Online or offline learning — or a balance of both? With 66% of employees still preferring a hybrid corporate setup, explains why blended learning is important in today’s hybrid corporate setting. Today, employee learning and development have a brand-new set of challenges of how employees prefer to learn. Of course, the transition from in-person training to blended training needed a tailored approach since such a learning solution was not scalable anymore. That holds true going by the evolution of how today’s adults learn. Interestingly, 70% of us like to learn at work, 60% like to learn self-paced, and 50% prefer learning at the point of need.
The good news is that a blended learning approach mixed with a virtual instructor-led element is just in-time training solution to deal with real-world training and development challenges. Besides, going by the logic that the human brain learns faster by applying skills than just reading/learning, it makes sense why companies today consider the advantages of blended learning. And why not? Afterall, blended learning can reduce 35% of classroom training time and cost making this approach an increasingly popular model for training and development programs.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what the blended learning approach is and why blended learning is important in today’s hybrid workplace.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended learning, also known as hybrid learning, is an educational approach that combines traditional face-to-face instruction with online learning components. It integrates the best of both worlds: in-person interactions between instructors/facilitators and learners and the flexibility and accessibility of online resources and activities. In blended learning approach, the learners get the freedom to take ownership of their training and development. The blended learning approach allow the training method to combine a mix of eLearning, instructor-led teaching, or web-based training experiences.
This training approach combines both online and in-person elements to develop the skills and knowledge of employees in a technology-focused role. It aims to leverage the benefits of technology while maintaining human interaction and hands-on experiences. In the blended learning method, the learning is tailored to suit the needs of the organisation and delivered in a self-directed mode. Such a blended learning approach includes a combination of live tech projects, virtual experiences and, online learning content.
Here’s a typical example of a blended learning program implemented for a Python developer:
|Online Learning Modules||Virtual Instructor-Led Sessions||Hands-on Workshops||Project-based Learning||Online Community and Resources|
|Introduction to Python: Begin the training with an online module that covers the basics of Python programming. This module can include instructional videos, interactive coding exercises, and quizzes to assess understanding.||Live Coding Sessions: Conduct virtual instructor-led sessions where an experienced Python developer guides learner through live coding exercises. These sessions can focus on solving programming challenges, implementing algorithms, or building projects.||In-person Coding Workshops: Organize in-person workshops where Python developers gather to work on coding exercises or projects collaboratively. These workshops allow for hands-on practice, peer-to-peer learning, and face-to-face interaction with experienced developers.||Assign Python Projects: Assign project-based tasks that require learners to apply their Python skills in real-world scenarios. These projects can be completed individually or in teams, and they can involve tasks like building web applications, data analysis, or automation scripts.||Discussion Forums: Create an online community or discussion forum where learners can connect, ask questions, and share resources related to Python development. Encourage participants to interact and collaborate, fostering a sense of belonging and a space for knowledge exchange.|
|Advanced Python Concepts: Create additional online modules that delve into more complex Python concepts such as object-oriented programming, file handling, database integration, and web scraping. These modules can include tutorials, coding challenges, and real-world examples.||Q&A Sessions: Organize virtual Q&A sessions where learners can interact with the instructor and ask questions related to the online modules or their own Python projects. This provides an opportunity for learners to receive personalised guidance and clarification.||Code Reviews and Feedback: During the workshops, allocate time for code reviews where developers can share their work and receive feedback from their peers and instructors. This helps foster a culture of learning and improvement.||Project Mentoring: Provide ongoing guidance and support to learners as they work on their Python projects. This can be done through virtual meetings, where mentors review project progress, provide feedback, and offer suggestions for improvement.||Supplementary Resources: Provide access to additional learning resources such as e-books, tutorials, coding challenges, and relevant online articles. These resources can support self-paced learning and allow learners to explore Python-related topics beyond the core training materials.|
So, you see, the blended training and development approach for Python developers combines several modes- online modules, virtual instructor-led sessions, in-person workshops, project-based learning, and online community resources to offer a comprehensive and dynamic learning experience. Learners’ benefit from the flexibility of online learning while still having opportunities for hands-on practice, collaboration, and personalised feedback in a tech hybrid workplace setting.
In the online-first world, L&D professionals must adjust learning strategies for remote and on-site employees. Because a hybrid workplace is going to stay and there’s no going back. With the number of skills for a job increased by 10% percent every year, it’s time that L&D managers seriously address the skill gap crisis and develop new skill solutions at speed.
If you are still wondering about the importance of blended learning in training and development initiatives, take a look at the stats and facts.
Blended learning can provide a quick solution to this growing skill gaps. Because blended learning program allows for personalised instruction, which means that learners can focus on specific skills that are in high demand. Blended learning combines online and in-person educational approaches, and continues to be important in 2023 for several reasons.
Top 10 Reasons Why Blended Learning is Important in 2023
The advantages of blended learning are multi-fold. Here are ten key reasons why blended learning remains valuable:
#1 Flexibility: Blended learning provides flexibility for both employees and the instructors. It allows learners to access course materials and complete assignments at their own pace, accommodating different learning styles and schedules.
