Compliance training often consists of a standardized approach across many organizations, but should it? In this two-part blog, we’re going to explore the benefits of using blended learning for compliance training.
What Exactly Is Blended Learning?
The concept of blending learning has evolved in recent times. For many, blended learning was traditionally a mix of face-to-face and online training. In the early days, ‘the blend’ was simply a combination of classroom-based training and online training modules which were completed before and/or after training sessions.
But today (and for the purposes of this blog) we’re looking at blended learning in its more recent, exciting incarnation as a design tool to create rich learning experiences by harnessing:
- a broad media mix – such as games, video, infographics, audio and face-to-face training
- latest technology – so that content can be viewed, anytime, anywhere
- non-linear and continuous learning – instead of static one-off learning events.
Why Use Blended Learning for Compliance Training?
The target outcomes for any compliance course should be, firstly, that it’s completed by all learners.
A recent Towards Maturity report notes that only 77% of staff complete online compliance programs. Alongside that, more than one in three respondents say that almost half of their learners perceive compliance training as lacking in innovation.
Secondly, many L&D leaders now aspire to achieve changes to working culture with courses that achieve measurable behavioral change in their employees—namely that they stay compliant and that reported breaches decrease.
A blended learning approach can enhance your ability to achieve both of these goals by increasing learner engagement and effectively enabling behavior change.
Blended Learning Improves Learner Engagement
While a traditional blended learning program can be a tool to get learners compliant quickly and cheaply, this ignores the value that a blended approach can have in generating learner engagement.
The real value of a blended learning program is its ability to diversify the way your learners consume information and the journey they go on to complete the learning. At Eukleia, we go beyond the idea of a single module or course to open up a whole world of possibilities for engagement.
One of our custom courses on competition law is a great example of this. With a challenge to design a highly engaging course for banking staff, we used blended learning for compliance training in two key ways by:
- using a combination of video scenarios and eLearning to produce a rich learning experience
- staggering the way that learners were exposed to the learning with a series of teaser videos designed to trigger excitement and engagement.
Even if your requirements are for a single compliance module, our experts will still approach it with a blended learning perspective by considering the module as an experience. We’ll always ask ourselves: ‘How can we pace and vary the way learners interact with the key messages?’ And that might mean a single module features videos, podcasts and games, to make ‘moments’ of high interaction and engagement.
Pacing the way learners are exposed to content can create engagement and knowledge retention that combats the dreaded ‘Forgetting Curve’. A campaign approach to learning can embed a culture of compliance all year round, so teasers, episodic content and ‘just in time’ learning can all form part of an effective blended learning journey.
This is backed up by research suggesting that solutions that prioritize an engaging, rich learner experience achieve better results.
Mix It up for Immersion
Immerse your learners and you will create engagement and lasting behavior change too.
In a learning context, we tend to think of immersion in terms of the concept of ‘flow’. When in flow or ‘the zone’, we experience an optimal state of immersion where the task we’re working on is just the right level of challenge to fully engage our concentration.
We know that creating immersion like this is a challenge for most budgets. Every year, millions are spent in the gaming industries designing strategies that hook in and immerse video game players. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to target immersion in your learning solution – it just requires the right tools.
A blended approach is useful for immersion because it allows us to include these different tools, or ways to create immersion. Or it can help design an immersive solution entirely.
Scenarios are one such tool that can be used to great effect in a blend, and are particularly effective for compliance training. As our recent blog on conduct training highlights, challenging learners to explore the ‘grey areas’ is a more challenging and realistic way to get learners to a place where they are making the right decisions in real life. This elevated challenge also creates immersion. When answers aren’t simply yes or no, learners have to really apply their knowledge and consider all aspects of a situation.
Tools such as scenario-based questions and interactive videos are less costly devices that can sit alongside, or be part of, your learning solution.
A more holistic blended approach, although often more time-intensive, has potentially even more benefits. Game-based solutions that blend fast-paced scenarios and decisions with learning content have real power to immerse learners and drive up completion rates, as well as increasing the chances they take their learning back into the real world.
A Final Word on Blends
Hopefully, this post has given you a bit of a taste of what a modern blend can do for you. Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we’ll look at the wider business benefits of using blended learning for compliance training.