The current zeitgeist is leading L&D departments further in the direction of digital learning. But no matter how you put it, for some technical or hands-on skills, classroom training remains indispensable.
Thanks to a blended learning strategy, online and classroom courses complement each other perfectly.
What exactly do we understand by this approach? Blended learning is a form of hybrid learning that combines a mix of methods.
For instance, think of a learning path for technical staff with different levels of knowledge, to stay up to date with the latest developments in their field. L&D develops a learning program for this purpose, in which employees first follow an individual e-learning course to assure everyone’s knowledge is at an equal level when participating in the classroom training. In the e-learning course, learners are offered theoretical knowledge and skills, for them to master the basics at their own pace. This is followed by a classroom session in which employees put their knowledge into practice. They are also given the opportunity to ask questions or clear up any ambiguities.
In other words, the purpose of a blended learning strategy is that online and classroom learning activities form one whole, and through their unique combination ensure that employees successfully achieve their learning objectives.
We have listed the most important benefits of the blended approach in this article.
It may sound self-evident, but sufficient variation in the learning offer stimulates the motivation of employees to a high degree. Choosing from a diversity of learning activities encourages people to take their learning and growth into their own hands.
A blended learning strategy facilitates creating that diversity: a learning program consisting of e-learnings, physical workshops, videos and question sessions increases the involvement of participants and also ensures better retention of the learning material.
Social learning fits perfectly within a blended approach. Social learning can take place physically, but is also perfectly possible online. For example, in times of increasing remote work, the L&D department can set up a forum on the LMS, organize a Q&A session through videocall or set up a digital workshop.
Learning from the most experienced colleagues or from employees with a different expertise, is very enriching and makes it easier to put the knowledge into practice.
The combination of various (online) learning modules and adjustment by a trainer in classroom sessions provides L&D with useful insights into the specific knowledge of individual employees. Where necessary, the level of knowledge can also be given a little push.
We’re all online, all the time. If we want to know something, we quickly look it up, at work as well as at home. Just-in-time learning, or acquiring specific knowledge when you need it, is therefore on the rise.
By integrating microlearning into your blended learning strategy, you respond to that just-in-time need. Short learning activities such as a compact e-learning or interactive video are perfectly accessible between daily tasks, and they ensure that learning organically becomes part of the workday.
In the future, blended learning will only continue to evolve thanks to virtual reality and augmented reality. After all, VR and AR are also hybrid forms of learning that bring together virtual learning and practical learning.
Not only do they make acquiring knowledge and practicing skills more interesting and challenging, VR and AR also bring the learning environment closer to the actual work situation.
Neo Learning has guided several clients in successfully setting up a blended learning strategy. Want to know more about our approach? Contact us, we're more than happy to help!