Top 10 Benefits Of Adopting A Blended Training Approach
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What Is The Blended Training Approach, And How Can It Be Delivered?

As you can determine from the name, the blended training is the "middle-of-the-road" approach between the fully facilitated Instructor-Led Training (ILT) and the self-paced, learner-driven online training (eLearning or mobile learning). As a result, it offers the best of both training delivery formats. It is also referred to as "hybrid training".

Given the nature of the training, dynamics, content type and so on, you can arrive at the blend that will help you meet the program and learning mandate in the most optimal manner. Blended training solutions can be offered in multiple formats. Each of these offers a unique value. Here are two commonly used approaches:

Virtual Instructor-Led Training Or VILT

In this case, the primary training is still handled by the trainer/instructor. However, instead of a face-to-face session, the training is conducted virtually through a platform.

The virtual platforms offer additional online support that typically includes:

  1. Polling questions
  2. Online questions
  3. Breakout rooms to conduct group activities
  4. Chats/Threaded discussions.

Furthermore, the training sessions can be recorded and these online recordings are readily available to the learners when they want to access them.

The instructor or trainer can leverage on the online platform by sharing pre-workshop material (online) or provide post-workshop handouts (online).

The other significant advantage for the instructor or trainer is that they can obtain immediate feedback online. Additionally, they can review the participants’ scores online and plan the next steps (in case remediation or reinforcements are needed).

Tip: You can additionally blend online training to supplement the VILT session.

The Blended Approach Where ILT/VILT Complements The Online Or eLearning Delivery

Often, the training needs cannot be fully met with a pure instructor-led approach or a fully online approach. Essentially, to meet the required outcomes, a combination of both approaches is warranted.

An example would be an induction and onboarding program where you need the human touch, but extensive sections of the training can be made available online.

Tip: How you leverage on the online vs facilitated session can be tweaked looking at your dynamics and you can opt for:

Significantly online training and partially facilitated sessions.

Or

Significantly facilitated sessions and partially online training.

What Is Pushing The Demand To Adopt The Blended Training Approach Over The Traditional Instructor-Led Training Or ILT?

The acceleration in the adoption of the blended training approach over the traditional Instructor-Led Training is on account of the push from learners, as well as changing dynamics most organizations face.

  • The learners want more flexibility in the way they want to learn and they would like to see a combination of facilitated sessions and self-paced online training.
  • The challenges on budgets, limited trainers, and the need to reach a spread-out audience in short time are the reasons organizations are adopting the blended training approach.

What Are The Benefits That Blended Training Offers?

The blended training approach offers several benefits over the traditional Instructor-Led Training or ILT. I have grouped the top 10 benefits into two categories (one for learners and one for organizations).

Benefits For The Learners

  1. Learner-centric and offers better control to the learner. They can leverage on the best of both training delivery formats.
  2. The access to online resources provides additional flexibility to the learners. They can access this even post the facilitated session.
  3. The blended training option features online resources that are now accessible to learners 24x7. They can decide on how they consume this or use it to reinforce learning.
  4. Even after the facilitated session or workshop is over, the learners have room to collaborate with their peers as well as trainers. This is possible through collaboration features like threaded discussions and chats. More significantly, they can exchange ideas on the knowledge application.
  5. Research confirms that online training offers better retention. As an extension, the blended training approach offers better retention vis-à-vis ILT programs.

Benefits For The Organizations

  1. The blended training approach enables organizations to reach a geographically spread-out audience in a shorter time. It also enables organizations to reduce their budget outlay.
  2. Blended training approaches consume lesser time than ILT sessions.
  3. They also enable organizations to assess the impact of the training more easily (through online assessments).
  4. They can leverage on current trending and immersive learning strategies that resonate with learners and create a superior learning experience leading to a higher retention of learning.
  5. The training need not stop with the facilitated session. Instead, it can continue through the online platform and through learning paths.

I hope this article helps you understand what a blended training approach is and how it can be delivered. I also hope the benefits showcased here provide compelling reasons on why you should adopt a blended training approach.

In case you have any specific queries, do contact us or leave a comment below.

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Originally published at www.eidesign.net.

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