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When you are successful at training, it seems illogical to change

At Delphi Mindconnection, direct methods are used to train executives and managers in medium-sized companies and SMEs to improve themselves and look in the mirror. The training agency itself struggled to move away from previous training methods. "The biggest resistance was between our own ears."

The company was named after Delphi, the historical city in Greece. "Know thyself," is the historical inscription in the temple of Apollo at Delphi. It is that wisdom, which Delphi Mindconnection wants to impart to its trainees.

In any case, Delphi Mindconnection knows itself pretty well. In retrospect, the training agency from Best in the south of the Netherlands thinks they should have switched to blended learning earlier. They are very honest about that, says experienced trainer Driesen. Why change, if the training courses are booked up every year? "The more you taste success, the more you get stuck in your patterns. Past success is a bottleneck for the experienced trainer. Sometimes that experienced trainer is the biggest roadblock," says trainer Paul Driesen (63) of Delphi Mindconnection.  

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Paul Driesen. Photo: Delphi Mindconnection

Blended learning from 2017

Every training in the past used to start with thick multi folders and printed teaching materials, handed out to trainees on the first day of training. But Delphi Mindconnection wanted much more than just handing out folders. The training agency dreamed of interactive PDFs, with videos to color it all in.  

In 2017, Delphi Mindconnection made its first attempt to digitize and start with blending learning. "We decided to put the 'written support materials' online. For that, we had chosen LearningStone as our platform," Driesen says. "At first it was mainly running alongside our printed material. Now we realize we weren't really getting the full benefits out of it. Converting existing concepts to digital learning paths requires much more than a collection of PDFs and a digital questionnaire."

"Past success is often a bottleneck for the experienced trainer, or perhaps the experienced trainer himself is the biggest roadblock."

Only during covid in 2020 did Delphi Mindconnection turn around. By necessity, the live training sessions had stopped altogether. The training agency was at a loss because the annual programs were continuing. "The biggest resistance then turned out to be between our own ears. We had to start training online. That's where LearningStone proved terribly useful. It turned out that we also had to think rigorously differently. More from the perspective of the student," Driesen reflects.

"Supported in part by multiple workshops from LearningStone and guidance from the Development Accelerator, we really started to change, expand and deepen our understanding of blended learning. Individual learner development is now enhanced by the learning environment in LearningStone. With reflection reports, quizzes, videos that updated all the time, a social wall and albums. Tools that are especially helpful between monthly training sessions, to apply it in the participant's practice. 'What training journey is the trainee going through?' became one of the defining themes."

Now Driesen feels he is an expert in blended learning. "I really lived through the whole journey of blended learning. An educational expert recently reminded me that 'You have to learn to learn,' and that applies to setting up blended learning as well."

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Trainees decide what they want to train

Delphi Connection's training courses today are completely paperless. The start of the training is an online intake session. Participants get instant access to LearningStone, where they can find all the information and work with it, so they come to the first meeting well prepared.

Blended learning encourages Delphi Connection participants to learn more and more on their own and get the most out of themselves and the training. "The participant uses online, exactly what is supportive for him or her," Driesen explains.

"What training journey is the trainee going through?" 

To illustrate how pleased Driesen is with blended learning, he cites the "10-70-20 rule" of training programs, where 70 percent represents learning through and while working. 20 percent is personal learning from collaboration and feedback. Ten percent, according to this model, accounts for "formal learning," in the form of external training. 

Blended learning ensures that that 10 percent learning from external training, is far exceeded. Driesen: "At first, we only influenced that 10 percent in our live trainings. By turning it into action-learning with reflection and anchoring, we were well on our way to that 70 percent of practical learning. With the digital learning environment in LearningStone, we now have much more insight into that 90 percent of the learning journey and can help participants much better."


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