Many companies go through phases of heavily using e-learning which are followed by periods where instructor-led training is preferred. This zigzag approach to learning and development means that the learning and development strategy is constantly being changed.
There are many benefits to using e-learning for training staff; Training can be taken at any time, travel costs are reduced and outcomes can easily be tracked. These benefits are attractive and when executed well e-learning experiences can be rich and stimulating, however poor quality e-learning resources can destroy the will of even the most committed learner.
Where the learners report that they are not satisfied with the e-learning experience, the natural action is to move to instructor-led sessions with an experienced instructor who is knowledgeable and can cater for the needs of the group. This personal interaction has numerous benefits; Learners can ask questions and a wide range of techniques can be used. The main drawback to this approach is scheduling sessions when they are needed- do you really want your new inductees to wait until there are enough people to make the session viable?
This issue makes e-learning appear more desirable, and at this point many organisations consider returning to it. This creates a zigzag between e-learning and instructor-led training. Over time an organisation may discover a blend of training which works, but only after significant time and money is spent through trial and error.
Developing blended learning programmes that use the features of each medium to best effect can prevent these wholesale changes between e-learning and face-to-face learning. This requires a balanced view from the start but saves a great deal of organisational change later on.