Today, we see a significant change in the way corporate learning functions, transforming from an old-age classroom-based training to modern technology-based online training. It allows us to build more interactive and agile learning environments with the potential to deliver and engage learners in multiple formats.
The term ‘Blended Learning’ is certainly not new, but the understanding of this concept by most of the employees or organizations is that ‘Blended learning is a mix of traditional classroom learning and online learning.’ Brandon Hall estimates that ‘one-third of organizations still consider blended learning as having classroom learning plus additional methods.’
As the learning space evolves, we now have a more sophisticated understanding of the term blended learning concerning enterprise learning strategies, and as per Brandon Hall,
“The analogy I like to use is the Arnold Palmer. It is a drink featuring a mix of lemonade and iced tea. But if you put a glass of iced tea and a glass of lemonade next to each other, it is not an Arnold Palmer. It doesn’t become an Arnold Palmer until you blend the lemonade and ice tea. Likewise, if you offer classroom learning and then an eLearning course, it is not blended learning, it is just multi-modal learning.”
Blended learning combines experiential, informal, and formal learning in the 70/20/10 model. There’s no one prescription to blended learning for organizations and learners, and you will have to discover different mixes within your organization depending on the role and other factors.
As technology evolved, the tools available to design and support blended learning advanced, and one of the most prominent tools is the Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS incorporates online and onsite environments to provide efficient, effective, and engaging learning. An organization, irrespective of its size, can leverage an LMS to nurture its talent for mutual growth.
And here are a few trends to bring you a fresh perspective of the advantages of an LMS to impart blended learning.
LMS for blended learning: From the Administrator’s perspective
Streamlined training process
Cloud-based LMS has enabled training administrators with possibilities regarding blended learning. With an LMS, you can automate routine tasks like course enrollment, assignment, and more. LMS also streamlines course planning, uploading content and schedules, reporting, and related tasks. The functionality to create multiple portals for each brand makes your organization’s centralized administration easy and fast.
Engaging and motivating learning
With Artificial Intelligence’s influence in LMSs, blended learning has also advanced by enabling administrators to design more immersive and engaging learning experiences while automating repetitive tasks. The AI-powered LMS’s automatic course tagging feature gives personalized learning while creating a pool of related courses.
Even the responsive design of the LMS makes learning possible anywhere and anytime. Training delivery strategies like micro-learning use smartphone technology to deliver an uninterrupted learning environment.
Power of integration
Third-party integration of LMSs has enabled blended learning to be integrated with videoconferencing tools like GoToMeeting to transform your onsite training via virtual classrooms.
Other essential integrations like Single Sign On (SSO) enable a single set of login credentials across all your digital properties, thus making the administrator’s job easier. API and plugins allow you to extract learner’s information, course data, enrollment details, and system management.
Modern SaaS LMSs are scalable, letting you scale up or down depending on the usage without worrying about system downtime. It is an immense relief off their shoulders as the platform and infrastructure requirements are the vendor’s responsibility for administrators. Users and data scalability are sensitive for the administrators and involve an enormous cost in designing and delivering a training program at the organizational level. As organizations grow, LMSs can be made more scalable to meet future needs.
Blended learning activities generate sensitive and confidential information, user data, training resources, and other content to be kept secure. Although cloud-based LMS may seem counterintuitive to the administrator, most SaaS LMSs use cutting-edge technology to attain the highest data security because it is stored online. While no software or application can be 100 percent secure, leveraging an LMS continues to outweigh the risks though.
LMS for blended learning: From the Learner’s perspective
Flexibility to access resources
Depending upon the content and training outcomes, some training procedures require a formal classroom setup, while others can be taken offline. An LMS supports both formats without any restriction of space, time, and pace. LMSs are continually evolving to deliver an intuitive User Interface (UI) that makes supportive User Experience (UX) and navigation simpler for higher learner engagement.
Learning on the go
Responsive LMS has made learning accessible both inside and outside the organization by providing its desktop version on other devices like tablets and smartphones. This particular advantage makes learning seamless for users like salespeople, who are always running to hit their targets and drive sales.
Assessments and reports
Enabling assessments in LMSs is crucial to implement blended learning. It works along with the personalized learning path by revising instructors’ and learners’ roles and relations. Examining learners’ participation, performance, and course completion helps the instructor identify knowledge and skill gaps and reconstruct plans while modifying their pace or approach.
LMS with gamification functionality makes corporate learning exciting and engaging by offering challenges and rewards. It helps to grasp topics by making them more real and lively. This environment interests learners and increases engagement.
Social learning is an essential aspect of blended learning. Learners can support their peer groups and provide bottom-up interaction and suggestions, making training programs more attractive and engaging. Social learning features like online communities, discussion boards, and chat groups enable an informal learning environment that generally increases interest, attention, and motivation. Using social learning, L&D professionals can improve the quality and experience of their blended learning using an LMS.
There are many compelling reasons for organizations to leverage an LMS for blended learning. Blended learning is the way ahead for organizations during the global technological advancements and effectively brings out the power of new learning channels. When a state-of-the-art Learning Management System backs you, you can deliver rewarding learning experiences to your employees that drive better results over traditional methods.