Training not only needs to cater for providing a continuous learning process for learners but it also needs to reinforce that learning through various means. To achieve lasting results, you need a well-planned strategy for designing your learning solutions. And as you know, both ILTs and eLearning have their own unique powerful advantages and limitations. Now we come to the question of which is better – ILT or eLearning?
This has been a long-drawn debate for a long time, with enthusiastic practitioners championing each type of delivery method. The fact of the matter is that in today’s increasingly complex business world with complex training requirements, one type of method alone doesn’t cut it any longer. To maximize the effectiveness of a learning solution, you need to judiciously combine them in the form of a blended approach to learning. So what exactly is blended learning? Blended Learning refers to a mix of different delivery methods for a more comprehensive learning experience. Typically, it means a combination of ILTs and eLearning, in other words, a blend of face-to-face instruction with computer-mediated instruction.
Now let’s look at the question of how does blended learning help. Blended learning enables you to mix various learning strategies, methods, and mediums of delivery to make sure that your learning objectives are met successfully. Think of a typical product training that needs to be rolled out across your organization. Is this best done through a classroom session or a series of self-paced modules, followed by a hands-on demo? Or can the need be met by suitable simulation modules, followed by an online assessment? As you can see, the possibilities are many. Blended solutions help you to match different types of content to the learning method ideally suited for that type of content, while also keeping other design considerations such as learner types in mind.
Why Integrate ILTs with eLearning?
Today more and more organizations are going in for eLearning because of the numerous benefits if offers on many levels. However, you cannot consider each training requirement in the light of eLearning alone, because you would want to take advantage of ILTs to complement your eLearning solution, so that you can deliver a training solution that is truly comprehensive, effective and yields maximum results. Here are two points worth remembering:
- ILTs and eLearning are NOT mutually exclusive
- ILT and eLearning shouldn’t be viewed in separate silos
eLearning is cost-effective and has global reach; for your overall training to be truly effective, you can retain eLearning as the backbone of your delivery, and opt for small bytes of classroom training wherever it is feasible. In other words, you will have to take a call on when and how to integrate ILTs initiatives into your eLearning solutions. To get the best of worlds, a seamlessly integration between ILT and eLearning can work wonders.
The ideal training solution should have the right mix of both kinds of learning. As Learning and Development professionals, it is up to us to come up with the best blend.