10 Blended learning tips
The very nature of a blended learning approach leaves considerable scope for interpretation and discussion of the most effective strategies. However, we’ve gathered our top 10 expert tips to help you design your blended learning strategy or approach.
1. Consider the rationale
Ensure your original rationale for pursuing a blended learning approach is central to your strategic planning. Whether it’s the size of your training audience or their differing requirements, ensure your strategy addresses this.
2. Learning Objectives
Hold your blended learning objectives as the key to your strategic design and approach, rather than falling into the trap of simply designing your blended learning around the availability and use of a specific platform.
3. Think about what your learners want
Always think about your learners as you design any strategy and, if you haven’t already, use surveys to understand them better. This will ensure your blended learning approach can be tailored to their preferences and specific background.
4. Think collaboratively
The core principle of the blended approach is to ensure all the different components work together to achieve the learning outcome. Keeping sight of this when designing your strategy will ensure each building block fits neatly into place.
5. Consider building from the ground up
It’s often all too easy to simply repackage or re-purpose existing materials. But the real power of a blended approach is its ability to shake things up and take a new look. Don’t be afraid to discard what you’ve done in the past when designing your blended approach.
6. Match your tools to your learners and your trainers
Consider different technologies and platforms that are out there for you to harness, as well as the options already available to you from your in-house experts that can act as coaches, mentors and provide job shadowing opportunities.
Before you decide on your blended learning tools, though, consider your learning goals, your learners’ needs and of course your budget. An overly complex authoring tool, intended for instructional designers, will not suit subject matter experts who are new to e-learning. Likewise, opting for a mobile app-led program may not suit all learners.
7. Value all aspects of the blended approach equally
It can be easy to place too much emphasis or value on the classroom parts of your strategy; however, the key to your blended approach is knowing and understanding the importance of all the components in delivering your learning objectives.
8. Think about collaborative learning
There’s real power in collaborative learning when it works for the learning objectives and the cohort. Don’t overlook opportunities where this can be utilized to enhance the learning experience.
9. Run a pilot scheme
When you’re rolling out a large blended learning strategy, a pilot will be key to achieving your learning objectives. Use this to identify pitfalls in your approach; the learnings you take from this should inform continuous improvement.
10. Get buy-in from your learners and management
It’s likely a blended learning approach will be new to your organization, to help alleviate anxiety and scepticism it will be important to rationalize and properly position the benefits of blended learning to all relevant stakeholders.