“Blended learning” is a term being thrown around a lot lately. What exactly is it? On the surface, it’s pretty self-explanatory; blended learning is any kind of instruction or education that combines different methods and means. Most commonly, when someone uses the term, they are talking about classes that combine in-person instruction with online class time. The internet is usually an integral part of any “blended learning” activities.
How to know if blended learning will be effective at your organization?
Blended learning can be incredibly effective. Using multiple modes of learning can help maximize the assimilation of knowledge. Integrated classes can close gaps in communication between students and instructors. Here are a few tips for figuring out what particular combinations of training methods will work best for your organization:
- Find out what kind of learners you have. Some people learn best using visual media, while others are more hands-on. Knowing what kind of instruction tools are most effective to your staff members is key in developing truly effective training strategies.
- Know that not everyone in your organization will fall into the same category. You may have a couple of groups comprised of very different types of learners. Even if you are teaching the same thing to everyone, it can be beneficial to run a couple of different training courses that cater to that group’s preferred learning style.
- Demographics matter. Your staff might be made up of people from various age groups and education levels, among other things. This is all the more reason to embrace the idea that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to training is probably the least effective. If you want to get the most impact out of your training programs, they need to be tailored to fit your desired audience.
- There are plenty of misconceptions about blended learning - both negative and positive. Simply adding an online component to your training program won’t magically make it more effective. However, when planned and implemented thoughtfully, blended learning programs can raise your training efforts to the next level.
- Consult the Experts: It’s a good idea to bring in the professionals if you’re looking to implement an integrated training program at your organization. Find a firm that will customize a plan that’s the perfect fit for your unique organization and the various individuals that run it. With the information you’ve gathered about your staff and the insight of a professional training firm that has real-world experience with blended learning techniques, you can create a winning development program that’s just right for your company.