With digital disruption looming large, it has never been more critical for organizations to close skill gaps in new business models, revolutionary ways of working, and in emerging technologies. Since hiring employees with the right skill set is not always possible, it is vital for companies to train their existing employees and help them develop the necessary skill-sets. But the question is, how do companies help employees gain more knowledge in an efficient and convenient way? After all, in today’s complex work environment, time is a constraint. So, what’s the solution? The answer may well be blended learning!
Blended learning is a concept that combines traditional classroom teaching methods with digital media. Learners may attend actual classroom training for instructor-led sessions or learn via computer-mediated activities. Through the combination of videos, instructional games, and assignment completions in a classroom setting, blended learning is achieved.
A survey to assess the popularity of blended learning included investigators and employees from four different countries—Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 65% of those surveyed stated that their organizations are already using blended learning approaches to train their employees and another 20% indicated that their organizations are considering using it.
If you’re considering a blended learning approach at your organization, here are five uses where blended learning works best and why does it:
- Covering Complex Topics
In today’s technology-driven world, jobs are complex and performing them efficiently requires a mix of several skill sets. Most functional areas are heavily regulated, requiring detailed analysis, judgment, and business acumen. For this reason, providing consistent training on relevant topics is essential. In fact, most organizations have many guides, documents, and white papers created for this purpose. However, in addition to these, employees also require “off-the-shelf” courses covering essential, foundational content. The underlying issue with covering all these together is time. Blended learning is a useful tool here. Training provided in the form of short videos, infographics, etc. are less time-consuming and can cover more content. This can help set a strong base and more complex instructions could follow in a classroom setting.
- When there are multiple learners
A blended learning environment allows organizations to potentially reach a larger audience. Apart from the fact that the Internet makes it possible to reach a greater demographic, content is also perpetually present online. This facilitates the ever-presence of knowledge for future use.
- When learners are geographically dispersed
Blended learning enables subject matter experts, company leaders, and other guest speakers to interact with geographically dispersed employees. Blended learning facilitators may employ virtual whiteboards, polling, and other online tools to ensure participation and knowledge transfer with employees in geographically remote locations or in field jobs.
- When there is a frequent need to train employees
The ever-changing needs of today’s demanding market require companies to provide frequent training for certain roles. Products in sectors like pharma, insurance, and finance are ever-changing and employees need constant training on new products. Added to that are the onerous compliance requirements and regulatory needs that are constantly in flux. There is also a real threat to businesses from malicious activity like hacking and other cyber threats. All these situations demand that the knowledge of the employees be continuously updated. This is much easier to do in a blend of classroom and online training.
And, while companies can overcome time constraints with adequate planning, cost remains a significant consideration when starting a new training endeavour. That being said, blended learning brings with it substantial financial advantages. Things like renting a training space and hiring on-site trainers simply don’t exist in the world of blended learning, thereby reducing overheads.
- When planning career progression
This might sound unusual but Blended learning is ideal when planning career progression. Providing the right training is an effective means to help retain and motivate key employees. However, it is vital to understand that all employees have varying needs. Some prefer learning through videos, while others do better with lectures, podcasts, and even books. Blended learning provides multiple knowledge paths for employees to choose from, as well as optional courses that can be combined to create a customized learning experience. Furthermore, employees can monitor their progress online while staying in control of their learning experience. Each employee has varying developmental needs and a specific career path – a Blended Learning strategy can help them traverse this journey better.
Blended learning has proven itself successful for several companies. A study revealed that 97% of employees when trained, applied their learning at work. Blended learning is an active form of learning that takes into account a time-constrained workforce’s learning needs. These programs can be designed and delivered using the most appropriate channels to maximize the desired impact. It’s the right blend—and, it’s to everyone’s liking!
At eNyota Learning, we recommend all businesses start adopting a blended learning approach. It is the best way to train geographically dispersed workforce on complex subjects that need the presence of a trainer. As time goes by, the mixing of technology with traditional practices is recommended, as not all traditional approaches are outdated or redundant.
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