Interaction with specialist trainer gives the highest level of assurance that the training courses selected address the real learning needs of managers. While e-learning makes vast and high-quality content easily accessible, blended learning offers calibration by expanding and clarifying on leadership needs.
What is Blended Learning
Blended learning can be generically defined as a structured learning interaction between learners, subject contents and a learning facilitator.
Technology-mediated education includes synchronous learning, when students and instructors have a real-time interaction as well as asynchronous learning, when the learner has independent and autonomous access to subject matter content from digital resources like videos, case studies as well as the traditional text books.
Blended Learning and E-Learning
Independent access to digital content is often simplified by the term e- learning. E-learning makes vast and high-quality content easily available to learners by removing obstacles of time and place. Thanks to is affordability it has been used extensive for workplace learning: from tactical skillsets like Data Analytics to more complex subjects such as leadership and motivation.
The advantage of e-learning is the variety and quality of method of delivery of content when compared to traditional text books. Webinars and videos tutorials are engaging and are powerful resources, often of brief length, that focus on specific aspect of the programmes helping the learner’s understanding. Gamification allows a learner to interact independently with the content, to experiment and it dynamically supports the prerequisite of repetition as a learning tool. Both video and gamification provide the learner with instruments to experience knowledge progression and reward systems which support engagement with the subject matter.
The disadvantage of e-learning is the one-sidedness of the experience. As e-learning that does not include real time interaction with the author, e-leaning offers extremely limited opportunity to relate the content with the specific supervisor’s learning needs. Most digital content is generic and not necessarily beneficial to the leader’s progression.
Assurance that the training courses address the real learning needs is best achieved via interaction with a specialist trainer. Most subjects require contextualisation and specifically for leadership and management trainings this is grounded in a two-way process of communication. The facilitator has the ability to calibrate the content by expanding, simplifying, paraphrasing, reducing and clarifying key learning points by anticipating the learning needs based on observation and interaction. When a learner has direct contact with an expert trainer opportunity of deep learning, which translates in behavioural change, can occur.
Organisations therefore must provide hybrid learning educational plans and give to the learners the opportunity to access high quality and quantity of content via e-learning as well as to benefit from interaction with subject matters experts.
Blended learning programmes combine effectively and seamlessly expert know-how with e-learning content and gamification programs.
How to Create a Blended Learning Plan
To build appropriate blended learning plans, an organisation can
- Invest in an e-learning library for all managers and encourage completion of programmes
- Engage specialised trainers to supervise the creation of the library and selection of the content.
- Invest in building case studies repositories personalised to the specific industry and size of the organisation
- Encourage leaders exchange of feedback on e-learning programmes offered.
- Create opportunity for practice with support by expert trainer in application of the knowledge
- Offer Virtual and/or In Person real time sessions with expert trainers to expand on specific subjects
- Recommend Mentoring Programmes with experts in the leadership subject matters
- Assess regularly effectiveness by appraising key business performances and employee engagement.
The leaner supervisor will access high quantity of content and diversity of points of view while being guided in self-reflection by experts. Trainers encourage motivation to progress further in the learning journey and identify specific learning blockages in a timely manner.
Leadership and Performance Management rely on the enhancement of specific skills which cannot be fully explored via e-learning resources. Organisations must pay sufficient attention to how key competencies such as Emotional Intelligence, Change Management and Diversity are acquired and ensure that contextualisation is made available.