6 Blended Studying Actions For Worker Coaching
Ideas for active blended learning activities
Blended learning is not a new concept and is only gaining popularity as more and more companies incorporate digital learning into their training strategies. Regardless of whether you have been using this learning solution for years or are just getting started in your company, you can benefit from fresh approaches.
In this article, we share ideas for blended learning activities to help you build a successful and engaging employee training program.
Why use blended learning for employee training?
First, let’s define blended learning. Blended learning combines the advantages of synchronous (traditionally instructor-led) and asynchronous (online self-paced) training. Live instructor-led sessions can be held in person or online through webinars or web conferencing technology.
A good Learning Management System (LMS) will help you make the two sides of the training one seamless course. It hosts the online asynchronous content and can also provide reminders and links for upcoming live sessions.
Blended learning is a great solution for training your employees as it is a training method that:
- Saves time and money
Live sessions – whether online or in person – have a price. In the case of classroom training, you incur travel, material and event costs. With either option, you pay for the instructor’s time and the accrued cost of staff absence. By moving some or most of the training to self-paced eLearning, you will reduce these costs without compromising the quality of the training experience.
- Comes in handy for learners
Since much of the learning is asynchronous, employees can complete it at their own pace. They can log in when they have the bandwidth to deal with the training material, log out when they need to go back to work or take a break, and pick up where they left off. This increases the likelihood that they will give the exercise the time and attention it needs to have an effect.
- Allows flexibility
Online training can be adapted and updated quickly. When employees have difficulties, you can quickly and easily correct them. As new information becomes available or products updated, you can update online content and resources at a fraction of the cost of printed materials and in-person retraining.
- Improves engagement and retention
The variety of training formats available in blended training makes it easier to attract and hold people’s attention. Switch media between text, video, and graphics. Use practical elements like quizzes and virtual simulations to add a level of interactivity that will keep learners busy. Higher engagement makes learning stick.
- Makes it easy to measure training effectiveness
The right LMS will help you track your training effectiveness. Many platforms can report on employee attendance and performance. You can see who is engaged, where people may be stalling in completing their education, and how they are doing on tests and quizzes. This information will help you adjust your strategy if it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
6 blended learning activities to try out
How can you get the most out of this powerful training solution? The key is to keep the learning experience fresh and engaging. Here are 6 examples of blended learning activities you can implement to engage employees and encourage learning.
1. Host a practice session
Instead of spending valuable time teaching face-to-face, solidify understanding by giving people the opportunity to practice the skills and get coached. Have learners use the resources available in self-paced study to acquire knowledge or skills. Then schedule a live session where they can apply these skills.
For example, schedule a live practice session after employees have completed some or all of the training on their own. Bring them together and give them a scenario that they might actually face. Then, in small groups or as a class, have them work it through using the skills they learned earlier. Have them write and present exactly what they would say or do. Then ask colleagues and the teacher to provide feedback. This type of hands-on experience helps learners apply the skills on the job.
2. Invite the learners to a question and answer session with an expert
Here is another way to use live training to give learners a deeper understanding of the training content. Set up a face-to-face session or webinar with an instructor who can deepen what you’ve already learned.
This session can begin with a kickoff lesson or a review. Then open it to the group with relevant discussion questions. Or, have staff ask questions they can ask based on what they have learned so far. Being able to go deeper invests people in learning and understanding the content before the session. A live question and answer also gives the instructors a sense of what the learners understand and where the training may need to be adjusted.
3. Make it social
“Asynchronous” doesn’t have to mean solo. You can still generate interaction and peer support in self-directed eLearning. One way to do this is by using social media. It can be as simple as hosting a discussion thread in your LMS. Ask employees specific questions within the lessons and link to a group thread where they can respond. Or set up a social media group where learners have the opportunity to continuously discuss and learn from one another.
Try setting up a Facebook group where employees can ask questions or post their experiences or thoughts. Moderate discussions and groups by providing guidelines for appropriate posts. Initiate interactions by regularly posting surveys, asking questions, or posting quotes related to training. This type of social interaction can harness the power of group learning as employees incorporate the training into everyday conversations.
4. Create a challenge
Generate interest and investment in your live session by sending out a survey or challenging scenario in advance. Ask students to respond based on what they now know. Ask how they would solve a particular problem. Let them share ideas on how best to deal with a particular customer situation.
Or ask them about their real-life experience with the content. For example, how many times have you experienced this problem at work? How many times a week do you repeat a certain process? Then start the live session by sharing the results.
When you give people the opportunity to think about the kind of problems they are going to solve, think about the solution. It gives them a chance to see how the content applies to them and they will be curious about other people’s experiences. You will be shown ready to study for the session.
5. Tell real stories
People are more likely to remember information if they are emotionally connected to it. Use blended learning tools to create an emotional connection by presenting real-world stories about the skills. Show learners how the skills made an impact on a person, improved a life, or made an organization successful. Consider making a compelling video that tells the story and shows it in your live session or self-paced.
Linking learning with a story gives learners an emotional experience with the content. You will get a deeper understanding of its value and it will make the workout more memorable.
6. Conduct group presentations
Assign employees to work together to make a presentation about the skills they have learned. Have them presented in a live group session, then invite peer feedback and questions. When people work together, they can learn from each other. They will better consolidate what they have learned when they have to explain the content to others.
And most importantly, thanks to better knowledge storage and understanding, they take the skills with them to work with them where they make an impact.
Tips for a Successful Blended Learning Program
When deciding which activities to include in your blended learning training, keep in mind a few key tips for success.
- Change your media
Your employees may be used to receiving email memos and seeing written slides. Make content more engaging and memorable by moving outside of the media box. Send a video message from a business executive. Gather information or summarize course content with a helpful, accessible infographic.
- Make your training mobile-friendly
Using familiar technology can help make your training more accessible and less intimidating to less tech-savvy workers. Most people are familiar with navigating on their smartphones. Make sure your training platform is accessible on a mobile device to increase employee engagement.
- Keep learning bite-sized at your own pace
Information is easier to absorb and remember when presented in small, digestible pieces. Keep the lessons short (under 15 minutes) and focus on only one topic or skill at a time. These tactics will make your workouts more effective and attractive.
Blended learning expands your possibilities to reach employees and helps to design your training strategy effectively. As you shape your experience and decide how to balance personal and self-determined options, you mix things up. It pays to experiment with different activities and see what works best for your teams.
After all, it’s about helping employees get involved and apply what they have learned. Make sure that as technology and training theories evolve, you get the best of both and prepare your people for success.
Easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to like, TalentLMS is designed to get a “yes” from everyone including C-level executives, budget officers, and busy employees. Instead of checking out, your entire organization is now leaning towards training.