A blended learning strategy is often the preferred method of companies wishing to train their employees comprehensively and effectively. While blending learning can work well for nearly any industry, it’s particularly pertinent in industries like manufacturing, the medical industry and even in sales training.
Why is blended learning advantageous?
It allows for the best of all worlds – learners can receive some content in a way that’s time and cost-efficient wherever they may be located, and self-paced, track-able learning can be easier for both employees and for the learner in many instances.
With that being said, a blended learning technique can also provide a sense of structure and face-to-face interaction that can reinforce the concepts being presented through eLearning.
For many organizations hoping to implement blending learning, the question then becomes how to choose a learning management system that is going to be ideal for this type of content presentation? Many learning management systems are simply focused on the systematic approach to learning and they don’t provide the features or capabilities necessary to integrate alongside a blended strategy.
Here are five features and capabilities to consider when choosing an LMS for blended learning:
- Classroom Event Management: Just because your learning doesn’t entirely happen within the multimedia sphere doesn’t mean you don’t want to use the LMS capabilities to also keep track of what’s happening in the classroom. With that in mind, choosing an LMS with something like eLeaP’s ILT Module can be the ideal option. With the ILT module it’s possible to track users, completions, and feedback of classroom courses in the same way you do with your online courses. You can also set-up options for self-enrollment and that can be set to public or private enrollment.
- Customization: Being able to customize your LMS to your exact needs and specifications is always important, but can become even more so when you’re implementing blended learning. It’s important to choose an LMS that can be precisely tailored to meet your needs and the goals of your organization on a broad and specific basis.
- Scalability: When selecting an LMS for a blended learning strategy, look for scalability. You want to choose a system that’s going to grow as your organization and training needs grow but there needs to be quite a bit of flexibility. For example, perhaps you’ll expand your organization from one to two locations – are you going to be able to effectively manage your blended learning when these changes occur?
- Support: Strong support is key to successful implementation of any type of eLearning strategy, but especially within blended learning. When you’re selecting an LMS, you need to look at the support provided and ensure you’ll have what you need from your provider when the time comes, and also that your learners are going to be able to access support whether it’s through your organization or through your LMS provider.
- Tracking and Reporting: Training can be essentially useless if you have no way of tracking the progress of your learners whether it’s in the classroom or online. Look for features like what’s provided with eLeaP – automatic notifications, feedback forms, assessments, and advanced reporting which can then be exported to another program like Excel or integrated with HRIS. Tracking features should be seamlessly tied in with what’s going on in the classroom and then streamlined into one location.
These are five of the most important aspects of eLearning platforms to consider when designing a When and how to use blended learning strategy. If you can find an LMS that has these elements you’re going to be able to better streamline training that moves between the classroom to an online format and ensure you’re getting the most from your investment.
What’s important to you in an LMS used with a blended learning strategy?