Todays learners demand more! As a result, simply pushing out online training courses to a learner seated in front of a PC simply doesnt cut it anymore. In the past, learners signed up for a course which might have been comprised of multiple modules and followed them in sequence to completion. It was efficient and got the job done. This reality has changed.
Today your learners are far more likely to sign up for an online training program. Online training courses continue to make up the bulk of the curriculum but they are almost as likely to include interventions, on-the-job evaluations, offline coaching, discussion, and/or follow-up sessions. The impact is considerable.
Firstly though, here is a brief definition of these new program components as they are applied in an online training environment.
An intervention in the Dr. Phil sense of the word is a process by which change is introduced into peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Despite what you see on TV, its not intended to be confrontational but it is intended to help others see how their own behaviors impact those around them.
While an office may not have the same level of heightened emotion as is found on Phils couch, it doesnt make an intervention any less potent as a teaching tool in conjunction with self-directed online learning.
The intervention would typically be scheduled soon after completion of the required online training and would focus on how the learner can apply their new knowledge in the future.
This potential component of an online training program could be considered a testing component. The application of new knowledge in the workplace is where the rubber meets the road in terms of return on investment. On-the-job evaluations can include before/after productivity comparisons or anecdotal feedback from the employees.
In addition to the insight evaluations provide in terms of employee performance, they may also highlight any deficiencies in the online training course itself. Not every course is made perfect the first time even after quality checking it over and over.
Coaching to reinforce newly learned skills is invaluable. After your student has completed their course and returned to their place of work, it can be challenging for them to consistently apply their newly learned skills on the job. A return to old habits the old way of doing things is a threat to your online training program for obvious reasons. The most effective method to neutralize the threat? Follow-up sessions with your users after theyve had the opportunity to apply the skills. Correction and/or reinforcement coaching can be applied to under-performing or improved users respectively.
In effect, the online training component of the program can be taken at anytime. However, the supplementary instructor-led component needs the online training software to help coordinate the learners course completion date with their availability to conduct the offline component. It can be helpful to think of the coaching session as a classroom and allow users the ability to register in the one that best fits their schedule. The ability to cap classroom enrollment ensures the best student / coach ratio.
A well designed blended learning program can help to provide the extra support that your learners will need in order to be successful. If you would like to learn more how blended learning can enhance your training, download our free ebook How To Create Perfect Training Using Blended Learning Techniques.