How To Apply A Blended Studying Strategy Remotely
Tips for blended learning in a remote work environment
Blended learning and remote training are two things that you don’t normally think of together. By definition, blended learning takes place partly online and partly in person – not an option for remote employees.
A blended learning approach that takes advantage of live class learning and online training is an effective strategy for effective and efficient employee development. But with the rise of remote workers, more companies are relying entirely on online employee training.
If you are concerned that the move to remote training will exclude your organization from adopting blended learning, do not do so. With the right approach, you can overcome distances and support all of your employees through blended learning.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is a combination of traditional instructor LED training (ILT) and self-determined online training (asynchronous). The combination of both formats helps you to make the training more effective and scalable.
Blended learning can reduce the cost – in both time and money – of traditional training while increasing the learning experience. Online training at your own pace reduces travel and training material costs. It also reduces the cost of work stoppages. Users can log in when and where it is convenient for them.
In addition, learners benefit from (synchronous) live learning with integrated teacher-led sessions. You will work together with other learners and benefit from the supervision of the teacher. It really is the best of both worlds and worth considering when developing your training strategy. Note, however, that remote training presents some unique challenges for this model.
Distance training vs. online training
Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. To understand the challenges, it is important to know the difference.
Online training is just that – training that takes place in an online environment. It relates to the use of the web and is even used in situations where the teacher and student are in the same place.
Remote training refers to the distance between teachers and students. They are in different locations, be it because of a home office model or because they are spread across different company locations in a global organization.
Can you really do blended learning remotely?
Understanding the benefits of blended learning and the challenges of remote training leads to two good questions. First, can blended learning be applied remotely? Second, should it be?
The answer to both questions is Yes.
Between the rise of teleworking and the increasingly global nature of business, companies have been grappling with how best to train remote workers for some time. And the recent pandemic has led even more companies to deal with the issue. More and more, they are turning to distance learning to keep up their workforce development efforts.
Combine that fact with the benefits of blended learning and this is a compelling case for taking the approach from a distance.
The key to being successful in remote blended learning is using online training in such a way that it reaches distance learners for both the live and self-paced aspects.
How to use a remote blended learning approach
With careful planning, you can approach both the synchronous and asynchronous parts of blended learning online. To use a blended learning approach with remote workers, you need to be strategic about the options available.
Here are some examples of how you can incorporate both sides of blended learning into your distance learning strategy:
Start with the right technology
A good Learning Management System (LMS) makes all the difference in remote training. This allows you to invite employees to the program, present training content appropriately and track progress and successes. Start with an LMS that is easy to use and manage. Make sure it supports the interactive features that make online training engaging and successful.
Use web conferencing for instructor-led training
While it may not be in person, real-time training can still bring remote workers together. Webinars or video conferencing can be used to conduct teacher-led training sessions online. This gives people an opportunity to learn from an expert regardless of their location. You can ask questions and participate in discussions with other learners.
Have live practice sessions
Another way to help employees benefit from the interaction is to bring them together in practice. Live sessions can be used for training or for applications. Consider scheduling a face-to-face meeting as a follow-up to the self-directed training. Let the employees work through a simulation or a real scenario as a class, guided by a moderator. Or use your meeting platform to divide the participants in separate digital “rooms” into pairs in which they can practice individually.
When people apply what they have learned, they maximize the retention of knowledge. You will also build muscle memory to approach these scenarios in the future. You will see the benefits of training as employees use their skills where they matter most: back on the job.
Promote regular social interaction
Remote workers report that chatting with coworkers keeps them motivated throughout the day.
Use blended learning to keep people interacting by expanding opportunities to be social. Set up discussion threads, social media accounts, or Slack channels dedicated to discussing the training content. Schedule weekly ILTs where people come together to study or practice.
Making personal and social experiences a regular part of training helps employees feel connected to their teams and the organization.
Plan Face Time with Expert Expert
With the convenience of virtual teacher-led sessions, you can reach more employees where they are. It also means you can match them up with experts or seasoned executives who are not always that approachable.
Schedule live events where employees can be trained by these experts. This type of approach enables people to learn from those who are more experienced than them. It also gives them the opportunity to ask questions and get a fuller picture of why the skills are important.
Use a variety of training methods
Not all employees learn the same way. Some are visual learners. Some learn best by reading text. And some learn by watching demonstrations or listening to the instructors convey a concept. Due to the virtual nature of remote training, you can use different training methods to reach all learners.
Use a variety of learning modalities in your online training so that learners can choose the ones that suit them best. Use the technology in ILT sessions to include different modes as well. Use media and invite interaction.
Show videos of relevant case studies or stories that illustrate the skills. Use your platform to conduct real-time polls and polls to motivate people and assess where the learners are. When you meet people where they are, they will learn better and will remember what they have learned in the future.
The beauty of blended learning is that you don’t have to choose between the support of face-to-face training and the convenience of learning at your own pace. You can also benefit from both advantages with remote employees.
With a good strategy and the right LMS, you can combine different training techniques and build a successful blended learning experience – even remotely.
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.