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Blended Learning: a balanced approach to L&D

The outbreak of Covid-19 has forced organisations to change the way they operate. Many businesses have had to make a sudden switch to digital, with employees working from home and using online tools to stay connected. This has had a big impact on Learning and Development (L&D), with organisations having to find new ways to deliver training and development programmes.

Since it was the most practical solution at the time, many organisations made the switch to completely digital learning and development. They provided all of their training via custom eLearning solutions such as webinars, podcasts, and e-learning modules. And it was working for some time. But not all learning can be digital. As we start to emerge from the pandemic, there is a growing recognition that blended learning – a mix of digital and face-to-face delivery – is the best approach for L&D.

What is blended learning?

It is a mix of digital and face-to-face learning. It combines the best of both worlds, giving employees the flexibility to learn in a way that suits them, while also providing the opportunity for social interaction and collaboration.

However, blended learning is more than just adding a few face-to-face elements to an online programme. It needs to be carefully planned and structured to ensure that it is effective. The key to successful blended learning is finding the right balance of digital and face-to-face delivery, based on the needs of the organisation and the employees. 

For example, a business with a large remote workforce might need a higher proportion of digital delivery, while a company with a lot of office-based employees might need more face-to-face time. Sometimes, digital can also be combined with in-person training, such as when an organisation provides e-learning modules to employees and then allows them to practice what they have learned in an in-person setting. It depends on the organisation and what they are trying to achieve.

The benefits of blended learning.

Research shows that blended learning is more effective than either digital or face-to-face learning on its own. It has been found to improve employee engagement, motivation, and learning outcomes. Employees are more engaged with blended learning programmes, as they have more control over how and when they learn. They can choose the methods that work best for them, which leads to a more personalised learning experience.

Here are some of the benefits of blended learning:

Benefits of Blended Learning

Flexibility

One of the main benefits of blended learning is that it is flexible. Employees can learn at their own pace and in their own time. They can access materials online whenever they have time, and then attend face-to-face sessions when it is convenient for them. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for employees who have busy lives or who are working remotely.

Cost-effective. 

Organisations can save money by using blended learning instead of traditional training methods. This is because digital delivery is often more cost-effective than in-person delivery. Blended learning programmes also tend to be shorter than traditional programmes, as employees can learn at their own pace.

Better outcomes. 

There is evidence to suggest that blended learning programmes lead to better outcomes than digital or face-to-face programmes on their own. This is because blended programmes allow employees to learn in multiple ways, which leads to a more rounded learning experience.

Engaging. 

Employees are more engaged with blended learning programmes than with traditional programmes. This is because they have more control over how and when they learn. They can also choose the methods that work best for them, which leads to a more personalised learning experience.

Motivating. 

When employees have the freedom to choose how and when they learn, they are more interested in learning. More interest leads to better motivation, which leads to better learning outcomes. Also, employees can see the results of their learning more quickly, which is motivating.

Improves retention. 

Retention is improved with blended learning programmes as employees have the opportunity to review materials and practice what they have learned. This leads to a deeper understanding of the material, and employees are more likely to remember it. Not to mention, the ability to access materials at any time makes it easy for employees to review and learn.

Facilitates collaboration. 

When employees are learning together, they have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. This is beneficial as it helps employees to develop their skills and knowledge. It also helps to build relationships between employees, which can improve teamwork.

Different Blended Learning Approaches

There are many different approaches to blended learning. The approach that an organisation takes will depend on its goals, resources, and employees. Some common blended learning approaches are:

Blended classroom approach: 

In a blended classroom approach, employees attend in-person sessions and also access materials online. This approach is beneficial as it allows employees to learn from both the trainer and the materials. It is also flexible, as employees can access the materials at any time.

Flipped classroom approach:

In a flipped-classroom approach, employees access materials online and then attend in-person sessions. This approach is beneficial as it allows employees to learn at their own pace. The in-person sessions can then be used for discussion and questions.

Mixed-mode approach: 

In a mixed-mode approach, employees access materials online and through other digital methods, such as videos or podcasts. This approach is beneficial as it allows employees to learn in multiple ways. It is also flexible, as employees can access the materials at any time.

Tailored approach: 

In a tailored approach, employees access materials that are specifically designed for their needs. This approach is beneficial as it allows employees to learn in a way that is most effective for them. It is also flexible, as employees can access the materials at any time.

No matter which blended learning approach an organisation chooses, it is important to ensure that the materials are high quality and engaging. Employees will only be successful with blended learning if the materials are effective and interesting.

Wrapping up.

Blended learning programmes are becoming increasingly popular as they offer several benefits over traditional training methods. If you are looking for a more effective, engaging, and cost-effective way to train your employees, blended learning could be the answer.

Learnsure AI can help in imparting the blended learning across different sectors and workforces. With Learnsure AI’s personalised recommendations for content, delivery, and sequencing, you can be sure that your employees are getting the most out of their learning. Contact us today to learn more!

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