B-learning (or blended learning) is emerging as one of the newest trends in the corporate training world. A combination of classroom learning and online courses (or any other digital resource), it is achieving great results by using the best of each methodology. More and more often, companies are not asking whether they should offer b-learning, but how they can do so successfully.
This is why we’re sharing 8 b-learning tips that have seen excellent results in companies around the world:
1. Think about your company’s needs
First of all, think about what you want to achieve and how it will help your company. Don’t obsess over technology or b-learning methodology, but instead over what your employees need to learn. Design the whole training program with the desired results in mind; once you’ve done this, think about the best way to achieve them through b-learning.
2. Explain the b-learning program to your employees
Before you start your b-learning training program, it’s important that you hold a session with employees explaining how it will work and the objectives involved. Tell them about the benefits, what they will learn in the coming weeks or months, what they need to do, and when they need to do it. Send them a roadmap with all the details, explaining what they’ll have to do both online and offline.
3. Use classroom learning effectively
One of the keys to b-learning lies in making good use of classroom learning. With online courses (which students will have had to do previously), teachers don’t have to spend time on general explanations or masterclasses. The idea is to use the classroom for everything you can’t do online: group work, questions for the teacher, group dynamics, debates, practical exercises, and problem-solving. This way, and thanks to what they have already studied online, employees can get the most out of classroom learning.
4. Technical assistance and help
Just because students can do part of the training on their computers, tablets, or cell phones does not mean that you can completely forget about lending them a hand. Make sure your LMS and online courses have excellent technical support, good help pages, tutorial videos, and student assistance. Online courses should be easy and simple from a technological standpoint. Make sure that technology does not become an obstacle to successful training.
5. Effectively combine online and offline training
One of the most frequent errors in b-learning programs is completely differentiating online courses from classroom learning. Our goal should be precisely the opposite: the two methodologies must serve to reinforce the content, giving you an opportunity to practice everything learned (in different formats). Therefore, make sure that what they learn online can be practiced offline, and that both worlds are linked together and reinforce one another.
6. Calendar and logistics
Make sure that employees know what they are going to do in the classroom and on their computers from the start. In this way, they can plan their training program as they wish and complete the courses on time. This is especially important for online courses and lessons; give them at least two weeks to complete their tasks and include the estimated time it will take them to complete each training unit.
7. Gamify b-learning training
Using b-learning doesn’t mean you can’t include other methodologies or motivational elements. One of the most successful options is gamification: it uses ranking, fosters healthy competition, and awards the employees who finish first (and with the best results) in each of the units. Many companies even hold an awards ceremony (with trophies or other types of gifts) for those in first place. In the online section, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the benefits of game-based learning. The richer and more complete the b-learning experience, the better the results.
8. Get feedback on b-learning
The b-learning methodology presents a great opportunity to get feedback from your employees. Use online courses to instantly obtain aggregated data from all employees and get an overview of the program’s success or failure. Also, don’t forget to do face-to-face interviews with classroom sessions to get more in-depth and more elaborate responses. All of this will help you to keep improving the employee experience and your b-learning proposals.