The following article is a guest post.
Face-to-face instruction combined with learning technology can translate into a hard to beat team, but this is only possible when the right corporate training strategies are in place.
Distracted, reluctant and lacking tech-savvy corporate leaners happen to be one of the obstacles that all the Development and Learning professionals have to overcome. Finding a way to integrate all the learning-technology tools in the most effective way is often time-consuming and tricky.
However, there are a few best practices for blended learning that can be followed to successfully implement blended learning programs that improve employees’ performance as well as encourage an interest in using this learning technology.
Focus on The Objectives First and Then The Learning Technology Tools.
A common mistake when it comes to blended learning is to rework a whole training strategy along with the materials to match up to the learning-technology.
In fact, learning objectives and performance goals should take center stage. To put it simply, learning-technology tools need to be serving training goals opposed to the modifying the goals to display the tools for learning technology.
In the ideal world, the chosen learning technology should flow seamlessly into the training plan as well as provide employees with interactive simulations, scenarios along with any other exercises to enhance training experiences.
If a learning-technology tool has been used only to display the latest advancements within the field, it is usually advisable to rethink the blended-learning strategy to find a way to focus on the objectives of the organization.
Set The Expectations and Goals in Advance.
There is a need for clear ideas on corporate training and the type of learning technologies that will be used, along with how they will be used.
For example, this could involve the use of laptops during eLearning assessment processes that speed up the grading as well as create testing activities that are more interactive.
Or perhaps providing the corporate learners with access to interactive online-manuals and tutorials directly on a sales floor through the learner’s mobile devices.
The most important aspect to think about is to decide on how the employees are expected to make use of the learning technology so that it will improve their performance. The training session requires expectations that are clearly defined along with the implementation of performance goals before the blended-learning program commences.
The corporate learners have to know the reason that the technology tools are needed. As well as how they are able to benefit from each and the role technology plays in the corporate training process. When using supplemental training resources, it needs to be stated when the learning-technology tools will be used and the part of a program that still involves face-to-face instruction.
Creating an Implementation Strategy That is Flexible.
The corporate based blended learning strategy that is successful is fluid. This means that they adapt to ever-changing requirements of an organization, along with the employees.
It is important to ask the learners for feedback to obtain an idea on what works and what doesn’t after the implementation of the blended-learning program.
It is advisable, to work on a small group of the employees where the materials and tools can be tested in order to iron out any issues prior to an official launch. Also, ask employees to give their concerns or opinions to fine-tune the strategy in the way of building up a feedback system that is effective. This can include suggestions or survey forms to identify the areas that require improvement.
The Development of Online Assessments That are Effective.
An assessment offers the opportunities to find out if the employees are absorbing information or when additional support is needed.
Work performance may be the best indicator on whether the corporate training was effective.
The multiple-choice examinations or other types of interactive assessments like simulations or branching scenarios, remove the risk from the testing processes. Opposed to having employees that interact with clients or customers without actually knowing whether they have knowledge, their understanding levels and skills set can be determined in advance.
Research The Preferences and Needs of The Employees.
While the objectives and performance goals of an organization need to be the main concern, personal preferences and needs of the corporate learners should also be an important priority.
This can involve conducting one-on-one interviews, sending out surveys, observing employees when working to determine what they require out of a corporate-training experience.
Find out their familiarity when it comes to technology and the tech tools that they prefer. Determine whether the employees are resistant to blended learning programs, or if they appear willing and ready to grasp this knowledge.
Special requirements are also considerations to think about. For instance, are there any employees that have learning disabilities that may benefit from the use of subtitles? What about the employees that use English as their second language?
Cultivating Blended Learning Communities as Part of Corporate Training.
The employees should feel like they form a portion of a bigger community which supports the technology-assisted training. An effective way to achieve this goal is to cultivate blended-learning cultures. These are collaborative and encourage the participation of the employees.
Involve online forums that allow employees to communicate or ask questions with the instructors or co-workers at any time. Add to that the development of social media strategies that provide the employees with a way to receive updates regularly and a way to share thoughts.
Provide Moment of Need Online Support Resources.
In some cases, employees require step-by-step guides in order to complete work tasks or they would like to learn more about procedures or policies.
Blended learning is the ideal program or corporate training for these needs. It offers a way to provide the employees with “moment of need” support resources which means there is no need to wait for scheduled enterprise training and development times. This offers a way to view interactive presentations, manuals along with access to simulations from their work terminals or mobile devices.
Moreover, create a site that offers all the guidance and information needed to use tools correctly that have been included in the blended-learning program. Along with supplemental resources which employees can make use of to expand their skills and work-related knowledge.
We believe the tips above should be enough to help you take your corporate training to the next level this year.