possibly social media can be included to increase popularity and even increase engagement.

Organizations can undoubtedly augment the learner’s experience while training different groups of learners from employees to partners, and customers. What are the benefits one can get by implementing a blended learning approach? The list below is not exhaustive but includes some of the important benefits that your organization can reap.

Benefits for organizations

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Organizations can save huge infrastructure and administrative costs by including the learners through the online training platform. Saving on stay, travel, printed material are some of the savings to mention. Yet, providing a sense of inclusiveness and engagement can be maintained.

The use of modern technological tools like webinars, gamification etc will surely increase the learner’s engagement. With the inclusion of microlearning methodology, training provides better results in comparatively lesser time.

The training modules can be converted into a knowledge library that can be used for multiple courses, especially for common topics. Training content can be easily updated without revamping the complete course. The updated information can be communicated easily through small online training sessions that do not require going through the whole process.

Blended learning being a more cost-effective and efficient way to train, organizations can achieve quicker and greater returns on investments.

Tracking the progress of the learner and the training program becomes easier and simpler. You can get the holistic picture that can help you improve the quality of the course delivery, content and employee tracks.

Benefits for learner’s

The learner gets the flexibility and convenience to learn from anywhere, anytime (by going through the learnings over and again), at their own pace, and from the device of their choice.

The learning intake through online learning and blended learning is much more than that of traditional classroom training. With gamification, the learning can be retained for a longer time. In the corporate scenarios, immediate implementation of the achieved knowledge not only increases the interest of the learner to complete the course but motivates in achieving better results. This also helps the learners to gain more confidence by learning through real-life scenarios that mitigate the risk of failures.

As blended learning is a combination of instructor-led learning and digital learning, the use of various social media tools help in better understanding and provides platforms for brainstorming and social learnings and interactions round the clock.

Conclusion:

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Numerous types of blended learning models can be used to introduce blended learning to the training program. A few examples are Station rotation, lab rotation, enriched virtual, etc. Each approach has its share of pros and cons and differs on the basis of content, scale, technology,   etc.  The model should be selected based on what is most suitable to you according to your industry or your learner needs. Blended learning aims to bring out the best of both worlds. Click here to know more about the learning management systems that support blended learning and its benefits.

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