Blended learning: the buzzword that has become a reality. Research shows that virtually all training teams have embraced the new era of providing learning content in multiple modalities. Yet it can still be tricky to know what kind of content to offer, when, and how to execute on it.
That’s why we asked 8 training experts to share their favorite recipes for blended learning. We gathered tips from Richardson, Ericsson, State Street Global, and more for training content that varies from video to job aids to virtual reality.
Across all eight recipes, we found there are 8 common ingredients to make your blended learning successful:
1. Manager Buy-In
Gus Prestera recommends looping in your learners’ managers as early as possible. Solicit their input on content, set their expectations on what to expect from the learning, and provide a guide for how they can reinforce the training with their team members.
As an L&D provider, you can only do so much; manager buy-in is essential to making a lasting impact on your learners.
2. Pre- and Post-Assessments
To understand your learners’ comfort with a topic–and to measure the impact of your training–begin and end your training campaigns with pre- and post-assessments. This will help you see how effective your content is. It also piques your learners’ interests when they realize they need to do some studying to get up to snuff.
(Learn more about measuring your training with this on-demand webinar.)
3. Production Workflow
Jonathan Halls swears by production workflows to ensure all your content is high-quality and efficient. Set up a process for developing learning campaigns and each piece of content for each campaign, and then follow it. It frees up your mind to be more creative and makes it easier for teammates to collaborate at all stages.
(Learn more about video workflows with this on-demand webinar.)
Keith Mahon develops microlearning for the financial services industry, where it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. He recommends focusing on one topic per microlearning nugget to make it most effective. Outside of microlearning, remember to keep your content focused on your learning objectives so you don’t get carried down the wrong track.
5. Provide a Risk-Free Environment
At Ericsson, Dr. Manal Houri is tasked with training engineers who can’t afford to make mistakes on-the-job. She has turned to virtual reality to create risk-free simulation environments. Even if you’re stuck with twentieth-century technology, think about how you can create a safe environment for your learners to experiment, bond, and grow.
6. Make It Easy for On-The-Go
Richardson knows its learner population well: sales people won’t eat if you don’t make the food easy for them to take on the road. That’s why they recommend making elements of your training easy for learners to take on-the-go.
Even if your learners are stuck in front of their computers all day, think about how you can package training so that it fits easily in between tasks or becomes something they look forward to as part of their lunch break. Know your learners so you can motivate them to use the awesome content you create.
7. Keep Your Learner in Mind at All Times
Dan Jones is an expert at developing training content that can be used internationally across different language populations. That’s why he recommends deciding from the outset how your training will be used and, if it needs to be translated, keeping the native language simple and free of cultural nuance.
Whether your training will be in English only or 100 languages, the same principle applies. Keep your learners in mind as you develop the language of your training: what acronyms will they know? What jargon needs to be explained? Will any of your metaphors alienate them? Do the images make sense?
8. Teach Them To Cook (Learn)!
InSync Learning’s Phylise Banner shared the innovative idea of teaching your learners to learn. Challenge them to create training materials themselves and ask them to commit to more after they leave the class.
Training professionals know that learning is a life-long process, but your learners may not know that. Be sure to include the message along with your content so your learners take ownership of their journey.
Spicing up your training with these eight ingredients will help make your blended learning more successful, from concept through knowledge transfer.