Training Best Practices/Blended Learning
Blended Learning can simply be defined as the use of two or more technologies to deliver training to the student. These technologies can range from m-Learning (Mobile Learning) to ILT (Instructor Led Training) to Self-Paced Learning. Choose your methods wisely so that they effectively communicate your message to the student.
For Example it might be said that anything can be taught via CBT (computer based training), however this may not be the best approach in the case of teaching a Ferrari mechanic how to adjust the valves on an Enzo. I personally would want to know that if I brought my Enzo to the dealership to have the engine worked on in any capacity that perhaps the person about to perform the work has done more than a cbt. Perhaps Ferrari used the blended learning approach and maybe it would look like this (very simplified):
- Introduction or history of Ferrari motors - Video Presentation
- Overview of the Enzo - CBT/WBT
- Components of the Ferrari Enzo motor - Distance Learning
- Connecting Test Equipment on Ferraris - Simulation
- How to adjust the valves - ILT
- Adjusting valves - Self Paced Practice
- Adjusting valves - Instructor Facilitated
- Certified Exam - Instructor Facilitated
All of these things could have been taught via any given technology or methodology, however it is safe to say that certain methodologies are best suited for delivering certain types of material.
Blended learning techniques are designed to take account of the different learning styles of end users, and age and education factors are important determinents of this. For this reason, you need to consider your demographics carefully and select the most appropriate `mix' for your target audience. Older students generally prefer an ILT approach; however younger, more `tech savvy' end users are often happier with on-line learning.