The past two years have blurred the lines between work and home, digital and physical, online and offline. The 9-5 world we lived in has been upended, and the word “hybrid” has taken on new meaning. As we move into 2022 and the unique challenges it brings, organizations are having to define what the future of work will look like.
But they won’t be doing it alone. The eLearning framework can provide a model of how these organizations can thrive. “Blended” is not a new term to those in the learning and development industry, and blended learning has been around long before office life was reimagined.
What is blended learning?
Hybrid learning, also known as blended learning, combines in-person teaching with online learning. In this approach, eLearning does not replace face-to-face learning. Instead it simply reduces the amount of time spent in a traditional classroom environment.
Taking a blended approach to learning combines the strengths of each approach. In-person training typically requires everyone to be in one place, at one time, and to all learn at the same pace, whereas online training provides more flexibility for workers to take courses at their own pace. Combining online training with the occasional in-person class accounts for different schedules, while still encouraging interaction and holding learners accountable for their online lessons. This combination of the small and the large setting increases the likelihood of learner success, as we all thrive in different environments.
What does blended learning mean for the workplace?
The pandemic accelerated the already increasing trend of companies adopting eLearning for the workplace. Online training is ideal for large companies spread out over many cities, states or even countries. The courses can be accessed from anywhere, provide consistent material, and feed data back to supervisors and managers to evaluate. Implementing a blended learning solution can maximize your L&D investment by providing real-world experience and discussion.
Let’s explore “just-in-time” training—the idea that employees need access to specific information immediately in order to complete a task. Online training is great for meeting these needs, as employees can take courses on the topics they need right away. Bringing that knowledge back to a larger group setting for discussion will increase the value of the knowledge and the impact of the training. A quick online course on handling an angry customer is great for an immediate need that can then be brought back to the customer service team to receive real-time feedback.
Blended learning seeks to address the challenges of a company with dispersed staff by combining the benefits of both face-to-face and online learning. As organizations continue to mix office interactions with digital ones, the ways in which they train and develop their staff will need to keep up. Embracing a blended model for both working and learning will modernize culture while keeping all your employees connected.