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Blended learning for business includes a combination of engaging face-to-face learning experiences and responsive online learning. This has been a growing trend but it has not yet reached its full potential. In order to ensure that the blended learning approach provides the best benefits possible, you need to keep certain guidelines in mind.
Here are six tips to keep in mind while designing blended learning for business.
When you design your blended learning solution for your corporate training, you need to chalk out your strategy to focus on learning goals and outcomes, and not learning technology. Do a needs analysis and pin down the problem you want to solve or the skill that you aim to update in your employees. Once that is done, decide on the learning objectives. Ideally, the technology you select should fit into the training plan and not the other way around. For example, if you want the learners to apply their knowledge in a real-like virtual environment, then opt for simulations or virtual reality environment. Do not create activities just because you want to jump into the virtual and augmented reality bandwagon. Technology is available to bolster your learning objectives. Do not work backward to fit in your objectives based on the technology available at hand.
When you design blended learning approaches, you must be aware of the environment your employees work in and their personal preferences. You may want to conduct a survey in case you are not sure about the data. For example, your shop floor workers may learn better with videos, whereas your desk employees may prefer gamification or forums where they can collaborate with their peers. Once you are sure about what your target audience prefers, you are better placed at providing them what they want.
Also, each learner has his set of challenges – cultural or technological. You need to keep that in mind. For example, some learners may not have access to high-speed Internet. You may want to offer them offline content or fewer video formats. Keeping these finer points in mind will ensure that your effort is not wasted.
Make sure you offer a proper learning syllabus to your learners. That way, they can stay on track with the activities they need to complete to stay on track. The learning path should have the relevant information – learning objectives, tests, activities, deadlines, and so on. Once the learners have the guide then they can track their own progress. The instructor can do so to, and intervene if the learners need a course correction.
In blended learning solutions, you can determine how many interactive activities you need to include. The good thing is that you can choose from a variety of activities for both online and offline formats. You can fine-tune the activities based on how engaging you want the learning to be. Group collaboration is extremely important to keep up the engagement levels.
Like all learning program, blended learning solutions need proper assessments to gauge performance. As a learning designer, you need to think how you want to test the knowledge of your learners. Do you want them to take a quiz, or finish an activity, or take part in a discussion, and so on? The strategy will differ based on the format. For the online element, you can think of quizzes or games. For the classroom session, you can divide the class into groups and ask them to solve case studies.
The good thing about blended learning is that a substantial portion of the material is online. You can offer loads of resources and links to your learners. Include links to articles, references, news stories, job aids, etc. This list of valuable resources comes handy after the course is over. They have access to a wealth of data that they can use at the point-of-need. They do not have to spend time researching.
Designing Digitally, Inc. creates blended learning solutions suited to each client’s needs. We will help you determine which method is best for your application, ensuring the most effective learning approaches are utilized.
Get in touch with our experts today to learn more about how blended learning can enhance your training strategy.