This six part blog series will help you plan and roll out a successful blended learning initiative, which includes a range of different learning methods, such as classroom events, custom eLearning and off-the-shelf digital learning resources. We’ll cover why we need blended learning, planning, communicating with stakeholders and how to engage your staff. Along the way, we’ll look at barriers and challenges.
Blended learning success – journey starts here!
The pressure is on. L&D teams are being asked to deliver more, with less resources and a reduced budget. Training days rarely include a lovely lunch, multiple coffee breaks and a guaranteed early finish. In casual dress. Day to day learning programmes continue to be delivered – induction programmes, compliance modules, health and safety training, internal systems training and technical programmes. Staff development plans continue to be rolled out.
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Why blended learning?
It is getting harder to get people to commit to a classroom training course. Even when someone commits – accepts the calendar invite, engages with the coordinator – this does not guarantee that they will turn up on the day. Business pressures, operational emergencies, calls that go on unexpectedly – there are many reasons why the training is missed.
Outside of the workplace, we are immersed in a easy come, easy go, on-demand learning culture. Knowledge is accessible and everywhere. If we want to learn how to do something new – from cooking to learning a language, there is surely an app to download, a blog to read, and/or a video to watch. We take the knowledge and use it immediately. If we need to check back on something, we know where to find it and review it quickly to find what we need. We binge watch, we push ourselves – life in 2018 is rarely passive. We want it – we order it. The competition for our attention span is high. If we don’t like what we see we move onto the next thing. And then we go to work and sit in a classroom for 6 hours in a passive stance and are expected to learn.
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Blended learning for impact, flexibility and efficiency
On the job training is essential in many organisations and it is certain that collaborative learning can be effective, engaging and a bonding experience. Colleagues learn, as they work and no one is required to be away from their desks for long periods. ‘Sitting next to Nelly’. But what if Nelly isn’t very good at what she does? What if she was out the day she was supposed to learn the new process? What if Nelly doesn’t care very much? It can work but it can take a lot longer to for someone to get up to speed on everything that they need to do and there is limited independent learning and support available to them.
So how can L&D delver the ideal blended learning experience?
The answer can be with the development of a digital learning culture.
A digital learning culture is one where learning, both formal and informal is accessible, flexible, encouraged, discussed and shared. Learning can be both in groups or self-directed. It does not in any way dismiss classroom training. This is about expanding the range of learning; improving and enhancing all learning offerings and developing a suite of digital learning options which will meet the learning needs of the organisation as well as the learning needs of the staff. Digital learning includes:
- Flexible self-paced eLearning modules accessible from multi devices to allow for mobile learning
- Online learning resources such as quick reference guides
- How-to videos
- Microlearning modules
- Virtual classroom offerings
- Blended learning programmes, including a mix of traditional classroom deliveries, ‘flipped classroom’ deliveries and virtual training blended with self-paced independent learning and assessments.
- Links to external sources for information through briefing tools for example Anders Pink.
- Curated eBooks
- Collaborative on line learning communities
- Accessible support network for questions and follow up queries following training for on the job performance support
Blended learning success – begin with the end in mind
The content must be easily accessible, well curated, relevant and up to date. User experience is key. Learner expectations are exceptionally high and must be met to engage and motivate the learners. An investment in digital learning can be seen as an investment in staff.
The hardest part of this journey can be agreeing within your organisation where you want to be at the end of it! How do you want people to learn within your organisation by, for example, the end of this year?
Once that destination has been agreed a strategy can be put in place to get there. Logicearth will partner with you to ensure that you reach your destination.
Based on a comprehensive analysis of your existing training we will develop a strategy which will lead to the development and deployment of as much or as little digital content as your organisation needs. This plan will include recommendations on:
- Change management
In part 2/6 of this blog series, we’ll look at how you work with internal stakeholders, such as IT and HR teams to make sure your blended learning programme is set up for success.