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BLENDED LEARNING: Optimising your approach to employee training

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who works in a well-known software company about her challenge in her new role. She stated that the concept of formal training is new to her as it is usually their leaders guiding them into the new roles of a manager. Whenever they got the opportunity to attend the training sessions, it was usually classroom training for a day or two or virtual classroom sessions spread across a few weeks. However, the learnings were lost somewhere while implementing at the workplace.

It is when I realised that even after studying the Learning and Development trends, many organisations are still trying to cope with the trends of the past. Concepts like Learning through the Metaverse and Virtual Reality are still on the other side of the universe for them.

With more and more modern new age workforce joining the workplace with a strong growth mindset and a constant urge to upgrade themselves, it has become predominant for organisations across the globe to be updated with L&D’s current trends. One of the best and fastest ways to meet up with this is to introduce and inculcate blended learning model in their talent development programs.

Blended learning has evolved from just being a fusion of e-learning and classroom training to a combination of games, videos, and practical knowledge with a hint of theoretical base. The learners not only attend Instructor-led training but also have the access to relevant resources whenever required. Such an approach is commonly found in schools and higher academia.

However, in the corporate world, such a simple approach is hardly successful. Organisations would require dynamic elements of blended learning like :

  • An instructor-led classroom session (online/in-person) to deliver personal feedback of face-to-face lessons but online, with the convenience of learning from anywhere.
  • Industry and organisation live projects to experience and apply their learned skills.
  • Online Peer Learning Sessions.
  • Bite size learning videos to reinforce retention and implementation of learned skills.
  • On demand online facilitators.
  • Use of Gamification in the learning process ➡️ adding games-like elements (level badges, scoreboard, storylines, competitive rules etc.)
  • Easier accessibility of all the elements to manage employee progress effectively.

These extended elements can assist businesses in ensuring that the learning is both convenient for the employee and practical enough to be applied quickly, as well as engaging and supported.

At a glance, it’s easy to see that this modern approach to blended learning is quite flexible and adaptable compared to a single-method approach. In addition to that flexibility, there are other reasons why blended learning is the ideal solution for upskilling employees in this quickly evolving digital economy.

Why Blended Learning ?

1. Blended Learning targets a huge audience :

The reason why Blended learning is such a success is that it caters to the needs of different learners. It includes not only classroom training but also a variety of eLearning strategies and methods. We can say that blended learning is a collection of various learning resources. Each mode of delivery is tailored to a specific learning style. They collaborate to make sure that learners retain more information than they would otherwise.

We are well aware of the fact that every individual has a unique style of learning. For instance: someone who learns best through visual learning can learn through self-paced videos whereas Instructional-led discussions and group discussions work best for those who learn by hearing or speaking. Others who learn by writing or reading are provided with materials that can be looked upon at their own pace and those who learn best when they physically do it or apply the concepts into practice work on live projects during the course of the training.

2. Blended Learning allows learning control :

As the younger generation is entering the workplace, the organisation will have to match their expectations and their ways of learning. These generations now prefer to have control over what they are learning and when they are learning. Learning is no longer confined to a particular room or within office hours. Blended learning also aids learners to control the pace at which they learn. It allows them to study online at their own pace rather than being controlled by the group’s fastest or slowest learner.

3. Blended Learning flattens the forgetting curve :

The reason my friend was not able to implement the learnings from the training was that it lacked reinforcement of the concept. Due to a lack of continuous reinforcement, the learners tend to forget 70% of what they have learned in the first few days after the session. Fortunately, blended learning is here to help learners retain more of their learned knowledge by making the best use of their individual learning styles. Rather than a single monotonous training method, blended learning allows learners to be engaged and attentive. Increased attention to any topic simply means that the learner is more invested in the topic, which increases the likelihood of that memory being retained.

Vaguely, organisations do demand using blended learning elements. However, the real challenge of creating effective and engaging learning content grows exponentially. Blended learning is not a strategy or model that can be applied blindly to every learning project in the name of increasing learner engagement. Moving ahead in 2023, every organisation must opt for a blended learning approach to unlock their workforce potential and overall success. Blending learning not only makes learning more impactful, personalised, and accessible but it is proven to be an effective approach for distributed workers as well.

We at Naman HR offer blended learning solutions that drive growth and improve learning retention on a case-by-case basis, based on business and learning requirements. Let’s connect today to identify what your organisation and your workforce needs to thrive in 2023 and beyond. 

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