6 reasons to invest in blended learning campaigns
Previously, we’ve looked at campaign-based learning and what it means to run a launch campaign for new learning initiatives. Our final step on the campaign journey is to explore blended learning. First, a definition.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is the practice of workplace learning featuring a range of styles, from instructor-led training to eLearning on a range of devices.
What are the benefits of blended learning?
Blended learning campaigns come with a wide range of benefits that encourage greater learning engagement and information retention. Choosing the right learning style of campaign type can provide benefits to your organisation beyond the realms of L&D. With the right learning content strategy in place across the different campaign elements, you’re on to a winner.
1. Variety of learning styles
Blended learning by its very nature provides a variety of learning styles for your employees. They say variety is the spice of life and, whoever “they” may be, their idea extends into learning as well. If you think back to your days in school, which lessons were the most memorable? The ones where the teacher stood in front of a board/presentation or had you reading from a textbook? Or the ones where they shook things up and had you interacting with your classmates or trying something new?
Shaking things up when it comes to learning creates a more memorable experience and, especially if you’re dealing with mandatory or compliance training, this variation can increase learning retention. Beyond the base needs of completion rates, varying the paths of learning can also make it on the whole more interesting for your employees which can encourage them to undertake further learning within your organisation.
2. Meets the needs of more employees
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: one size fits all doesn’t work when it comes to learning. Everyone learns in different ways, and while you may not have the resource or the budget to create every bit of learning content in a variety of ways, producing a blended learning campaign allows you to tap into the needs of more learners on a single course.
For example, some employees may respond really well to a classroom-based scenario and others more clearly to technology-focused training like eLearning or mLearning. Some blended learning campaigns can even benefit from combining the two together, for example bringing mobile learning into the classroom. Regardless of the combination of content you choose for your campaign, meeting the needs of more of your learners makes for a more effective learning journey.
3. Holds learners’ attention
In a modern world full of notifications, adverts, and social media platforms competing for our attention, keeping the focus of your learners for extended periods can be a challenge. One of the benefits of blended learning campaigns, as we discussed earlier, is the variety of learning styles it provides. Not only varying the elements of training involved but also keeping them short and sweet will allow you to hold your learners’ attention for longer periods of time.
Following the same principle to microlearning, using a variety of learning techniques in short bursts of no more than ten minutes will encourage your employees to remain focused on the task(s) at hand. Following the same framework for all of your training allows employees to fall into a rhythm of focusing and drifting off, so switching things up, from timings to collaboration to methods, can keep them focused and improve the learning experience for everyone involved.
4. Encourages collaboration
A great way to improve learning engagement, collaboration in learning is vital to the experience. Blended learning encourages collaboration through instructor-led training (ILT) and classroom-based learning as well as elements such as group work. Blended learning campaigns open up the possibilities when it comes to delivering training, so alongside engaging eLearning content and classroom-style training, blended learning campaigns provide the opportunity to think outside the box.
When using an LMS like Kallidus Learn that can monitor/report on classroom-based training and competency checks as well as learning completed within the system, one of the best things about blended learning is the lack of limits. Everything from interactive billboards to group chats to mobile based eLearning games are on the table and collaboration is a key factor in maintaining engagement.
5. Improves learning engagement
As you can see, all of the above benefits of blended learning campaigns ultimately lead to one of the key reasons they are so effective – learning engagement levels improve. From keeping your learning content more varied and therefore more interesting to holding employees’ attention and encouraging teamwork, blended learning provides a level of flexibility and interest that other types of learning alone simply can’t.
Blended learning isn’t just the best of both worlds, it can provide a combination of the best bits of every type of learning available for your employees. Blended learning works for a wide range of budgets as well. For example, if you wish to integrate mobile learning into the mix, encourage a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy to save on costs. The most engaging learning campaigns don’t have to be expensive, but variety and collaboration are key to driving these engagement levels up.
6. Boosts productivity and learning retention
The final key reason that blended learning campaigns are so effective in the workplace is that they help to improve productivity and learning retention. Two of the key components of any successful learning campaign, the productivity is improved through higher completion rates and higher engagement levels, and the learning retention increases through a wider variety of interesting learning techniques.
Getting your employees actively involved in their learning greatly improves learning retention and blended learning campaigns are a fantastic way to ensure this. As a great philosopher once said (and many L&D professionals have since): “What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I learn”.
Blended learning campaigns open up the possibilities of learning in the workplace. With the right learning strategy in place, blended learning can provide a great number of opportunities for both employees and L&D professionals to do something a little different. Introducing or revitalising blended learning campaigns in the workplace is the perfect chance to think outside the box and help your employees to get the most out of their learning experience in new, exciting, and engaging ways.