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Why you should adopt a blended learning approach
And if we were interested in why Blended Learning! This is an essential step before setting up any training project. Discover the advantages of combining digital and face-to-face training.
"Just a lump of sugar that helps the medicine flow" sang Mary Poppins. "It doesn't take much to be happy," Baloo replied. And even though this article isn't sponsored by Walt Disney, there may be some truth to the matter at hand...
The design of a blended learning course will exploit the strengths of each of these two formats: face-to-face and distance learning, to increase their effectiveness.
Why blended learning training?
Why set up a blended learning course? This format, which continues to make a name for itself, resists the passage of time and ephemeral fashions. "Blend" means to mix in English and this is what this pedagogical format allows, the mixing of genres... Blended learning is a training course or a training path that will link face-to-face time and distance time.
But for what purpose? We have always opposed the classroom format and the distance format: the defenders of the one decrying a discount training and the enthusiasts of the other deploring the obsolescence of the face-to-face format, which is still too closely linked to the school model.
Indeed, the "face-to-face" format seems outdated today: sitting for 7 hours listening to a trainer speak is effectively a thing of the past. It no longer corresponds to the expectations of the participants, nor to the way of thinking about training in a world that is constantly moving, and in which experiences, especially professional ones, are multiplying.
Yet this learning format is evolving: the contribution of neuroscience, the arrival of new pedagogical formats (workshops, coffee-coaching, short sessions...) bring a breath of fresh air to classroom training. The participant is put more at the heart of the training, the trainer becomes a facilitator, the emphasis is put on the rhythm of the sequences, practice, exchanges... Face-to-face training becomes an experience in which you are an actor.
Digital training, not so trivial
The "digital" format, on the other hand, has long had bad press. No pedagogical reflection on its contents, modules made up of automated PowerPoint, technical difficulties, feelings of loneliness and loss of "human" contacts often popular in training... "e-learning" did not find its place.
But over the last few years, digital technology has shown that it has many advantages... It brings great flexibility in the way you train. You choose where and when. You can start content, stop and resume later. The types of content have also evolved: the diversity of formats (short, long, free, paid, audio, video, pc, mobile...) allows almost everyone to find the perfect fit, or at least a possible answer to a need.
Finally, the very content of the modules has evolved to take into account the discoveries of the neurosciences. We use storytelling, gamification, granularization of the content... and this richness makes it possible to create more attractive and engaging digital learning paths..
Blended learning, the secret of the formula
The design of a blended learning training will exploit the strengths of each of these two formats: face-to-face and distance learning, to increase the effectiveness of this training. Digital will never replace face-to-face, learners, you, me, need this human interaction, this "face-to-face" to help us anchor knowledge. The use of a "distance" will be conducive to the provision of information that is not discussed in the classroom and will therefore make it possible to take advantage of the "presence" time to exchange, question, put into practice ...
So it is interesting for example, even for "life skills" training, to have digital content before the meeting in the room, to prepare it. Bringing in theoretical concepts, taking stock of the knowledge you already have, reflecting on your expectations... All this will allow you to optimise the time with the trainer, to encourage exchanges between participants and to put the emphasis on practical application.
At the end of the training, if we want to rely on learning theories, the famous "pedagogical reminders" that come to punctuate the post-training time are also good candidates for the digital format. We will send an email with key points from the training, push content on the LMS platform, propose a quiz to check that everything is clear, organise a webinar to provide additional information, etc…
The blended dream!
Implementing blended learning will therefore also require me to rethink the overall content of the training through several aspects: what I will transmit via the digital format and what I will facilitate via the face-to-face format.
Blended learning does indeed require you to rethink your practices, as a pedagogical designer, as a trainer... but the richness of the two formats tempers the "negative" aspects: the face-to-face format will provide the practical application and the human aspect that may be lacking in digital. Digital will bring the flexibility and autonomy of training that the face-to-face format hinders.
You understand better now why blended learning is that little extra that can have great effects, that sugar cube that will make learning easier.... In addition, we also avoid the dichotomy "subject necessarily face-to-face / subject necessarily digital". The training courses on life skills or very technical subjects will both benefit from the advantages of both formats.
The implementation of blended learning can be done in a progressive and simple way on certain subjects. It can initially combine one day of training with podcasts. Or a welcome video and a half-day workshop. Anything is possible!
The multiplicity of formats, pedagogical objectives, evaluation and interaction possibilities are an infinite playground for making the most of the training's potential to reinforce and increase the skills of your employees.