How To Balance Mentorship And eLearning
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How To Harness The Power Of Mentorship And eLearning

Mentorship is a proven and established way of transferring knowledge, developing skills and boosting confidence in an organization’s employees. However, as organizations go global and the number of employees increases and spreads geographically, it becomes hard to rely on mentorship alone for the Learning and Development of employees. This is why corporate organizations turned to eLearning (or digital learning as it is called these days), which allows learners to learn as per their need and in their own time, as well as at a pace which they decide themselves. Then again, corporate organizations have realized that even with the whole organization’s learning content available to learners on their PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, they still need the support and guidance of experts to fully grasp theories and concepts, as well as understand the proper application of skills.

Organizations couldn’t rely on mentorship alone, but couldn't deny emerging digital learning technologies either; after all, we’re living in a technological age, and using technology in learning provides relevance and agility for an organization. It is due to this reason that organizations started using the blended learning model to increase the efficacy of their L&D programs, which allows them to harness the advantages of both mentorship and eLearning (or digital learning) while minimizing the disadvantages of both. In this article, we’ll discuss how organizations should balance mentorship and eLearning in their blended learning program to maximize Learning and Development.

Using The 70:20:10 Model In Your Blended Learning Program

The 70:20:10 model is a learning model often used in organizations that use blended learning, which suggests how knowledge is transferred to learners. According to the model, 70% of the knowledge is transferred when learners actually apply skills or perform tasks (i.e., do things), 20% comes from observing others, and the remaining 10% comes from actual educational activities, like digital learning. This can sometimes be taken to imply that simply immersing an employee in their job duties would be best for them, as it is how 70% of learning occurs; however, the 30% is equally important. Without the 30% to support the 70% there cannot be 100% learning.

Using the 70:20:10 model in your blended learning program, you’ll have to start in reverse, with the 10% first, which is made up of eLearning activities. You deliver the eLearning course employees, which should consist of various learning strategies and methods such as interactivities, infographics, videos, simulations, branching scenarios, gamified activities, and microlearning units. Then, they should be assessed on what they have learned using knowledge checks, quizzes, and tests, each of which should be equally interactive and engaging as the actual digital learning courses. Although eLearning only makes up 10% of all knowledge absorption and retention, it is the foundation upon which learners will build 100% of their knowledge and skills.

Then comes the 20%, which should consist of mentorship where learners who have already completed the digital learning course should get some observational training from an instructor or expert (i.e., mentor). The mentor will provide a human touch to learning, answer any questions, and clear any doubts the learner might have about the topic they’ve learned about, as well as demonstrate how the learned knowledge and skills will be applied. As mentors cannot be everywhere at the same time, they can use video calling and conferencing apps like Skype and Facebook Live to reach learners wherever they might be and deliver lectures through them on the learners' devices. Mentors can also record lectures and webinars, and then deliver them to learners. In addition, they can guide and support learners using chats and groups on social media as well. Thus, technology is a great way to eliminate the constraints of geographical boundaries and scalability from mentorship.

Conclusion

The 30% knowledge thus provided to learners is enough to send them on their way to gleaning knowledge through their everyday duties, which makes up 70% of the knowledge absorption and retention, providing learners with a full 100% learning. Using blended learning in the above-mentioned manner requires just a little effort and planning as well as a moderate amount of investment, and the ROI provided is off the charts. Start planning your own blended learning program in your organization ASAP, and enjoy the benefits of much more informed, knowledgeable, and productive employees.

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