Understanding Blended Learning: Is It Right For Your Team?
Blended Learning isn’t new in education, but you may have heard a lot more about it in the past few years. It steadily gained popularity due to its cost-effectiveness and flexibility of delivery. However, it’s been recognized as an emerging trend since at least 2003, and since 2014, more than 30% of corporate learning content was delivered in a blended manner.
But what exactly is Blended Learning? And why should you care about the latest buzzword in education?
Blended Learning Explained
Blended Learning is the fusion of traditional in-class style learning with online, distance-based learning experiences. The goal is to provide learners with multiple means of content engagement across various settings that fits with their busy lifestyles. Blended Learning offers a personalized approach to training where learners have control over how and when they learn. Blended Learning has also become one of the most successful ways of learning thanks to the fact that it’s rooted in a User Centric Design. Since not everyone learns at the same speed, the pace of learning can also be tailored to the needs of the learners to ensure maximum retention.
Learn more about The Case for Blended Learning in this whitepaper and the advantages it brings learners.
What are the Advantages of Blended Learning?
Blended Learning has several advantages over traditional in-person lecture or workshop style learning experiences. For example, Blended Learning is a great fit for teams where employees are geographically dispersed and meeting regularly in-person isn’t an affordable option. Taking the majority of training online allows learners across the globe to access the content, while also drastically cutting down the overhead costs of in-person training.
Similarly, if your team is spread out across time zones, it can be difficult to schedule an optimal time for everyone to meet either in person or in an online classroom. Offering Blended Learning solutions where learners are able to engage with content on their own time can be a great way to ensure every team member gets access to the learning they require, without inconveniencing anyone. Whether it be on a desktop at the office, on a laptop at the airport, or anywhere on a mobile device, Blended Learning offers learners the opportunity to balance their work-lives and personal lives along with learning.
Blended Learning can also be extremely cost-efficient. If you are looking to cut costs in the learning and development budget while still offering top-quality education, Blended Learning is an excellent option for your team. For example, blending online learning with classroom instruction allowed Ernst & Young to reduce their training costs by 35%.
The Case for Blended Learning
Since Blended Learning has been around for some time, there are several published case studies demonstrating how companies have successfully utilized a blended, online-focused learning strategy. Bersin & Associates (now Bersin for Deloitte) published a document outlining and explaining the journey of corporate learning and how Blended Learning fits into it. They continue to share their latest research on how companies from the automotive sector to retail and tech have all implemented Blended Learning models to increase revenue and flexibility of delivery. The result? Blended Learning has been deployed and tested by companies of all sizes, and been shown to amplify learning, resulting in a more dynamic, engaged, and informed workforce.
Photo: Cathryn Lavery