Whether it’s a sales training programme or another skill you want your staff to adapt to, by implementing a blended learning environment, retention rates increase, and training costs reduce. In this article, we’ll explore what blended learning is and the benefits of using both online and live in-person or live virtually training.
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What is blended learning?
The Oxford Dictionary defines blended learning as “a style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.” Therefore, blended learning combines both classroom and online education, and with advances in technology and restrictions on travel and gatherings, this learning model is quickly building momentum.
Today, blended learning is often replacing traditional live face-to-face training with live virtual training delivered through video conferencing software. This is often referred to as Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT)
What is the difference between hybrid and blended learning?
The terms hybrid learning and blended learning are often used interchangeably. While there are more similarities than differences between the 2, some people will say hybrid learning solely focuses on combining offline and online education while blended learning is about discovering the right mix of all learning possibilities, regardless if they are offline or online.
Why More Companies Are Turning to Blended Learning
Now more than ever, it’s important for sales reps to be fully trained in sales.
Companies just can’t waste leads on untrained reps.
In the current environment, we’re seeing more and more companies turning to blended learning which is the perfect combination of in-person and online learning, bringing global companies together no matter where they are in the world.
The benefits of hybrid training
The benefits of implementing a hybrid learning environment are almost endless. From cutting costs, to saving money, here are 4 key benefits to blended learning.
Track and improve engagement
By using the technology available in a hybrid learning environment, it’s easier to track completion rates, test the understanding of new skills and keep track of everyone’s progress.
Accessible, flexible & boosts morale
These days, everyone has at least a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop – if not all! For this reason, your learners benefit from scheduling their learning at times that suit them. In turn, boosting their productivity and, subsequently, their morale.
Saves time & money
Hybrid learning often cuts costs and saves time because in classroom or live training is saved for important or complicated topics or purely for group discussions and activities. This allows much of the learning to happen outside of office hours and cuts down on venue, travel and staff costs.
Blended learning is flexible. It can be whatever combination of live or online learning works best for your team.
Elements of an ideal blended learning environment
During live training sessions coworkers can brainstorm and learn from each other. They can practice the new skills and get immediate feedback.
By incorporating online learning, staff can learn new skills or reinforce existing ones according to their schedule.
By implementing coaching sessions, staff can get personalised feedback on current issues they are facing.
5 ways to implement blended learning
1. Face-to-face driver
With the face-to-face driver, the trainer drives the instruction, delivering most of the content live in-person and augments the learning with digital tools.
With the rotation model, employees cycle through a schedule of independent online study and face-to-face classroom time.
A flex learning environment is where most of the curriculum is delivered digitally through pre-recorded or static online materials and trainers are available for support. This allows learners to learn whenever they want without constraints of having to be available for set training dates.
Labs is where all curriculum is delivered digitally but in a consistent controlled physical location. As in all learners would gather in a room at a set day and time to learn the content together, but the training is delivered digitally either to their independent computers or a shared screen in the room.
5. Online driver
With the online driver, employees complete all learning through digital tools with no in-person learning. The learning can be a combination of live virtual training and on-demand e-learning.
How SOCO/ does blended learning
In today’s environment, the majority of our clients choose the online driver system where we either do all training live virtually or a combination of on-demand learning using our e-learning platform SOCO Academy and virtual instructor led training. This allows learners the flexibility to learn from anywhere, while also providing the accountability needed to maximise completion rates and retention. Live virtual training also has the benefit of allowing for group discussions, activities and customisation of content to the learners.
By incorporating SOCO Academy, companies have the ability to get new hires trained on desired selling skills without having to wait for the next live training.
Companies with capable sales team leaders or in-house trainers also have the option to implement the lab system when they want to take a proactive approach to train their staff. They incorporate sales training at monthly meetings or set days and times using SOCO Academy to train their teams and our provided Leader Manuals to guide them through live discussions and activities they can do with their team.
The best method for blended learning depends on your team and your company. If you have questions about what’s the right method for you, drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help.
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* Smith, B., & Brame, C. (2014). Blended and Online Learning. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved [21/04/2021] from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blended-and-online-learning/.