Blended learning incorporates the best of both ends of the training spectrum; it allows you to train a greater amount of learners in a way that demands less of your time. It also provides your learners with the flexibility theyve become familiar with. As it combines both online training with instructor-led training, it appeals to organizations who are mindful of their budget but also want a mentoring or coaching component that blended learning includes.
The key concept behind blended learning (using an online component that complements and interacts with a live component) manifests itself in unique ways outside of the educational or training context. In fact, the entertainment industry is finding that an online component used in conjunction with a live televised event has the ability to enhance what would otherwise be a static presentation.
The idea of blending digital and face-to-face is gaining ground within entertainment in an unconventional way through the use of interactive TV and the rise of the second screen.
To catch everyone up: The Second Screen is the use of an additional monitor (e.g. tablet, smartphone) while watching television. It allows the audience to interact with what theyre consuming whether its a TV show, video game or movie.
The popular usage of a second screen application for smartphones and tablets during this years Academy Awards made a previously passive viewing experience more interactive and fun by adding facts, quizzes, and other supplemental material.
Its not really a far off concept. A recent survey by Thinkbox found that 86% of people with access to TV and the internet have multi-screened and 34% do so regularly. It also found that 31% have chatted about TV shows or ads in a second screen, but that this rose to 56% for 16-24 year-olds. Whats new to this idea is that theres now a way to leverage this type of engagement by building applications or websites that complement whats going on in front of them.
What This Means For You?
Greater amounts of students are going through blended learning programs not only for their educational development but also because its being used more and more in K-12. In fact, nearly 70% of school districts within the US offer blended learning programs currently.
This number is going only to increase.
Nearly 70% of School Districts Within The US Offer Blended Learning Programs Currently
The consequence is that a generation of learners are growing up being surrounded by blended concepts not only with the way they prefer to interact with their entertainment but also the way that theyve been taught. This is a familiar concept to them.
More importantly, when these students enter the workforce this is the method of training that theyll prefer. They will influence, and possibly be making the decisions, of the type of training their organization uses. Part of the decision will be based on their preference for the flexibility that blended learning provides.
The first step that you need to implement blended learning is to know the 4 keys that will make your strategy successful. We go into more detail in a previous blog post but in short they are:
Which blended learning model is the best one to use based on the needs of your client and learners?
Will your client be able to fulfill the technical needs for both the online and face-to-face components?
How will you be able to accurately report learner progress and scores for the entire blended program? What should you look for in online training software?
How far and in what form will your support options take? How will the learners be able to contact you?
The Big Picture
As a generation of kids grow up, enter the workforce, and look to you to provide training, its up to you to do it in a way that engages them. The benefits are reciprocal; your learners will excel because the learning you provide speaks to the way that they learn; and youll be able to reach a far larger audience than ever before.