#2 Personalised learning: Blended learning enables personalised instruction tailored to individual employee needs. You can design online components to provide adaptive learning experiences, offering targeted content and role-based assessments based on employees’ interests, strengths, and weaknesses.
#3 Enhanced engagement: By incorporating the right mix of digital tools and multimedia resources, blended learning enhances employee engagement. Interactive online modules, videos, and simulations make learning more interactive and appealing while increasing their motivation to participate actively.
#4 Access to a wide range of resources: Blended learning enables the learners to access a vast array of educational resources available online. These include e-books, articles, videos, and interactive platforms, enriching their learning experiences beyond what traditional classrooms alone can offer.
#5 Collaborative learning opportunities: Blended learning promotes collaboration among employees. Online discussion forums, video conferencing, and virtual group projects foster teamwork and peer-to-peer learning, regardless of physical distance.
#6 Real-world relevance: Blended learning often integrates real-world applications and scenarios into the curriculum. Through online research, virtual simulations, and interactive modules, employees can connect their learning to practical situations via live tech classes, preparing them for the real-life tech challenges of the modern world.
#7 Continuous assessment and feedback: Blended learning provides opportunities for continuous learning and ongoing feedback. Through online platforms and role based-assessments, learners can engage in self-paced learning, track their progress, and receive immediate feedback on their performance. This iterative process allows learners to identify areas where they need improvement and make adjustments quickly, accelerating the skill development process.
#8 Integration of emerging technologies:
Blended learning embraces emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or simulations that can be integrated with self-paced IT courses, and virtual IT labs applied in a real-work environment. These technologies provide immersive and interactive learning experiences that can simulate real-world scenarios, allowing learners to develop skills in a safe and controlled environment. By incorporating these technologies into blended learning programs, the skill gap can be addressed effectively and efficiently.
Blended learning is cost-effective compared to on-site or in-person training programs. Because, such an approach reduces the need for physical infrastructure and resources, such as textbooks, instructor fees, and company travel expenses, and enables the reuse of digital materials across multiple cohorts, reducing expenses over time. Besides, by enabling distance learning at a global scale blended learning addresses scalability by leveraging online technologies, self-paced learning, collaborative tools, and adaptive learning technologies.
#10 Just-in-time learning:
Blended learning allows for just-in-time learning, meaning that employees can access specific modules or resources when they need them. This flexibility enables individuals to acquire new skills or update their existing ones on time, enabling them to quickly fill the skill gap and adapt to changing workplace requirements.
Now that you know the importance of blended learning in filling knowledge gaps by providing personalised learning experiences at scale, it’s time to count the benefits of blended learning.
Advantages of Blended Learning Approach
Blended learning is an excellent way of improving knowledge retention and engagement among employees. The top benefit of advantages of a blended learning program is as follows:
Flexibility and Convenience:
A blended learning program provides flexibility in terms of time and location, allowing employees to access course materials and resources online at their own pace and convenience. This flexibility accommodates different learning styles and helps employees fit learning into their busy schedules.
Personalised Learning: Blended learning allows for personalised instruction by integrating technology tools and adaptive learning systems. Employees at the workplace can receive individualized support and engage in activities tailored to their specific needs, interests, and learning preferences. This personalised approach can enhance employee engagement and improve learning outcomes.
Increased Access to Resources: With blended learning, employees have access to a wide range of online resources, including interactive multimedia content, educational websites, videos, and online libraries. This access to diverse resources enriches the learning experience and provides employees with opportunities for independent exploration and self-directed learning.
Cost and Resource Efficiency: Blended learning is cost-effective as it helps reduce the need for physical infrastructure and resources. Online components can replace certain materials and equipment, while face-to-face instruction can be optimized for activities that truly require in-person interaction. This leads to cost savings without compromising the quality of training delivery.
Real-Time Feedback and Assessment: Blended learning allows for immediate feedback and assessment via online quizzes, interactive activities, and automated grading systems. This prompt feedback helps employees to identify areas for improvement, monitor their progress, and take corrective measures on time.
Hiring always isn’t the answer when the solution lies in upskilling or reskilling your employees with hands-on training and development across tech stacks. Fortunately, Techademy LXP/LMS is a great breakthrough, when it comes to capitalizing on the benefits of blended learning.
One USP is that the LMS tool combines Learner Telemetry, a powerful analytics engine, using which you can measure training outcomes and gain data-driven insights for informed decision-making. Furthermore, Techademy ULXP supports 8000+ high-impact learning content across 30+ niche categories for full tech stack learning, blended learning, role-based learning, fresher learning, and continuous learning.
To make blended learning seamless, Techademy ULXP platform integrates with existing LMS ecosystems, virtual tech labs, CRM, HR systems, talent management platforms, assessment platforms, cloud storage, and more. Leveraging such an end-to-end integration with third-party LMS platforms, not only can you streamline the training and development process, but also leverage administrative capabilities, thereby reducing overhead and generating powerful analytics for informed decision-making.
Techademy’s ULXP Learning platform stands at the forefront of this revolution, offering a dynamic blend of traditional and online learning experiences. Want to build context-specific and personalised cross-functional training programs and take your training and development solutions to the next level? Schedule a demo now.