Blended learning is the union of the two major educational models in the learning and development field. Job training has been transitioning to the web more and more, but many companies feel reluctant to give up the quality of teacher-student interaction. Blended learning combines the traditional methods of the classroom with the new-age ways of the Internet.
Otherwise known as hybrid learning, blended learning creates a developmental environment that can best advantage employees through different learning styles.
But how does blended learning work, and how do you find the best solution for your business?
There are six key styles of blended learning:
- The face-to-face driver focuses primarily on classroom-based learning, augmented with online training programs and multimedia platforms.
- The rotation model keeps students interested by rotating between teacher-run lessons, group projects, and online lessons.
- The flex model is primarily digital, but instructors are available for consultation, support, and to answer questions.
- Physical labs are primarily digital platforms but students convene in a physical space to take the online courses.
- The self-blend model is for motivated employees who opt-in to supplemental online courses alongside a traditional classroom-based course.
- The online driver is principally comprised of web-based training courses.
How do you choose which blended learning models are best for the L&D of your company?
Each blended learning style has its own benefits, and choosing the correct model must correspond to the needs of the company, the needs of the employees, and the purpose of the training.
The face-to-face driver gives extra support to students by having a teacher available to adjust with the needs of the class. This same sort of support can be found with the flex model, where instructors can digitally work with their students.
You may choose to have an instructor available to your employees if the training material is dense, technical, or advanced in order to ensure they feel comfortable with the material after the course is over.
On the other end of the blended learning spectrum, the online driver—both remote and in physical labs—often does not include an instructor. It enables students to learn on their own time and at their own pace; this control over their own development aids in engagement with the material. This is the right solution for pieces of training that teach a skill, explain company processes or safety instructions, and any materials the company wants to consistently disperse to all employees.
The rotation method keeps the interest and engagement of the students by varying the platforms of learning. Not everyone learns the same way, so this method appeals to a wider range of students by teaching through different types of programs.
Employees who want to develop themselves outside of the necessary trainings—those that fall in the self-blend model—show dedication to their job and their personal growth within the company. You should make online courses available to them for their continued learning—for their benefit and yours.
You need to identify the purpose of the training and how your employees will respond to a given method. Hybrid learning appeals to a wider range of employee learning styles and promotes communication and collaboration. Blended learning boosts employee engagement, which directly correlates to skill retention and on-the-job performance and success.
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