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Is your blended learning approach working? How to evaluate it

Nov 17, 2021 9:12:00 AM

Nowadays, it’s not enough to implement just one type of learning method into your training programmes. To ensure learners are able to build up a robust set of skills and knowledge efficiently, programs need to make use of as many learning methods as possible—from e-learning and face-to-face learning, to virtual learning and social learning.

The most effective way to group these methods together is with a blended learning approach. This allows you to take advantage of their combined strengths to create a coherent training programme that helps learners reach their full potential.

It’s no surprise, then, that blended learning is experiencing a rise in popularity and sustained development in recent years, with steady double-digit growth.

As useful as this approach is, however, it is rendered null and void if it’s implemented poorly. With that in mind, we’re going to show you how to evaluate your blended learning approach to ensure that it is working as effectively as possible.

Evaluating your blended learning approach

No matter how much time you dedicate to crafting the perfect training programme, there will always be room for improvement. With careful evaluation, you can keep refining your blended learning approach to ensure that you’re providing your employees with the highest standard of training.

So, where do you start? You can use the gold standard model for evaluating training programmes: Donald Kirkpatrick’s four levels of training evaluation. Developed in the 1950s as a way to evaluate traditional training programmes, this model can be used to assess your blended learning approach with ease:

Kirkpatrick's four levels of training evaluation

With an LMS platform like Rise Up, you can make your way through these four levels to thoroughly evaluate your blended learning approach.

 

Level 1: reaction


To tackle this level, you can ask your employees to fill out surveys on the LMS, which will give you a better understanding of how they feel about your training programme. This will shed some light on which areas are most successful and which ones need more improvement.

 

Level 2: learning


For this level, you can look at learner performance to determine whether your employees have actually developed the knowledge and skills set out in your training objectives. You can do this easily with Rise Up’s collection of valuable metrics, including:

  • Training completion rate
  • Participation rate
  • Scores achieved
  • Time spent on modules
  • Overall performance

This is further aided by LMS certification which validates the successful completion of your courses by learners.

 

Level 3: behaviour


To determine whether your employees have applied their newfound knowledge and skills to their working environment, you can conduct follow-up surveys, interviews and evaluation questionnaires.

You can also send managers these same surveys and questionnaires to see if they have spotted any evidence of their team members’ training being carried over into their day-to-day work.

A successful digital transformation for a training organisation

 

Level 4: results


This final level can be slightly more complex to navigate, as you’re attempting to make a direct link between your training and any improvements to…

  • Company profits
  • Employee productivity
  • Quality of work
  • Employee turnover


This can be difficult to prove, especially if your company has recently implemented new production processes during the training period of your employees, as you might not know what is responsible for the improvements.

With an LMS like Rise Up, you can not only measure the impact and quality of your courses through employee data, but also cross-reference your internal data with training data to derive a return on investment (ROI). This will then help you establish how useful and successful your blended learning approach is.

In short, with the right LMS, you can follow Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model and assess your blended learning approach from a single platform.

 

Make sure your evaluation is a continuous process


Evaluation isn’t a one-and-done deal. It is a process that requires you to refine and improve your training programmes over and over again, until you have the perfect end product that will provide your employees with the best learning experience possible.

With an LMS, you can keep measuring the impact of your training programmes in real time, allowing you to make continuous improvements across the board. You can also compile feedback from your employees after each training session and at the end of the programme.

By evaluating your programmes whilst employees are still completing them rather than just at the end, you can gain vital insights about which aspects work best. For example, you can gauge whether your face-to-face interactions are more effective than your virtual classrooms. This gives you the opportunity to make improvements before the completion of the course.

Close up of graph showing erratic trend

 

Why it's important to evaluate your blended learning approach

The purpose of evaluation is to figure out whether your blended learning approach is working, and what changes need to be made to ensure you’re providing your employees with the best training programme.

Once you’re able to home in on which elements need to be improved, you can develop an action plan and work on integrating your changes—leading to better, more effective training programmes. This can then lead to significant improvements in your company’s productivity, profits and employee satisfaction.

Evaluation isn’t just beneficial for improving your courses. It’s also critical for determining their effectiveness and, as a result, their financial worth. If you’re able to derive a ROI that proves your courses work and benefit both your employees and company, you can not only justify spending your budget on training and development, you open the door to increasing it.

How to effectively interpret your results

In order to successfully evaluate your blended learning approach, you will need to be able to interpret the results of your training programme. To make this happen, you will need to ensure your teams have access to employee performance summaries, evaluation indicators and other key metrics.

Fortunately, with an LMS like Rise Up, your teams can quickly assess the efficiency of your training programmes and monitor employee performance in real-time through its built-in Datalab functionality. This performance and evaluation dashboard gives users access to graphs and KPI reports, and also enables them to add their own data and create custom reports to track their ROI.

All of this will help you to craft an evaluation process that will ensure your blended learning approach is working successfully.



And there you have it! You now know how to use an LMS like Rise Up to not only evaluate your blended learning approach, but to also learn how to improve your training programmes.

A successful digital transformation for a training organisation

 

Subjects: Blended Learning LMS
Manon Consul

Written by Manon Consul