Posted on 29th May, 2014 by Imogen Casebourne
Blended learning is nothing new, but many organisations are only just discovering that some of the best learning programmes consist of more than a course alone. There is also a long-standing misconception that blended learning is about combining e-learning with face-to-face workshops. In reality, while this can be a blend, it’s just one example, and blends often consist of so much more than that. So, what are some of the most common components of a learning blend?
Many organisations are reluctant to leave face-to-face workshops behind, so it can be reassuring to retain some in-person training, albeit at a reduced level. In some cases, face-to-face training is necessary. For instance, first aid training requires hands-on experience, and learners will need to be physically present for site orientation training.
E-learning is a fantastic way to deliver training which doesn’t necessarily need to be done in person. For example, compliance training to help employees understand new policies can be delivered quickly and efficiently online. It is often used to slash training days and to help companies stick to tight training budgets, and is a popular component of most blends.
Simulations and virtual worlds
Simulations allow employees to practise tasks in a safe environment, and virtual worlds allow for exploration of a replica of a real space. This allows people to push boundaries they might not try in real life and to safely make mistakes. Simulations can be used to help people working in dangerous, high-pressure situations test themselves again and again to ensure they know exactly how to react – for example, they can be useful for soldiers who need to familiarise themselves with combat situations.
Mobile performance support
Digital learning resources can be used as performance support. Short video clips, podcasts or useful infographics can be made accessible on smartphones and tablets to provide just-in-time job aids at the point of need. This can jog learners’ memories on-the-job for more efficient working, and allows people to brush up on their skills without disrupting their working days.
With Preloaded joining the LTG portfolio, we’re looking forward to harnessing the power of educational games. They can improve motivation and retention rates and provide a more engaging, user-friendly learning experience, especially when subject matter needs to be learnt through repetition.
Social media has long been discussed as a potential learning environment, but only relatively recently has it started to be used in this way. LEO Learning created a blend with a social element for its British Airways Outstanding Leaders programme. This allowed employees from different parts of the company to ask questions and interact with others without needing to get senior staff involved for quicker responses from those in the know. If you have five minutes to spare, why not check out our free at a glance resource to help you decide which components to include in your blend?
Click here to speak to a LEO Learning consultant about how we can design a blended programme for your organisation.