Blended Learning Best Practices To Maximize The Effectiveness Of Corporate Training
Blended learning has been proven a particularly effective approach, as it offers all the benefits of both classroom and online training. However, for your blended learning courses to be effective, you must design them carefully. In this article, I' ll share 10 dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind when developing your blended learning strategy, so that you can deliver a meaningful and immersive training experience to your corporate learners.
5 Blended Learning Do's
- Do identify your eLearning objectives beforehand.
To ensure the clear structure of your blended learning strategy, make the identification of your blended learning course's objectives and goals your No1 task. That’ right; you need to identify the objectives and goals of your training before you even begin creating your blended learning content. If you are not sure about what knowledge you want your corporate learners to acquire and what skills you need them to develop, it will be very difficult for you to move forward.
- Do choose the right media, techniques, and methods.
Once you have a clear picture about your goals, you will need to determine not only which components of your blended learning course should be delivered online and which offline, but also what is the best approach for delivering each component. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience: Because blended learning transfers information by using a variety of techniques, you need to make sure that you match the delivery vehicle to the learning material every time. For instance, a scenario-based activity is more appropriate for an online environment, whereas a group discussion may be more effective when conducted face-to-face.
- Do encourage your corporate learners to collaborate with each other.
When your corporate learners communicate with each other, they are offered the opportunity to share experiences, investigate alternative learning paths and approaches, and apply what they are learning to the real world by comparing skills and knowledge levels. Collaboration is critical to blended learning; encourage your corporate learners to foster deeper understanding of the training material by sharing their thoughts and discussing their questions and concerns with their peers, whether being on a social media platform, or in a physical training room.
- Do monitor your corporate learners’ performance.
Regardless of whether you are delivering your blended learning content online or face-to-face, assessing your audience’s performance and progress throughout the training period is a must. Build in your evaluation system at every stage: add brief online questionnaires at the end of each section and periodically conduct live chats with your corporate learners. This way, not only your audience will feel that they have a solid support system in place, but also you will be able to collect valuable feedback about their progress and the effectiveness of your blended learning course.
- Do pay attention to consistency.
Lack of coherence between your online and face-to-face delivery methods may destroy the effectiveness of your blended learning strategy. Keep your online and offline modes connected and complementing each other, for example by adding questions to each topic, the answers of which your learners can find in the next one, whether online or offline. Unless there is a relationship between your online and offline components, your corporate learners will feel disconnected and become less motivated to participate in the training event.
5 Blended Learning Don’ts
- Don’t use unedited existing content.
Blended learning doesn’t mean reinventing training content, but rather using different strategies to deliver it to your corporate audience. This is very difficult to achieve if you just remove segments and modules from your live delivery and add them to your online training course as a supplement, or vice versa. Blended learning content should be a combination of online and offline components structured in a way that helps them reinforce each other. You can create your training content to be as expandable as you like, but every addition should be edited first, in order to effectively fit into a solid, coherent system.
- Don’t attempt direct conversion between online and offline modes.
In addition to the previous tip, when following a blended learning approach you should always take into account that there are significant differences between face to face and virtual learning courses. Directly converting live content to an online format, or vice versa, simply will not work. Engage your corporate learners by offering them blended learning content that is organized, has clear requirements, and emphasizes their learning with appropriate delivery methods.
- Don’t assume that all of your corporate learners are at the same pace.
As a blended learning professional, assuming that all members of your audience are familiar with the tools you are using is a mistake. To gauge all of your learners’ level of comfort with the tools and platforms you are using to deliver your blended learning course, you need to assess your audience before you start creating your blended learning content. This way, you will be able to easily determine which tools and methods are appropriate for your corporate learners, so that they can all learn at the same pace.
- Don’t rely on just one platform.
One of the biggest benefits of blended learning is that it addresses various learning needs. To offer your audience flexibility and help them shape their own learning choices, make sure that your online content is accessible from all mobile devices, laptops, and tablets. This way, even the busiest of your corporate learners can access your online course anytime, anywhere, and they will be able to make the best out of their blended learning experience.
- Don’t limit yourself.
The great advantage of “hybrid” training courses is that you can use a variety of tools, strategies, and methods to create them. Don’t limit yourself by assuming, for example, that your offline and online training courses must be equally lengthy or that they should incorporate the same levels of interactivity. Your goal is to engage your corporate learners and offer them a blended learning experience that will allow them to think about the training content in a variety of ways. Always keep your objectives in mind, be creative in your blended learning strategy by mixing up deliveries, methods, and tools, and the rest will follow.
Now that you know the Top 10 blended learning best practices, you may be interested in using this approach in corporate training. Read the article Tips To Use Blended Learning In Corporate Training and learn 4 blended learning models and 4 sub-models, as well as how to apply them in your corporate training course.