The L&D world goes through shifting trends and methods, but few of them have been as talked about as blended learning.
To say the method has become immensely popular would be an understatement. It’s increasingly replacing more traditional training methods, where learners completed impersonal (and often uninspiring) activities on dated computers – or for the previous generation, on photocopied worksheets.
But is blended learning right for your organisation? Let's find out how it works, and what the key benefits are.
The ‘blend’ in blended learning refers to a mix of classroom methods and e-learning technology. Parts of the course will be instructor-led, while others will be conducted online via webinar, mobile apps and other web-based tools.
Some examples of blended learning include:
One of the longest held L&D beliefs is that dynamic training sessions leave a mark. If learning can be fun, engaging and relatable to employees, they’re going to remember it.
This is exactly where blended learning shines. Because the methods are varied and dynamic, employees experience different ways of acquiring knowledge. This improves their engagement, which we all know is essential for successful L&D programmes.
Clive Shepherd, a seasoned expert in the workplace learning industry, notes a few interesting statistics from his own case studies:
So how does blended learning improve ROI exactly? This is all thanks to an economy of scale. Web-based material is much more affordable when used by hundreds or thousands of people.
Sure, you still need to find good instructors, but leveraging digital technology lets you control your budget at scale.
Everybody knows that people learn in different ways. But for a long time creating tailored resources was either too expensive or too time consuming. It’s all a thing of the past thanks to the reduced costs and scalability of elearning.
Instructor-led training no longer needs to take a scattershot approach to topics.
Employees can now log on to an online platform. They can pick and choose the training material that makes sense to them, and it can then be discussed or reinforced with group sessions.
When it comes to flexibility, blended learning offers the best of both worlds. Whether it’s by pressing the pause button or personalising study scheduling notifications, employees have complete control over their training pace. They can start, stop, then go over the challenging concepts with an instructor.
And thanks to smartphones and tablets, they can access e-learning material 24/7, wherever they are. This empowers them to acquire skills on their own terms, while balancing busy schedules. This freedom to self-pace saves everyone time in the long run, and makes the face-to-face sessions more productive.
One of the key challenges for L&D departments is tracking and measuring progress. Employee feedback forms work, to an extent. So do analytics from training platforms.
But if you only rely on one of them, you lose precision. Self-reporting forms can be misleading, and only looking at the number of modules completed doesn’t necessarily represent true upskilling.
With blended learning, you get to work with concrete numbers and get true feedback on whether employees have enjoyed the training while absorbing the essentials. This gives leaders a holistic view of training success – a vital way of proving their own contribution to the organisation’s success.
Busuu for Business helps L&D leaders implement the kind of blended language training programme that guarantees success – for employees and businesses alike. Our web-based platform gives you all the flexibility of e-learning, while adding a formal training element with one-to-one tutoring.
Best of all, you get access to all the reporting and monitoring tools to track employee progress, prove ROI, and demonstrate tangible results to your boardroom.