After COVID-19, the world saw a major shift in working trends and employee preferences, according to Statista’s studies 66% of employees preferring a hybrid workforce model. This means that organizations have had to adapt to the change accordingly, not only in terms of employee management but also in training and development. Blended learning has become an increasingly popular model for training and development programs because of this.
While initially, the concept seemed a bit difficult and “moot” to implement, training managers have now understood the countless advantages it offers over traditional instruction, such as increased flexibility, improved engagement, and lower costs.
Blended Learning: An Increasingly Popular Model for Training and Development Programs
Here are the key benefits it offers:
- Increased Flexibility
- Improved Engagement
- Reduced Costs
- Better Access to Learning Materials
- Better Retention Rates
- Better Control Over the Content
- Better Feedback Opportunities
In this article, we will look at how the idea of blended learning can help organizations improve their workforce and help in training managers to get their message across more effectively.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended learning is a teaching method that combines online and face-to-face instruction. This approach to learning can be tailored to the needs of any organization, and it offers a number of benefits for employees who are part of the hybrid workforce.
The idea behind blended learning is to combine the best features of both classroom/workplace and online learning. This approach can be customized to the needs of the learner(s), hence being a more interactive and engaging form of learning, hence offering a number of benefits for employees who are part of the hybrid workforce.
Blended learning is a combination of classroom training and virtual instructor-led training. It is an eLearning solution that enhances the learning experience of the learners. Blended learning can incorporate many formats like virtual instructor-led training (VILT), microlearning and mobile learning.
Blended learning allows employees to learn at their own pace, which can be beneficial for those who need extra time to digest material or who want to move through the content more quickly. Additionally, blended learning can be more engaging than traditional classroom instruction, as it allows learners to interact with the material in a variety of ways as per their preference.
7 Key Benefits of Blended Learning
1. Increased Flexibility
With blended learning, employees have the ability to learn at their own pace and in their own environment. This type of learning is flexible and can be tailored to the needs of the learner. Increased flexibility via blended learning means that employees can learn material when it is convenient for them, which can lead to better understanding and retention of the content.
Another area where blended learning provides greater flexibility for learners is in terms of its design. With so many eLearning designing tools and approaches out there, you can tailor your courses according to the organizational structure, theme, brand, and more. There are countless engagement and interaction options you can implement in a variety of ways like assessments, quizzes, polls etc. Training formats like microlearning, VILT and eLearning offers the flexibility to the learners to take up training at their convenience.
2. Improved Engagement
Blended learning can create a more engaging learning experience. This type of learning is interactive and allows learners to interact with the material in a variety of ways. Additionally, blended learning can be more engaging than traditional classroom instruction, as it allows learners to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.
For example, a blended learning approach could be used to teach a new software program to your hybrid workforce. As a training manager or an instructor, you could start by presenting the material in a traditional lecture format. However, instead of having the learners complete the entire software program on their own, you could break the class into small groups and have each group work on a different section of the program.
This would allow your learners to get hands-on experience with the software and learn from their peers as well. Furthermore, you or your instructor could use online resources to supplement the material presented in the course. This would give the learners a chance to explore the material further and learn at their own pace.
3. Reduced Costs
Blended learning is often more cost-effective than traditional classroom instruction. When all or part of a training program is delivered online, there are no travel costs associated with the learning. Additionally, online learning can be delivered more quickly and easily than classroom instruction, which can save on training costs. The same eLearning courses can be utilized to train multiple batches. This enhances the utility of the eLearning courses and is cost-effective.
4. Better Access to Learning Materials
As was already said, employees have more access to learning materials thanks to blended learning. In today’s fast-paced generation, learners expect their knowledge immediately. Therefore, here is where mobile learning may be put to use and provide learners with greater accessibility. The learners will be able to take the course from any location and at any time. Employees can access the materials at any time, from any location, whether all or part of a training session is offered online. More learning opportunities and a deeper comprehension of the subject matter may result from this improved access.
5. Better Retention Rates
Blended learning can improve the retention of information. This type of learning is flexible and allows learners to interact with the material in a variety of ways. Additionally, blended learning can be more engaging than traditional classroom instruction, which can lead to better understanding and retention of the content.
This is possible through the increased opportunities for interaction between learners and instructors and the ability to design courses in an interactive fashion. The improved engagement compared to traditional classroom instruction results in better retention, microlearning format can also be used for the better retention of the learners and hence sending your message across more effectively.
6. Better Control Over the Content
With blended learning, you as a training manager, instructor, and learner have greater control over the learning environment. Following hybrid requirements and engagement principles in a traditional classroom can be next to impossible, but with blended learning, it becomes much easier.
For example, if an employee is struggling with low confidence or morale, may not be able to learn in traditional training sessions, but with the blended learning model, they can review the material at their own pace, in their own time, and ask questions in private without getting too uncomfortable.
7. Better Feedback Opportunities
Blended learning provides increased opportunities for feedback between learners and instructors. This type of learning is interactive and allows learners to interact with the material in a variety of ways. In a hybrid workforce, blended learning can derive better feedback because the general anonymity or the lack of having to face the instructors directly may make it easier to convey otherwise hard-to-say messages.
This increased engagement and feedback can lead to a better understanding of the material on both ends and improve job performance. The improved feedback and interaction with instructors or with you can also lead to improved relationships and better prospects for the future.
It’s a Wrap!
Organizations that wish to give employees the freedom to learn at their own speed and in their own environment may consider blended learning as a wonderful alternative. Blended learning is a fantastic approach to enhance the message you’re attempting to convey, increase engagement, and cut expenses for hybrid workforces. Employee performance is improved by using blended learning models. You can download this free eBook to learn how blended learning can improve employee performance.