6 Reasons Why You Should Combine Classroom Training With Online Training Programs

6 Reasons Why You Should Combine Classroom Training With Online Training Programs
Summary: eLearning lets you get the best out of training programs. This article gives training managers enough reasons to complement their classroom training with online training programs.

Why Combine Classroom Training With Online Training Programs

Classroom training continues to remain the most popular training technique in the learning space. However, is there anything that can be done to improve classroom training to suit the ever-changing training needs of an organization and rollout holistic training? Is there a way to deliver the key learnings from a classroom training program as just-in-time training to employees? Certainly! And the answer lies in technology-enabled learning, because of which many organizations are making a conscious decision to combine classroom training programs with online learning.

Recently, one of our clients wanted a software training program rolled out to its employees. After the mandatory online training program that covered the basics of the software, learners had the choice to attend either Instructor-Led Training (ILT) programs or take the online route. That is proof enough of how much our clients value the importance of online training programs. Here’s why it’s a good idea to complement classroom training with online training programs.

1. Enhances Training Quality

Classroom training programs have a rigid structure, and it becomes mandatory for employees to follow a training schedule. Online training programs offer more flexibility. The training is self-paced, which means employees can complete the training program at their convenience.

A client of ours, a pharmaceutical company, wanted to train its employees on the steps to fill a travel expense report through an online portal. While the Instructor-Led Training covered a quick demo of the steps to fill up or approve a travel expense form, employees were asked to go through an eLearning course for detailed training. They could take the training that was relevant to their role as a submitter or an approver (only managers) of travel expense forms.

Complementing classroom training with online training programs certainly enhances training quality. eLearning provides an opportunity for learners to go through the training as many times as they want to, irrespective of time and place.

2. Saves The SME’s Time

Classroom training requires scheduled timings. For skill-based or process-specific training, SMEs usually handle the task of training delivery as well. That is why the role of an SME is very important in the development of an eLearning course.

Let’s take the example of a process training on disaster management, delivered through classroom training. When, as is inevitable, there is a slight change in the escalation process, or a couple of employees join the company after the training, the whole process has to be repeated! It makes no sense to inform employees about minor changes in the process through classroom training. Just think of the logistics. We can save the SME’s time as well as the time to make updates to the training program by rolling out an eLearning course.

3. Personalizes Learning

There is nothing more boring than going through irrelevant training. Organizations have realized that there is no one-size-fits-all kind of training. Training becomes more relevant when it is personalized, but how do we deliver personalized training programs? Unlike classroom training, online training programs can be personalized to address the specific requirements of learners.

We worked on a gamified eLearning course for product training using Storyline 2. This was for a prominent furniture manufacturing company who wanted product manufacturing training delivered region-wise— Americas, EMEA, and APAC. We developed 3 gamified product training modules targeting the different regions, and that helped personalize the learning experience to each learner. 

4. Reinforces Training

Learning retention increases with training reinforcement. Training reinforcement is not about just sending reminders to learners. It is about delivering spaced training modules that aid learning retention.

For one of our clients, a global pharmaceutical company, we made use of short learning modules on product training that learners could access on their iPads and smartphones. Converting product training to eLearning modules helped the organization cut down on classroom training from 8 weeks to 2 weeks. 

5. Tracks Training Completion And Effectiveness

Tracking classroom training completion is not impossible, but it’s not easy either. It requires the trainer to ensure that the participant has sat through the entire training program. Even if classroom training programs are managed through a Learning Management System (LMS), the instructor is required to input the attendance.

On the other hand, with an online training program, each section or module of training that the learner completes is tracked on the LMS. By using learning analytics through the LMS, it has become easier for organizations to track the effectiveness of an eLearning course.

6. Promotes A Learning Culture

If an organization wants to promote a learning culture, it needs to ensure that opportunities for continuous learning are available to employees. Designing an online eLearning curriculum is one way to do this. Your classroom training program on sales skills can be complemented by an online learning curriculum that covers different aspects of sales training, right from beginner to advanced sales skills. This makes it possible for learners to close the skills gap themselves, without the need for external intervention.

Blending classroom training with online training programs takes you on the path of effective training delivery by increasing learner engagement, productivity, and learning retention rate. For instructors, combining classroom and online training is a great strategy to get the best out of training, by using different modes of training delivery.

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