Making a move from face-to-face to online training? Second step: Construct a blend

blended learning solutions

In this article, you’ll learn how to use the information gathered in the analysis step to construct your overall learning package. Whether you’re thinking of pure elearning or mixing it up with a blend, this guide can help you consider what might work where. And if you’re still deciding whether to keep face-to-face in the mix, there might be some smart alternatives to consider.

Today I’ll provide four examples of blended solutions to four different sets of needs. By blended I mean a learning solution that features more than just one form of learning. These ideas are intended to provide you with inspiration only – remember that your needs will be unique.

To construct your fit-for-purpose blend, make sure you’re clear on your needs:

  • The aims of the learning: the actions and outcomes it needs to achieve
  • The needs of your learners: their locations, access to technology, lifestyles, etc.
  • What you have at your disposal: previous learning activities and content; the use of coaches, experts, facilitators
  • Your budget and timeframes: how much are you able or willing to invest, and how quickly do you need a solution up and running?

Related: Visit our step one guide to analysis.

Let’s look at four examples where you might want to use a blended solution.

1. Product knowledge training

An electronics company needs to ensure that its resellers are up to speed on the latest products and their unique selling propositions (USPs). With products coming out regularly, salespeople are issued crib sheets that contain key info, and then face-to-face sessions are run once a quarter. The audience consists of busy, ambitious people who are keen to drive sales but less keen on long workshops.

Suggested blend:

  • 5-minute visual elearning tutorials: Use multi-device elearning to deliver visual product knowledge.
  • Mobile job aids: Provide mobile-friendly “quick guides” for on the job support.
  • Product games and quizzes: Tap into competitive nature and create short, fun quizzes and games to test knowledge.
  • Scoreboards: Link games and quizzes to a scoreboard that highlights top scorers for all to see.
  • Weekly ask an expert chats: Use expert’s time for a weekly drop-in Q&A session via a chat room or webinar facility.
  • 5-minute expert demo videos: Have experts create simple walkthrough videos of the product

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2. Skills training

A company provides certified face-to-face training in financial management skills to organizations around the globe and is looking to offer a lower-cost, online-based package. But it needs to retain the level of quality and assessment rigor; mistakes cost companies. The company is keen to target novice learners who have recently taken up roles in financial accounting. The training includes the use of calculations, spreadsheets, and software, and it has learners work through various financial scenarios, following a process to calculate the right outcome.

Suggested blend:

  • Elearning scenario activities: Provide a series of scenario-driven elearning activities that build in complexity.
  • Elearning tutorials: Couple each scenario with tutorial guidance and expert tips. Give learners the ability to switch these off.
  • Elearning simulation assessment: Create an end to end assessment simulation that tests a realistic financial process.
  • Online certification: Upon passing the course, provide an online certificate or badge.
  • Optional marked assignment: Include an assignment that learners upload for marking by experts.
  • Elearning demos: Couple each scenario with demos that show how it’s done. Give learners the ability to switch these off.

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3. Leadership/management “soft” skills training

An engineering company sees that top engineers need some leadership and communication skills training. However, this top team is spread all over the globe at various plants. While training can be done in English, bringing everyone together in one place is challenging and costly. These top engineers are crucial to the day-to-day running of the plants. Thus, a company that usually runs face-to-face leadership and soft skills training needs an alternative solution.

Suggested blend:

  • E-case studies: Provide a series of in-depth elearning case studies. For example, videos or audio of bad, good, and great leadership conversations, moments, and stories.
  • Reflective questions: Ask questions that require close observation and reflection of the cases.
  • Online polls: Include polls where learners can see and learn from others’ views.
  • Virtual classrooms: Use virtual classrooms with webcams to enable small groups to practice.
  • 1:1 phone coaching: Use phone coaching to enable focused discussion and practice with feedback. Do every three months for a year.
  • Multi-device job aids: Provide multi-device job aids and regular reminders to keep learners on track.

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4. Compliance training

Many organizations require their employees to be compliant in a whole host of areas, such as data protection, health and safety, and anti-money-laundering efforts. Most companies need to show compliance in these areas on a yearly basis, yet they don’t want the training to take long. Legislation can change, so a company that provides off-the-shelf compliance training needs to be able to update it easily.

Suggested blend:

  • Effective attention grabbers: Use Elucidat to create hard-hitting attention grabbers.
  • Elearning tutorials
  • Elearning scenarios
  • Online assessment: Use online assessments that can be updated instantly.
  • Summary of content as a refresher: Provide repeat learners with short refresher content and start with the assessment.

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Related: Stay on top of the latest elearning ideas, trends and technologies by subscribing to the Elucidat weekly newsletter.

Final thoughts

So, four different blends for four different situations. Hopefully, some food for thought to help you construct a solution that works for you, your subject, and your learners’ needs.

If you’d like to talk through your training-conversion quandaries, drop us a line.

In the next post in this series, we’ll look closely at how to keep social in the mix when moving from face-to-face to online learning.

Download: The Ultimate Guide: How to move from face-to-face to online learning

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