At its core, blended learning is a combination of traditional Instructor-led Training (ILT) complemented with eLearning training through videos and multimedia methods. There are many advantages of blended learning which has led to it becoming a popular choice amongst organisations today when it comes to corporate training. This combination of on-site and off-site corporate training has proved to be most effective when employees are required to transfer from their training to their jobs swiftly and accurately. It is an effective method of training that couples learning with fun, thereby stirring the interest of employees to not only participate but to also complete training and transfer from their learning to their jobs efficiently. Illustrated below are 3 examples of blended learning in corporate training.
INSTRUCTOR-LED VIRTUAL CLASSROOM SESSIONS
This method provides the experience of having an instructor train your employees live online through virtual classroom sessions. This has several advantages, the least of which is reduction of cost that would otherwise have to be incurred in having that trainer physically on-site. This method allows learning possible from anywhere and at any time. All the employees have to do is log-in and start the training. It allows companies to organize training sessions with industry experts who live across the globe thereby breaking geographical barriers when it comes to knowledge transfer. It facilitates one-on-one feedback sessions between trainers and employees. And more importantly, most software have options to record the entire training and play it back at the employees’ convenience.
PRACTICAL APPLIED INDUSTRY PROJECTS
One of the main problems with any kind of training is non-transferability of learnings to actual jobs. It does not matter how interesting the training is if the learnings cannot be applied practically. Therefore, administering the lessons of the training to employees through a live and practical industry project will help them develop hands-on skills. These skills that are learned can then be immediately applicable to other company initiatives as well. This method is usually executed by simulating a company initiative or pain-point in the training, ideating a solution and then implementing it. It takes employees through a step-by-step process of the skills required and allows them to see the results of their solutions come to life. Not only is this method effective but it also lets the employee solve problems creatively, strengthen their decision-making abilities and allows them to observe the outcome of these decisions. Besides, it is an interesting way to train employees as the lessons learned will remain etched in their memories for a long time.
HARNESSING THE ADVANTAGES OF ADAPTIVE LEARNING
When a group of employees have been gathered to participate in any training it often happens that all employees are not at the same skill-proficiency level or have the same knowledge level. Some employees may require that training from scratch while others may have existing knowledge or skills which will lead to the training being a repetition for them. In such a situation, adaptive learning methods can be utilised to allow employees at a more advanced stage of the training to skip the initial part and start from a point that is more appropriate for their knowledge. It ensures that employees are not bored, maximizes their learning efficiency, gives them control of their training and empowers them. In some cases, it can also lead to employees who are at an advanced level to help the employees who are starting their learning from scratch. Thereby, encouraging team-work and knowledge sharing making the experience a collaborative one.
The above examples are not the beginning and end of the blended learning experience. They are merely three very sound examples of how organisations can craft their blended learning strategies to ensure optimum learning. The beauty of blended learning lies in the fact that it combines the best features of instructor-led training and eLearning to produce a far more beneficial method of training. It encourages creative thinking, employee collaboration, innovative problem-solving and gives employees hands-on feedback about the skills they are trying to develop through the training.
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