There’s truth in the Chinese proverb that says, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Adult learners remember what they see two times more effectively than what they read. Whether you’re launching a new promotion or certifying employees in new compliance regulations, you need an overall strategy to manage learning, not just a single method to deliver training.
What is Blended Learning?
People learn in different ways, and therefore you must train in different ways. By definition, blended learning combines more than one method of training into an overall learning management strategy. For example:
- 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
- All of the above!
In application, a blended learning program might look something like this: When training on sexual harassment, you first hand out your company’s policy in written form. Then, you have your staff members watch an online video. Next, at a training meeting, you use role-playing scenarios to help trainees practice what they’ve learned. On-the-job training rounds out the overall learning strategy to ensure trainees can implement what they’ve learned.
How Does Blended Learning Work?
A blended learning program starts with approaching 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. Blended learning works because it’s based on these principles:
- Repetition. When you use blended training, your employees are exposed to your important content multiple times, increasing retention.
- Learning styles. Blended training is suited to a variety of learning styles, helping you reach all employees in a way they learn best.
- Assessment. Online training programs give you a chance to assess how well trainees understand material before they implement it.
- Tracking. Any time you include online training in your learning management program, you have an opportunity to track employee progress.
- Feedback. On-the-job training and mentoring programs give trainees the input they need to hone their skills.