From Web-Based Training To Blended Learning: How To Make The Switch To Increase Training Effectiveness
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Switching From Web-Based Training To Blended Learning

"One size does not fit all."

In his book of the same title, Nikhil Goyal challenges the current school system to transform into a place of innovation and provide tailored education to its students. He recognized the outdated teaching system in place and offered thought-provoking alternatives to make it more relevant to today's demands.

Nothing can be further from the truth when it comes to training delivery, too. Sticking to traditional training methods can be ineffective at times. In order to step up our game, we have to be innovative in coming up with ways to deliver training.

As facilitators, we don't stick with just one instructional method. We tweak, modify or switch things up based on our learners' current needs. We make the necessary adjustments to fit the learning needs with our desired learning outcomes. We need to determine what delivery is best suited depending on the topic, learners and overall goal of the class.

One switch I often do is turning a web-based training to blended learning.

Here are the steps I follow when shifting from one instructional method to another:

1. Profile The Learners

What are their personality styles? How do they prefer learning? What's their experience or level of expertise in the training content? Where are they currently at in terms of the content you're about to deliver. What do they know about the topic?

2. Assess The Learning Needs Of The Class

Based on previous observations or historical performance, what learning gaps do you need to fill in? Is there a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed? Or a skill gap that needs more practice? What learning gap does the majority of the class have? Will a diagnostic test be applicable? After completing the assessment, identify the most common learning gap and address it during discussions and practice activities.

3. Evaluate The Training Content

Review the course content, and check which sections of the content need a trainer intervention for further explanation or more practice. In my case, for example, system simulations need to be self-paced because it requires individual system navigation practice. Then, the application piece requires role play so the learners get to express what they understood and communicate the right information confidently. Also, determine which information are need-to-knows and which are nice-to-knows. Hammer on the need-to-knows during the review.

4. Have The Class Go Through A Portion Of The Content On Their Own To Reinforce Self-Discovery

Learners should be given instructions on how to go about the self-paced lessons. Time allotted for course completion need to be properly set and suggestions to maximize the time learning the content can be very helpful. Offer assistance for any questions, clarifications or concerns that may come up as they go through the self-paced course.

5. Facilitate A Discussion On The Key Learning Points

Every time the learners finish a self-paced section of the training, summarize the lesson and review the key points by asking them questions. I normally use a flow chart or a mindmap of the key points for this. Not only am I guided on what I need to review, but the learners can also follow along easily too.

6. Check For Understanding Through Skill Practice

Learning happens when students can articulate what they've learned but they retain more information when they implement what they've been taught. It is crucial that practical activities be included in any training because understanding is a whole lot different than doing.

7. Summarize The Content And Highlight The WIIFMs (What's In It For Me) Through Q&A

Adult learners need to know why they're learning, what they're learning, and how it's going to benefit them. Making them realize the importance of the topic allows us, facilitators, to get their buy-in.

Everyone can be an expert in what he or she teaches. But what separates experts from great facilitators is their knowledge on how to best deliver the training content and facilitate the learning process.

Tip: After each training, evaluate how the training went by identifying what things worked really well that you can replicate and the things that you can do differently to make the training more effective.

Happy teaching!

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