The competitive world demands that organizations look for innovative ways to enhance their competitive advantages alongside reducing costs. To ensure that right people have the right skills and knowledge to meet organizational goals, an organization must incorporate regular training programs for their employees.
Offering plain, non-interactive online or face-to-face training sessions are not enough. Each methodology has its pros and cons with regards to costs, time, knowledge, etc. Blended learning is where a learning program has more than one mode of delivering instructions. An ideal blended learning program has web-based training with a moderate dose of human touch and media.
Why blended learning? Blended learning benefits both the learner and the Company. If an organization is sceptical about moving its training needs to web-based e-learning modules, blended learning allows for this smooth transition. A step-by-step process, whereby the organization can move learners from classroom training to online learning is easier to adapt.
The definition of blended learning, according to the ASTD 2001 whitepaper, is: “Blended learning focuses on optimizing achievement of learning objectives by applying the “right” learning technologies to match the “right” personal learning style to transfer the “right” skills to the “right” person at the “right” time.”
These programs are dependent on various factors such content type, audience, learner’s needs, goals of the organization, etc. To create a blended learning approach, organizations should identify the content for online and in-person training and timings for virtual and in-person sessions.
It improves learning effectiveness. A blended strategy improves learning results by providing a better match between the learner and the learning program.
The blended approach extends the reach of the audience. A classroom limits the number of participants, while online training has its drawbacks in reaching out to an audience.
Blended learning is not only cost effective, but optimizes your resources and time.
A combination of various instructional tools, media and learning resources can create a bigger impact on learners than the traditional classrooms or plain web-based training.
This generates levels of high interest for the learner, increases accountability and assesses the results of the training program.
To make blended learning more powerful, organizations should select the correct mix or blend. While some forms of media like video, simulations, and webinars are more exciting, others like books, documents, conference calls, static slides can lessen the learner’s interest. A correct mix of instructional methodologies can create the desired impact.
With organizations becoming geographically diversified, training programs have to be more dynamic to provide a wholesome learning experience. A blended learning approach enables companies to offer interactive training programs. The obvious benefit of blended learning is its ability to maximize efficacy by matching the best medium to produce an optimal learning goal. Accounting for the advantages of blended training adds to the momentum of blended training.
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