The A-Z of training: B is for Blended Learning
Blended learning has been talked about for a long time amongst the e-learning and training communities. Many of you are probably already delivering blended learning even if you've never heard of the term!
There are many definitions of blended learning, but the idea that is central is that training is delivered through multiple channels, for example some training is classroom based, while other training is delivered online. The hope is that trainees are more receptive to training when it is delivered in a variety of ways.
This also presents challenges for the trainer. Consideration must be given as to which training best suits a given medium. Online training can be great for a wide variety of training requirements, however is a super whizzy 3D tour a replacement for walking new starters round the office? Of course not! Some training is still best delivered in person.
When I think about training which I've conducted previously I can generally break it down into two categories:
All jobs have some knowledge based components, it's the knowing what should be done and how to do it. I have found that this type of training is a good candidate for online training, as it can be written as a process which must be followed.
- Knowledge based training; and
- Skills based training
Skill based training on the other hand, requires discussion and interaction in a way that can be lost online. Even the dreaded role-play can be a useful tool to practice common scenarios, which cannot be stated as simple processes. Leading a training session in the classroom can also give you time to identify and deal with the concerns of your trainees as they arise. This empathy and understanding could not be replaced by a computer.
Because of this, we developed Prodeceo. We think of it as the perfect tool for delivering your online training and also managing your classroom based learning. You can try Prodeceo free for 30 days by clicking here..
The A-Z of training: A is for Audience
As trainers, we need to carefully consider our audience. Training that we develop for one group of trainees may not be suitable for another cohort.
If we consider a larger company, there may be several levels of management between the shop floor and the boardroom. Some training is universal- mandatory health and safety training for example, but what about your internal business processes?
For an employee at lower levels, they might be interested in functional examples of a business process and how to apply it in their role. A manager would be interested in the monitoring and measurement of the process so that they can take responsibility of it. At a higher level the board may be concerned with how implementing the process affects the bottom line- what is the cost saving or expense in implementing the process?
When developing multi-level training like in this example I like to break it down into sections. In this case I see three distinct sections:
By breaking the training up into sections I can write each section independently and assemble them for each audience separately.
- The process being implemented
- The monitoring of the process
- The business impact of the process
The worker at the lowest level would receive the first section only which would give them enough knowledge to implement the process effectively. A middle manager would need to understand the full process, such that they can monitor it effectively. In this case they would receive parts one and two. At the highest levels a full understanding of the process might not be necessary an overview if the process may be sufficient. An understanding of how the process is monitored and an understanding of the report data would be required. This training would also incorporate the business case for the process. For this audience appropriate content could be selected from section one and two, and the whole of section three would make up their training.
The difficulty in developing modular training in this way is tying together parts where they have been edited and reduced in size to fit. Take care to ensure that there is continuity in your training message and that the training flows between sections.
The example in this article is a little contrived, but I hope that you can see the benefits in the modular approach in developing training for different audiences. If you try this in your organisation let us know how you get on email@example.com.
This is the first article in our A-Z of training. We publish one article per week on Wednesday mornings at 9:00am.
Our A-Z of Training Starts Tomorrow!
Our A-Z of training starts tomorrow. We'll be publishing an article at 9:00am every Wednesday. This page will be updated with links to each article
If you can think of any particular topics you would like to see then please send us your suggestions (suggestions for X and Z are particularly welcome!) firstname.lastname@example.org