3 Ways Blended Learning Can Accelerate Your Training Program
Are you looking for a learning solution that can help your learners tackle their learning responsibilities with ease? Maybe you’re looking for a learning solution that can replace the outdated LMS you’re tired of relying on. Regardless of the reasons, it’s time to move to a solution that extends beyond the traditional offerings of an LMS and provides blended learning that can truly make a difference in your learners' confidence or work ethic.What is blended learning?
First, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what blended learning is. Blended learning combines elements of both in-person and digital training. This type of learning enables users to seamlessly move from one learning environment to the other. Some elements that you might commonly find in blended learning programs include:
- Pre-recorded training sessions
- Live discussion boards that facilitate learner engagement
- Supplemental materials to reiterate what was covered in training
- And more
Blended learning holds benefits for both your employees and your company at large. In this blog, we will share 3 ways blended learning accelerates learning for your users and yields a high return on your investment in training.
1. Blended learning provides personalized learning solutions
Personalization is one of the most beneficial results of a blended learning model. Wouldn’t it be nice if each one of your employees could have a personal tutor for their training needs? Unfortunately, no company can afford that. But with blended learning, you are able to provide a highly personalized experience that caters to every learning style and maximizes retention for your learners.
First, blended learning appeals to all users. For someone that isn’t tech-savvy, it might be difficult to adapt to completely online learning solutions. On the other hand, for someone who learns better in a structured environment, in-person learning is ideal. When you try to force all learners to fit the same pattern, it’s likely that many of them will be slowed down.
With blended learning, you’re never isolating any of your learners by offering a learning solution that has something for everyone. Blended learning is the perfect compromise between a totally in-person and totally online solution, particularly for those learners that don’t fit into a single mold.
Additionally, blended learning offers greater flexibility for learners. They can learn at their own pace through digital tools, making it easier to work on a training session when they have some free time. Instead of each learner being tied down to a specific prep class for an allotted amount of time each week, learners can use mobile and digital tools to complete their training when they’re free. So, training is accelerated, and your learners benefit from a more convenient experience.
2. Blended learning reduces dropout rates
This year, a record number of candidates signed up for the Chartered Financial Analyst exam. However, of the 227,000 that signed up, around 20% of these candidates – 30,000 – will skip the exam. Why are learners dropping out?
First, many people will drop out of training programs or prior to a big exam because they don’t feel adequately prepared. It's essential that your program helps learners retain the material covered. This can be difficult when you’re working with learners who all have different learning styles. In order to appeal to all of these learners, you need a flexible, blended learning solution that can meet everyone’s needs, not just the needs of the person who is used to being in a classroom or the learner who does everything online.
Another way blended learning can reduce dropout rates is by eliminating the time constraints of traditional, in-person learning sessions. In the past for training, learners likely attended an in-person session that was at the same time and for the same amount of time each week, or they were week-long training sessions that diminished productivity. That type of inflexible learning structure makes it hard for learners to balance training with other aspects of their life. Training can get pushed to the side when a parent-teacher conference or a dentist appointment is at the same time. Then, if a session is missed, it’s often easier to drop out than to catch up on what you missed.
Closely aligned to learning styles, blended learning helps learners retain the materials covered in your training, too. Some people are visual learners, making aspects of blended learning like videos valuable. Other people are audio learners, better at retaining material they hear in a lecture or webinar. Still others will learn best by reading the material, which they can do either online or with the workbooks and lessons they receive in person. Regardless of how they learn best, your learners benefit from a blended learning environment that delivers material in a variety of ways.
By implementing a blended learning program, you can reduce dropout rates of both your training programs and tests like big certification and recertification exams. This ensures both the success of your training program and the overall success of your learners.
3. Blended learning provides cost savings for your company
Training can be a big investment for any company, but it’s an essential investment if you want ongoing success and increased productivity. Fortunately, there are a few different ways that blended learning can reduce costs associated with training.
Let’s take another look at learning styles. If you choose a completely in-person training program, you’re isolating those who can't attend due to time restrictions or those who don’t learn as well in a structured environment. Thus, your investment won't generate optimal value or results from the training you provide. When you invest in blended learning, however, you’re casting a much wider net. You’re appealing to all learners, instead of focusing on a single type of learning style.
Next, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on in-person training costs. Imagine if your business is hosting a week-long in-person training session. You would need to pay for travel and housing out-of-town employees while they were there. And, don’t forget the physical investment, too. If you have a space big enough, like a conference room or auditorium, you could use it. Otherwise, you would have to rent a space. Then, you need to print all the lesson materials for every learner. And, on top of all that, your employees would be losing valuable work hours.
With blended learning, you cut down on all of these costs. Remote learners can use digital platforms to watch and engage with lectures. Also, all study and test materials can be online, reducing the amount of paper wasted printing everything out. Finally, employees can engage with the material when it’s most convenient for them. Maybe they have a free hour in the morning, or they want to run through a few lessons while they’re at lunch. With greater flexibility comes greater functionality for all employees.
Ultimately, blended learning is the best option for all learners and your company as a whole. Not only do you benefit from cost savings and a reduction in dropout rates, but you also benefit from having a better trained and more efficient workforce. And, your employees benefit from programs that make it easier for them to learn and improve their skills. If you’re looking for an option beyond traditional in-person training, look for solutions that help you create a positive blended learning experience.
Discover how you can leverage BenchPrep's learner success platform to facilitate a blended learning model and accelerate your training program.