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How to improve the quality of your training courses with a blended learning platform?

How to create online training courses that don’t require users to go on the Internet all the time? It was a crucial question for iCRA, an organization that organizes training and coaching in the field of interpersonal skills. The target audience consists of professionals who work in the agricultural sector (education, science, and the business community), such as university teachers and staff, researchers at research institutes, and private consultants. “Many of our participants are in Africa, Latin America, and Asia,” says Cees Peter van den Brink, agribusiness trainer & coach at iCRA. “They don’t always have good access to the Internet.”


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Usually, iCRA offers blended training. “We provide online training and bring participants together for group training,” says Mirte van Os, trainer and facilitator at iCRA. “But when the pandemic hit, we were forced to offer everything online. Although it took us a while to find the right platform, we are delighted with our choice: LearningStone.”



“We help participants apply knowledge in daily life”


What do training and coaching currently look like at iCRA? “In between online live sessions, participants complete modules on the timeline within the LearningStone environment,” says Cees Peter. “We introduce new principles and skills and provide explanations using video, audio, and text. Then, participants complete assignments we discuss during live sessions. Everything is online at the moment. But blended training courses are scheduled for 2022.”


“We recognize the value of blended learning,” Mirte adds. “Having face-to-face contact with people is very useful, but we also want to help them apply and practice acquired knowledge in their daily lives. LearningStone is extremely suitable for the latter.”



“LearningStone helps us keep the group together”


Cees Peter considers LearningStone to be an excellent facilitator: “The platform facilitates and encourages interaction. As a trainer, you obviously need to use the options correctly. But LearningStone offers enough room for you to do so. You can approach things the way you prefer. It’s definitely possible to experiment.”


Mirte refers to LearningStone as a ‘collaborative workspace:’ “Facilitators can get creative with it. For example, we allow participants to ask questions using the wall. Furthermore, we split them into groups and have them collaborate on assignments, which they then submit within LearningStone. Combined with live sessions on Zoom, this interactivity helps keep the group together.”



“We can (re)use training courses for a different market”


iCRA also recognizes the benefits of LearningStone from a business perspective. “It’s easy to reuse or refine a training course,” says Cees Peter. “As a result, you can continue to improve its quality. Our more seasoned trainers agree. We paired them up with young trainers so they could learn from each other. Experienced people have their own training method and can provide a wealth of training topics, while young people can formulate things on a timeline in a concise and appealing manner.”


LearningStone has been a worthwhile investment for iCRA. “It’s easier to consider offering training courses at lower prices now,” says Mirte. “That makes them more accessible to curious people who want to test the waters or to those who have a smaller budget.”


“In the long term, you can consider how to (re)use training courses for new markets,” Cees Peter adds. “What’s nice is that LearningStone has an entrepreneurial spirit and likes to think along with us. It’s the reason why we feel free to share our ideas. We love that level of commitment!”



Interested in LearningStone? Ask us for a tour! Want to know what our users think? Read their testimonials here. If you want to receive blogs like these by mail, sign up here (new window).


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