The Benefits of Blended Learning
The evolution of technology in the public space has transformed how we educate our employees. New and improved forms of learning have been designed to give us better results and counter the shortcomings of traditional techniques.
Blended learning is an integrated approach to education and training which combines both online and offline classroom-based teaching. The concentration of these two components can vary but their combined capabilities lend a unique distinction to the learning process. Corporates can maximize their productivity and efficiency by capitalizing on a blended training course. The dynamism of the online environment coupled with the sincerity of the offline classroom reaps rich dividends for the overall growth of an employee.
One such form of blended learning is the flipped classroom which requires prior preparation by the student via online resources followed by a hands-on application based session in the classroom. When tested on young learners, it showed significant improvement in retentive ability and translated into academic success. Blended learning also optimizes measurement of learning performance. Platforms with analytical capabilities can be tapped to show the true engagement generated by the target learners. Easily accessible self-paced learning allows employees to save both time and effort. Constantly and happily learning employees catapult organizations to great success and that is probably why more than 40% employees of Fortune 500 companies are using some form of eLearning to create competitive advantage.
When introducing eLearning along with the conventional classroom-based pedagogy, there are several challenges. It may be hard for learners to find the motivation to learn and engage with the online content on their own. With no instructor looking over their shoulders, employees may not be disciplined enough to complete their courses. For some who are not very tech savvy, using the technical interface may prove to be a struggle.
But the rapidly growing adoption of mobile technologies will soon render such challenges hollow. As access to technology improves drastically, even in emerging economies, acceptance of tech for training and development purposes is on the rise. While many fret over the loss of employment to automation, they fail to realize that while their repetitive jobs may be lost, more productive and meaningful employment is being created for them. Skepticism and reluctance to adapt to newer technologies may take your business back a couple of decades, to say the least.
A further refined improvement to the blended learning concept is microlearning. Delivering bite-sized pieces of information can be very helpful in content retention and provides substantive quality information without being a time-consuming activity. Such courses are not only easier to create and deploy, but also support the growing culture of continuous learning at all stages of the employee journey in the organization. In combination with gamification, it also gives the necessary validation to the employee, motivating him or her to contribute meaningfully. Mobile phones are perfectly enforce this microlearning experience and apps like Gnowbe are enabling this for companies to engage employees and tackle the challenge of 'learning transfer' that drives behavior change.
Check out the promising results of a blended, microlearning training programme, evaluated with the Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model. Download the Study Report here.