Many organizations are currently looking for ways to provide quality employee training online. The remote workforce has steadily been growing over the past several years and current events have only sped up the process. Recent studies have found that the amount of people who work remotely at least once a week has grown by an astounding 400% since 2010 (1).
However, Quickly developing elearning programs that are both engaging and effective has proven to be quite a challenge. Fortunately using a blended learning strategy for custom eLearning development has been proven to create engaging learning experiences that make an impact.
Blended learning is the best instructional design for modern learners. Blended learning models for online courses help engage learners with time constraints and short attention spans. This strategy also includes the just-in-time support materials needed to increase knowledge application.
This strategy also reduces the amount of time needed for face to face learning and is more cost-effective than traditional classroom training. Blended online learning programs remove location restrictions and eliminate travel costs.
To help you better understand how to best use this strategy to develop your eLearning courses we have created a list of 7 essential tips for blended learning success.
1. Define measurable outcomes
Developing a successful eLearning program starts with the end results. Take some time to think about the goals and purpose of the training program. What kind of learning experience are you going to provide and what are the expected outcomes? Answering these questions will make it easier to define what strategy you should use to meet these goals.
2. Define the sand box
No matter the budget there is always a way you can deliver effective and engaging training. But it is important to define your sandbox in the early planning stages. Clearly define your budget, timeline and the technology you will be working with.
3. Accountability drives success
Mentorship and support are essential to learning certain skills. Think about the topics and learning content that is being delivered and incorporate the appropriate amount of support and interactive elements.
4. Focus on Pre-Marketing
Marketing the program beforehand will help build enthusiasm around the training while giving you an opportunity to set clear expectations. Reach out through email, the intranet or another collaborative platform to spread the word. Marketing is your opportunity to highlight the benefits of the program. You can also establish expectations, platform features and required etiquette. This will reduce confusion and distractions.
5. Build learning as a campaign
Think of the learning process as a journey made of many parts instead of a one-shot event. Build anticipation by marketing the program. Use a flipped classroom approach and provide pre-work for participants so virtual training can focus on discussions and activities. After the training takes place continue to provide additional support such as support materials, check-ins and practice sessions.
6. Find quick wins
Remember that not everything needs to complex or expensive. sometimes simple solutions are the best solutions. Utilize the built-in features in the tech you are using. Try to curate more content than you create from scratch. Consider using DIY video and rapid authoring tools.
7. Facilitate the transfer of learning
Providing additional resource materials will help increase knowledge retention and knowledge application. Materials such as videos websites, articles and posters will give employees a way to access training materials and remember what they learned right when they need it.
Implementing an eLearning program using a blended learning strategy will help you effectively train employees in any location, increase knowledge retention and improve operational efficiency.
In fact, eLearning programs can increase knowledge retention by as much as 60% (2). Corporations who replaced face to face instruction with eLearning also saved between 50-70% (3).
To learn more about customized eLearning solutions and blended learning watch the webinar Converting Classroom Training Into Blended Learning Programs.