According to the Financial Times Survey the share of organisations that use at least 50% online course delivery has grown from under 20% to almost 80% in the following two years after the start of COVID-19 . This continuous growth has shown the longevity and potential for hybrid learning, and it looks like it’s here to stay.
Despite the somewhat requisite adaptation to a more digital approach due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this modality of learning is transforming beyond it’s recent frenzied enterprise. Offering opportunities to upscale and future-proof training businesses, it is no wonder 78% of training providers have stated they are looking to adopt a blended learning approach in the future.
No matter where your training company is at the moment, this guide will give you 5 important strategies to help when creating a successful blended learning course.
1. Deciding what to prepare
Establish your goals
Setting goals will be made much easier if you have a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish with your blended learning strategy. You might be searching for a differentiation in a crowded market or seeking for a way to give training at a lower cost. It’s possible that all you want to do is increase the potency of training initiatives. It’s important to be upfront about your intentions from the start.
Small changes, big impact
Changing learning methods and cultures is not something that can (or should) be accomplished quickly. This shift frequently affects a wide range of people, therefore any rash decisions or radical changes to the way things are done could have unfavourable effects on acceptance and uptake. Every participant in the process, including sponsors, stakeholders, delegates, and instructors, has to have an equal role to perform.
2. Selecting the right ingredients
Choosing your learning interventions
It’s crucial to start the planning process for your blended learning programme with an open mind. New doors won’t come open with old methods, after all. To foster buy-in and support the current culture, it is essential to involve all of your stakeholders, sponsors, delegates, and line managers in the process of developing these new learning experiences. Getting support here will ultimately assist to avoid the dreaded: “But we’ve always done it this way.”
It’s helpful to conduct an audit before developing your new blended approach in order to identify what is currently working well for you. Interviewing participants—including trainers and delegates—is a successful technique to accomplish this.
3. Preparing the course
Examining your delegates
Ascertain that you can measure any change before making them. A preliminary assessment should be made. Take a look at your delegates’ prerequisite education and experience. It’s possible to think of this as a screening procedure. You can check to see what is pertinent, appropriate, and well received by delegates using visual stimulation, matching questions, video, and more.
In the end, situational awareness is crucial, with a focus on incremental repetition, to ensure that the learning experience matches the actual world and is pertinent for delegates. An effective blended learning programme is built around reinforcing what has been learned through assessments, lessons, and learning. Going over the same information repeatedly is a common error that is just not progressive.
What your delegates are looking to accomplish should be correctly reflected in your end goal. Is it a credential, a requirement for training, or the development of soft skills?
Importance of brand
When building your product, your brand plays a crucial role in standing out from the competition and designing individualised learning paths. It is also useful to integrate and promote business culture within your organisation by integrating your brand into the delivery. An effective blended strategy must encourage possibilities for teamwork and the development of social communities.
4. Add a little bit of spice
Making it memorable
Making your blended learning memorable is all about adding flavour. What in your presentation will keep attendees coming back for more?
The technology that underpins your product is one of the first things that stands out (which we haven’t yet covered). After all, you need a place to host any online content, conduct exams, and handle administrative tasks.
One thing to keep in mind while looking at appropriate technology is to make sure it is client-led rather than technology-led; having all the bells and whistles doesn’t guarantee that it will give the fundamental competences and real-world application that the learner needs to be effective.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
A regular learning journey can be divided into a variety of modules, which can then be reused and repurposed for other courses and parts of learning within the organisation. This is the beauty of blended learning. By being resourceful, you can avoid having to double your workload!
5. Ready to serve
The time has come to plate up your delicious dish. But how do we verify it?
Pilot tests are a fantastic method to accomplish this, just make sure the pilots closely relate to your target market.
Creating a procedure via which these users can offer helpful criticism, if one is not already in place, is essential. Recognise that there are learning metrics as well as business KPIs you want to track, so gathering input from your entire team, including line managers and senior leadership, is essential.
Finally, you should be aware of the motivations of all parties concerned and know how to gauge the overall success of your blended learning strategy beyond just the quantity of enrolled participants.
If you start out small and increase gradually, getting started with blended learning is not as difficult as you might believe. A surefire way to enrage important stakeholders and destroy any existing learning culture is to try to accomplish too much, too soon.
Close engagement with all parties involved is necessary to successfully integrate a new learning framework into your company, as well as regular feedback and check-ins on testing and data analysis. You may design effective blended learning experiences that last and become memorable for your delegates by using the five tactics mentioned above.
If you are interested in further developing you blended learning strategy, the ‘Blended Learning Cookbook’ will be a perfect resource for you, this cookbook covers the 5 stages outlined in this blog in further details as well as uncover other strategies to help you.