How difficult (or simple) is blended learning, really?
When considering blended learning, training agencies often come across a variety of questions. Trainers are accustomed to mainly communicating face to face with participants and wonder if the technology is manageable. Also, you don’t know whether your customers and participants will embrace the concept. These are just a few potential problems you could encounter. But that doesn’t mean they will occur – all you should do is go about it the right way. In this blog, we’ll tell you how to do that!
Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne
It all starts with motivation
Many trainers are born performers. They like to speak in front of groups and are used to having all eyes on them. Additionally, they focus on sharing their knowledge and providing guidance. A completely different skillset is required to communicate with participants, provide them with guidance, and offer training materials to them through a platform. Often, trainers don’t have a natural mastery of such digital skills.
Nevertheless, many of them do want to get started with blended learning. In that case, the main question is: What is the trainer’s motivation? Does he feel forced by competitors to do ‘something’ with blended learning? Does he want to meet the customer’s ‘digital needs?’ Or is he both excited and hesitant to experiment with a new form of training? If the trainer is very reluctant to get started with blended learning, there’s no solid foundation for success. But if he has his doubts about the concept because he lacks certain technical skills, he might just achieve a whole lot.
Well begun is half done
In technical terms, blended learning isn’t all that difficult. However, the following question should be your starting point: Will blended learning result in improvement? And if so, what are the benefits for the trainer, the customer, and participants? Determine how you’ll present the concept to customers – or, if they’ve requested it, how you’ll set it up.
It’s also important to realize you’ll be working in a different way. The trainer should first understand what blended learning is, how the platform works, and how he will provide training to the group. Then, you need to decide how you can best manage participants’ expectations. For example, they can ask questions through the platform day and night. Therefore, you need to tell them beforehand when they can expect answers from you. You could, for instance, say that you’ll reserve one hour at the end of each working day to respond to everyone.
Same process, other means
There won’t be an awful lot of changes when you switch to blended learning. Of course, you need to make a few choices to set up the platform, but these aren’t all that difficult, since you can always draw parallels between a live training and blended learning. The process is the same: the trainer provides training and guidance, and participants develop themselves. All you need to do is master the means you use. If you put some thought into it, you’ll definitely pull it off!