What is blended learning?
Blended learning means two forms of training have been combined to create a more effective learning solution.
Today, the term “blended learning” usually refers to a training approach that combines online training with traditional instructor-lead training.
How is online training and instructor-led training combined to create a blended solution?
Customers report that they have learners use our online courseware as Part 1 of a two part formal learning experience.
- As Part 1, the online courseware provides the learner with a uniform foundation in the basics for the topic and serves as a prerequisite for Part 2.
- Part 2 of the blended learning solution is an instructor-led application workshop tackling real on-the-job issues.
For example, if the training focus happened to be on mistake-proofing, the trainer (instructor) would use existing data to identify recurring problems in the learner’s work areas and prepare a workshop intended to mistake-proof the recurring problems.
During the workshop, the learners (trainees) would be presented with a mistake-proofing opportunity dealing with a target from their work area.
The trainer facilitates the workshop, helping the worker mistake-proof the target.
By the end of the workshop, the trainees have learned how to turn a training concept into a job skill while adding value to the operation by mistake-proofing a recurring problem!
Part 2 of the learning process doesn’t necessarily need to be a formal application workshop. Click here for more ideas on how to help learners make the connection.
In essence, the online training replaces traditional instructor-led classroom training ending the chore of delivering the same basic training classes over and over again. The instructor (black belt, engineer, or quality professional) can then use their “found” time (the time previously spent conducting classes) to actually help learners connect theory to application by applying their new knowledge to their jobs and improving performance.
A blended approach reduces costs and enhances the effectiveness of the training:
By using WBT/CBT, the associated costs of a live trainer (or if the training is conducted off site, tuition and travel costs plus and time away from the job) can be avoided.
While the WBT/CBT courseware ensures that uniform training is delivered to all learners, the training is self-paced, interactive, and personalized. Additionally industry studies have shown that the use of WBT/CBT reduces the time it takes to cover a topic and actually improves learning retention when compared to traditional classroom training.
Since the application workshop is based on real job issues, not contrived textbook studies, Part 2 of the training delivers real performance improvements!
According to studies conducted by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), “when you allow an employee to learn at their own pace, with technically correct and consistent training methods (the strength of WBT/CBT), the results speak for themselves. The retention rate is higher (25-50 %), the transfer of knowledge is greater (applying skills on the job) which relates to job performance improvements (15-25% improvement) and there is a significant cost savings (as much as 45% or more).”
- Blended learning “blends” WBT/CBT and instructor-led components.
- The WBT/CBT courseware doesn’t replace instructor-led training but rather allows the instructor to move from the classroom to the shop floor and conduct a complementary “hands-on” workshop.
- “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” -Confucius