In your journey to develop and implement a successful leadership and professional development program, it’s possible you’ve come across the term Blended Learning in recent years. There’s quite a bit of confusion around this term, but understanding the basics will help you and your company know whether learning with technologies is a good fit for your program.
Blended learning, at its most basic, is a combination of classroom learning and online learning blended together for a unique learning experience. Technology has quickly become an important tool and an important lesson in education (including professional training). While not every student has access to the technology-rich classrooms that are changing the teaching environment today, it’s hard to ignore the rising impact of technology on how we learn and how we accomplish our daily tasks in today’s technology-saturated world.
Why It Works
Students taking part in a blended learning environment may spend part of their time in a traditional classroom setting, listening to lectures and participating in labs and activities designed to teach them the fundamentals of a new lesson. In addition to that traditional learning environment, students can incorporate online learning where they can control the timing, pace, and place of their training. The right balance of traditional to online learning will vary from course to course, from company to company, and even from individual to individual. But the beauty of a blended approach is that it is so flexible that it can accommodate just about any set of parameters required of the training program.
How To Do It
The beauty of blended learning is that there really is no wrong way to do it – so long as it works for you. That said, there are several tips that can help you get off on the right foot and benefit from a more flexible learning program than you might otherwise encounter. First off, remember to think big but start small. It’s important to have the overarching goals and mission of the program thought out, but don’t try to do too much too fast.
Secondly, be patient when trying something new. Blended learning is most likely a new format for teachers and trainees alike. So note the mistakes, but don’t be discouraged by them. Pivot as needed to build the program that works best for your team.
Third, take it seriously. The digital portion of a blended learning program can be a challenge to land effectively unless the whole team is motivated to learn from the opportunity. Technology isn’t an add on. It’s not superficial. It’s a powerful tool that can replace and improve on the learning that you are already providing. Make sure you are taking full advantage of the opportunity, however that may be. Consider video trainings, peer to peer conversation forums, and bringing in remote experts who you would otherwise be unable to connect with based on their location. Online learning has a lot to offer if you take the right steps to bringing the content into context and encouraging your team to make the most of the opportunity.
Are you looking for consultants that can bring expertise to your training program?
Have you been looking to modify your company's training programs? A blended learning environment may beneifit your company. The combination of classroom and online leaning may also be more effective mediums for your team to digest and retain information. For more advice on how to build an effective blended learning program, connect Clarity Consultants today and see how their consultants can help you reach your goals.