That’s right, blended learning increases the application of learning to the workplace by four times. At least, that’s what came out of the most recent benchmarking report from Towards Maturity.
Towards Maturity surveyed 600 L&D teams from various organizations and focused on what the top-performing teams are doing that makes their learning strategies get great results. Those that blend are driving better results for the business than those that don’t. So what’s the secret?
What’s blended learning?
Blended learning is where a combination of delivery methods is used, such as face-to-face, on-the-job coaching; self-paced learning online; and social or collaborative learning. In its most basic form, it might be elearning combined with face-to-face. But interestingly, it’s the type of blend that top-performing teams are using that’s really driving their results well beyond those that don’t mix it up at all.
What’s their secret?
Secret #1 — Make the online elements top-notch
Learners want engaging, relevant content that is self-paced and can be used flexibly — in breaks, on commutes, on the job. The report finds that the top-performing teams weren’t just using online learning alongside face-to-face and social learning but were also using forms of elearning that fit with modern learning requirements.
- Micro-content — digital learning that’s 10 minutes or less, and often spaced out to be used in multiple short sittings and for spaced practice
- Storytelling and realistic case studies — to bring content and context to life
- Video, audio, imagery, and animations — to explain concepts and engage learners
- Games, simulations, and scenarios — to build practice and provide realistic assessments
Secret #2 — Work collaboratively
It’s not just what comes out at the end but how you get there that really counts. Towards Maturity found that “those that blend learning are twice as likely to engage users, subject matter experts, trainers, and managers in the design process than those who do not blend.” And by doing so, they capture lots of practical tips, tricks, and tools to pass on to learners.
This falls in line with our findings and the advice we’ve been providing in our recent guides on SMART PROCESSES.
Secret #3 — Go social
Those that blend get that peer support is a crucial accompaniment to formal learning. The best of the bunch are providing blended solutions that encourage a sense of community — on and offline — and are seeing learners collaborate to find solutions using social media tools 10 times more.
Secret #4 — Classroom trainers are vital to the success of tech learning
Classroom trainers certainly have a place in the world of modern digital learning.
While many blended solutions leave classroom trainers in the classroom while online learning elements are created elsewhere, the best blended learning teams actually involve classroom trainers in the development of the online components and have them support learners to use technology to learn.
The research finds that providing an on-hand expert to learners as they work through the elearning components raises the success of their training experience. Consider, if you can, provide coaching over the phone, via discussion forums, through live meetings and webinars or face-to-face.
Tip: Using collaborative elearning authoring tools where you can actively involve classroom trainers in the creation and review process will help them feel involved and onboard.
There are lots of other useful and insightful findings in the report that we’ll share with you in future posts, including the difference that diagnostics and personalization make to the impact of your elearning.
When it comes to blends, consider if you’re making best use of classroom trainers in your digital learning strategies, and if you can be doing more to mix it up to drive results.
Next step: Learn how Elucidat can help you build an online element to your blending learning solution. Contact sales for a chat about your needs.
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