3 Benefits of Blending Learning

The term ‘Blended Learning’ indicates that various methods of training will be incorporated in order to achieve the highest learning and maximum retention. In the past the only mode of training was face to face. Then with the emergence of technology, online training, gamification, elearning and microlearning, face to face training lost its importance. However, very quickly companies realised that the effectiveness had greatly been affected. Hence, over the past few years the methodologies have been ‘blended’. The term ‘Blended Learning’ was birthed.

“In order to create an engaging learning experience, the role of instructor is optional, but the role of learner is essential.”
– Bernard Bull

In this article, the focus is on the 3 greatest benefits of blended learning that will help to enhance learning and application of the concepts.

  1. It augments the benefits of training: It is well known that learning is enhanced when the same concept is presented in different ways. This is the principle behind ‘Blended Learning’. After presenting the concepts in an instructor led face to face training session, the knowledge retention is significantly improved with the addition of a new method in the learning process, through elearning or gamification. It delivers a much richer training experience and helps employees to retain the new information better by applying on different platforms like elearning and gamification.
  2. It reduces and simplifies logistics: Each method of training has its pros and cons. Face to face training when led by an accomplished trainer can achieve profound results; however, managing the logistics of all the participants can be a nightmare. But when the live programs are reduced and the training is supported by video conferences and elearning, then the impact is not compromised. The last two training methods reduces the need for logistics and is also eco-friendly; e-copies of the training materials can be share thereby reducing the need for printing.
  3. It allows employees greater control over their training: Microlearning is shared through mobile phones and elearning is shared through Learning Management Systems. Both these methods allow employees to study the material on their own time from their phones or laptops. So long hours of travel has contributed to enhanced productivity as this time is used efficiently. Each person has a varied ability to learn. In face to face sessions, people who take longer to absorb new information have a hard time keeping abreast with the rest of the group. But when employees are given control over their learning, by being able to combine their face to face training sessions with online self study, unique learning needs and behaviors are met; this contributes dramatically to enhanced productivity and career growth.

According to the American Society for Training and Development, employees lose 90% of the skills they learned in training once they return to their jobs. This happens as the new information that was learnt was not repeated enough for retention and they revert to using the information that they are familiar with. However, with the advent of blended learning the impact of training has significantly improved as platforms like elearning and gamilfication invites the employees to apply the new content that they learned; thus making it familiar and comfortable. Hence, blended learning is here to stay.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MMM Training Solutions conducts soft skills training, executive coaching and leadership training programs for corporates in India and abroad. We are experts in the field of blended learning. Our training programs are customised based on the objectives, experience of the target audience and the type of industry. We have been in business since 2005 and some of our clients include Daimler, Standard Chartered Bank, Microsoft, Novartis, Cipla, Deloitte, Caterpillar and many more. Pramila Mathew, Owner and Founder of MMM, has a dual background in Business and Psychology and has significant work experience in both India and USA. Please visit our website http://www.mmmts.com to know more about our programs and our trainers.

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Learn How to Balance Life, School, Work and Family

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Juggling the demands of work and school can be challenging. Balancing assignments due along with work responsibility, along with a family life – and the variety of other commitments in your life – is a true exercise in time management. Throw in travel for work and you’ve certainly upped the ante even more.

We interviewed several students who went back to college mid-career on balancing work and school while traveling on behalf of their company.

Interview with Kerry Nordstrom-Bradley, Human Resource Certificate and Social and Behavioral Science Degree Graduate

How regularly do you have to travel for work?

I am in outside sales so I travel every day. I also went on vacations while in school and was able to post discussions while out of town.

For what company/organization do you work, and what is your role there?

I work for a food/candy manufacturer and my title is Outside Sales Manager.

How did you manage studying and completing assignments for school while working and traveling?

I had a laptop that I took with me, but if I could not receive a strong enough connection then I would use the hotel’s computer in their business office. While on a cruise I used the Internet Café to make the discussion posts that were necessary that week.

What tips or advice do you have for someone who travels for work who is considering going to school online?

Linfield’s program is one of the best and is very computer friendly. Plus the teachers are always available to help you or can get you back on track if you are not used to online classes. There are many resources available to use and even when working full time I didn’t feel pressured to get my assignments done as long as I used a calendar to remind myself of deadlines.

Interview with Mark Springer, RN to BSN Degree Student

How regularly do you have to travel for work?

The amount of time I travel varies, which can make planning difficult. I have had some weeks where I am gone just one day, but other weeks I am gone all five days. I usually travel around Oregon, but there are times where I travel across the country.

For what company/organization do you work, and what is your role there?

I work for a medical device company as a clinical representative. My role includes teaching physicians and nurses how to safely and effectively use our products. The teaching methods include one-on-one, group in-servicing, and formal events with many attendees. These events occur both during the day and into the late evenings. In addition to my teaching role, I am also a consultant to the surgeons and nurses who use our products. This means I am on-call day and night to both physicians and nurses who may request my expertise on particularly complex cases. In addition to the above roles and duties I also work very closely with hospital discharge planners to ensure a smooth continuum of care when the patient leaves the hospital with our device.

How did you manage studying and completing assignments for school while working and traveling?

This can be a difficult task for students who are traveling for work while attending school. I try really hard to complete the majority of my work by 9pm so the rest of the evening can be dedicated to schoolwork. I also to try pre-plan what tasks need completion and what I need to take with me to complete it. I usually have a secondary plan if my travel plans are extended, which includes bringing a few extra items to work on. Studying on airplanes or in airports seems to work ok, but I find the most productive time of the day is working in the evening at the hotel. That being said, working in hotel can be a challenge because many lack the necessary office equipment that we take for granted at home. I have managed to work around this in many cases by taking advantage of the office printing and supply stores that host all those conveniences. One positive note about working in a hotel is the lack of distraction. It’s much easier to become distracted at home, but truthfully, a pile of homework and a boring hotel can produce excellent results!

What tips or advice do you have for someone who travels for work who is considering going to school online?

I would suggest you take a look at your current work status and ask yourself if you are really serious about putting in extra effort after your work tasks are complete. Are you prepared to take on extra duties if your job requires it? If you work on a team and a teammate quits, are you ready to take on those tasks too? You have to set your priorities and limits before you start so when something unexpected happens you are well prepared. You also need to consult with your family. Traveling for work can be difficult on the family and it can be especially difficult to come home from a long work trip only to jump straight into schoolwork. The rewards of going to school can be wonderful as well. My employer recognizes the demands of my position and has been very pleased to see that despite this I have still managed to take advantage of their education assistance program. This has been viewed with such high regard that I was recently awarded a promotion.

Sally Alkazin has been teaching HR courses for Linfield College’s Division of Continuing Education for 13 years. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the American Society for Training and Development.

http://www.linfield.edu/dce/

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