Beyond the LMS: Blended Learning 101

Human Resources, Management, Training

You’ve done your research, talked to all the experts, and finally invested in a learning management system that seems just right for your organization. Now you’re ready to implement the perfect training program to provide your current employees and new hires with the training they need to perform well. Good for you! You’re on your way to achieving new goals and successes. However, before you get too far into planning your program, there’s another element to training you need to keep in mind: a blended learning strategy.

What Is a Blended Learning Strategy?

Everyone’s mind works differently and people learn in different ways. Therefore, it’s important to train them in different ways. By definition, blended learning combines more than one method of training into an overall learning management strategy; it’s basically a hybrid of various types of learning. Examples of blended learning include:

  • Blending lecture-based training with online instruction.
  • Blending online courses with on-the-job-training.
  • Blending group training with one-on-one role-play activities.
  • Blending e-learning with access to a coach or mentor.

Or, you could put it all in the blender and use a little bit of all the above!

How Does Blended Learning Work?

First of all, for a blended learning strategy to be successful, you must approach training as a process, not an event. Remember, you’re not training just for training’s sake; you’re managing how and what your employees learn – and your success is reliant on the successful learning and implementation of their training.

The reason blended learning strategies are popular is because they work. With blended learning, multiple elements come together to ensure success. These elements include:

  • Repetition. Blended learning exposes employees to your important content multiple times, which increases retention.
  • Learning styles. A blended learning strategy incorporates a variety of learning methods, which makes it easier for employees to train regardless of their learning style.
  • Assessment. Online training programs using learning management systems give you a chance to assess how well trainees understand material before they implement it.
  • Tracking. Incorporating an LMS as part of your blended learning program and overall learning management strategy allows you to track an employee’s progress.
  • Feedback. Implementing on-the-job training and mentoring programs will give trainees the input they need to hone their skills. You will also have the opportunity to receive feedback in order to improve your learning program.

Blended Learning in Action

No two organizations are exactly alike, and neither are their blended learning programs – nor should they be. You want to make sure your program is tailored to your specific needs. Here is just one example of what a blended learning program in action could look like:

Allison is a new hire for your organization. Training on sexual harassment is standard for all new hires. First, you provide Allison with a copy of your company’s sexual harassment policy in written form for her to review. Next, she takes an online learning course provided through your organization’s LMS. Then, at a training meeting involving several other new hires, you use role-playing scenarios to help Allison and her fellow trainees practice what they’ve learned. On-the-job training rounds out the overall blended learning strategy to ensure trainees can implement what they’ve learned.

Blended Learning in the New Normal

Another reason blended learning is so effective is in its flexibility. As more and more organizations adopt remote or hybrid schedules, a blended learning strategy is an easy way to fill in the gaps in employee training. The use of an LMS provides for easy remote learning of certain topics, while time in office can be spent focusing on classroom instruction or on-the-job training. Blended learning also allows for flexibility of scheduling, as opposed to the stricter routines often associated with classroom instruction.

Blended Learning and Your LMS

The right learning management system (LMS) can help you manage your training goals by streamlining training and administrative tasks and giving managers and employees more time to focus on customer service and profitability.

Using an LMS as part of your blended learning strategy can help you track employee training events, even if they take place offline. LMS features like checkpoints or signoffs allow managers to acknowledge that an employee has successfully completed another element of training, such as classroom learning or on-the-job training. Quizzes and assessments can also be built into the program that test employees on the knowledge they gain from reading policy documents or participating in other training methods.

You LMS should enhance the overall the blended learning experience for your employees while making the job of training easier for training administrators and managers.

Blended Learning with trainingGrid™

trainingGrid™ is an LMS developed with you and your employees in mind. Its intuitive design makes learning management simple and allows employees to begin training with just a click. This flexible system comes with a variety of robust features customizable to fit your needs in addition to built-in reporting and certification tools that track your compliance documentation.

Request a guided demonstration of trainingGrid™ today!

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