eLearning and classroom trainings have been implemented over the years for improving employee knowledge base and in improving their on-the-job performance. Blended learning programs are increasingly being adopted to leverage best of both the worlds, viz eLearning and ILTs.
In this blog, I will share a few tips on creating better blended programs.
Corporate training is needed all the time. For launches of new products, change of policies or procedures, and for new employee onboarding, the right training is a must. Some companies go old school and hold traditional, face-to-face training programs, while some use eLearning exclusively. However, haven’t you ever wondered how it would be to incorporate both in one single program? Would there be better results? Is it the best of both worlds? Try it and find out!
Here’s are some tips to create highly engaging and impactful blended learning programs:
8 Key Tips to Create a Custom Employee Training
1. Find A Blend That Works For Both Sides
Before you design your learning program, you need your employees’ opinion. Taking into consideration their preferences and the environment in which they work is quite important. It’s to them you’ll be delivering the training, anyhow.
Thus, it’s better to conduct a survey to find out the learning formats your learners prefer and whether they have any requirements. This will help you decide on which learning path to use more, face-to-face or online learning.
Try to find the perfect middle that suits the organisation and the employees.
2. Have a Face-to-Face First Meeting
Having an initial face-to-face introduction helps to set the expectations of the learners and put a face to your instructor and trainees. Having offline faces increases online accountability.
If this can’t happen in person, then introduce yourself and the training program to your learners via virtual conferencing technology or Skype. Regardless of the program, there needs to be voices and faces.
3. Set Goals And Expectations In Advance (And Let Your Employees Know About Them)
Before you start the training, you need to have defined expectations and performance goals. Make everything clear from the get-go to the employees, too. It’s important to explain to your learners how this form of blended learning between face-to-face and eLearning will help them learn better, why the learning technology tools are there, how they can benefit from them, what part technology plays in the overall training process, and what portion of the program will still involve face-to-face instruction.
Also, mention how this approach will help them cut down on long traditional training sessions, yet offer anytime, anywhere access to training material. This improves their productivity and efficiency.
4. Start With Easy Technology
Various tech-tools are available to us in this day and age, some easier to use than others, some more effective than others. The learning technology tools you decide to use need to be easy but to contain features that are suitable for your audience. They should fit seamlessly into your training plan and offer employees interactive scenarios and exercises that enhance the training experience. Don’t choose tools just because they’re “cool” when you could easily do without them. The fewer complications, the better.
5. Have Synchronous Conversations
It can only be expected that most of the conversations will be happening asynchronously, threads going on, assignments analyzed, and feedback given at different hours of the day and night, but for better results, real-time conversations with your learners are recommended. This method is a vital way to help build community.
6. Focus On Collaboration Between The Learners
Blended learning works better when a strong emphasis is put on collaboration.
Collaboration is more easily motivated on your face-to-face time with your learners, but by using tools like chat, groups, forums, etc., you can encourage digital collaboration even when the learners do not see each other in person.
7. Develop Effective Online Assessments
Assessments give you the opportunity to estimate whether an employee actually went through the material you sent them and learned from them, and to detect when further explaining face-to-face may be needed to be offered.
If the training program goes right, you’ll see it in your employees’ work performance, but just to make sure, you can try out some other interactive types of assessment, such as multiple choice exams or branching scenarios, simulations.
8. Accept Feedback And Switch It Up If It’s Not Working
As you implement the blended learning approach in your training program, solicit feedback from learners and make adjustments accordingly. The success of the program comes down to participation, after all. Encourage employees to share their opinions and concerns in order to perfect the strategy by building an effective feedback system.
You can do this by offering surveys or suggestion forms to identify areas that need improvement. Don’t force something that isn’t working.
Learning is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing, and one single method will not suit every learner. So why not mix them up? eLearning and Face-to-face learning are usually talked about as one against the other, but they can actually be an unbeatable team when joined together. If you decide to use this kind of training method, we hope to have helped you with the tips we shared.