4 Blended Learning Models All L&D Managers Need to Start Using


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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Blended learning allows learners to complete training courses both face-to-face and through virtual platforms. But which model is best suited for your company?

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4 Blended Learning Models All L&D Managers Need to Start Using
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Blended learning brings together aspects of traditional and instructor-led teaching with virtual learning. Although this education model isn’t new, its adoption has been accelerated by the switch to hybrid and remote work.

According to IFP research, 35% of HR and L&D decision makers make use of blended learning within their LMS. Moreover, advances in digital technology are redefining blended learning experiences in the modern workplace.

Today, models of blended learning are all about enriching traditional learning experiences with digital technologies and innovative learning and development (L&D) practices. For example, a blended learning approach might involve a combination of 360 assessment tools, virtual learning and one-on-one development, to name a few.

To meet the demands of modern employees, L&D leaders are redefining their training and development programs to align with an increase in remote and hybrid work environments.

5 benefits of blended learning

The goal of blended learning is to make training and education more effective and personalized for learners. Here are some of the key benefits this approach offers:

  1. Higher employee engagement: Employees are presented with more opportunities to learn and engage, as they can participate face-to-face and online.
  2. More effective for diverse learners: Learners can choose how they learn due to the various approaches blended learning offers. Concepts learned online can be reinforced during face-to-face classes.
  3. Increased flexibility: Blended learning is flexible enough to meet employees' needs. If they don’t understand something they can hit pause, while still being able to discuss challenges with leaders in face-to-face sessions.
  4. Easy to track: Online platforms incorporate analytics to present a more accurate analysis of an individual’s training.
  5. Save time and money: Blended learning minimizes operational costs and reduces the amount of time companies spend planning in-person training sessions.

4 blended learning models

Here’s a look at four of the most popular blended learning models that can be implemented in the workplace .

1. Rotation model

The rotation model is when employees rotate between different activities, with at least one of them being virtual.

Learners can take an equal part in all activities, such as attending on-site training, participating in discussions and watching lectures online. It works on a fixed schedule as rotating activities are organized.

There are four different methods within the rotation model of blended learning:

  • Station rotation model: Rotating activities take place in one room, allowing learners to take part face-to-face and synchronously.
  • Lab rotation model: This method involves virtual lessons being carried out in a computer lab.
  • Flipped classroom model: In this model, learners switch between trainers and online platforms, but the majority of learning is done virtually. In-person training takes the form of teacher-guided practice or projects.
  • Individual rotation model: Here, rotations are completed on an individual basis and each learner has a customized schedule.

2. Flex model

In this model, employees have access to all the information they need online and they complete the training program independently as a form of self-directed learning.

Although this is a more individual form of learning that mainly takes place online, instructors should still play an active role in working with trainees by providing regular feedback.

The flex model empowers employees and gives them the freedom to decide how and when they learn, allowing them to complete activities at their own pace.

3. Enriched virtual model

The enriched virtual blended learning model has some similarities to the flex model. Learners are still completing most of their work online and independently, but in-person sessions are also conducted in a classroom setting. These classes are scheduled based on the progress of the learners and at the instructor’s discretion.

This model is unique because employees are obligated to participate in on-site training, unlike a virtual-only learning system. However, they also have constant access to learning materials.

As L&D training is primarily carried out online, companies need to ensure they implement digital learning material and activities that keep learners engaged.

4. À La Carte model

The à la carte model isn’t immediately linked to employee training and is more often used in secondary or tertiary educational environments. This method is defined by the fact that students take additional classes on top of their regular schooling, for example when they want to apply for university or prepare for graduation.

Although this is less obviously connected to employee training, it can be implemented in the workplace. If learners invest in extra online training in addition to what they undertake in person, it can be described as a form of this model.

For instance, if an employee is particularly interested in a certain subject they might want to learn more about it, or if they feel something is lacking in their training they may wish to educate themselves further.

In this model, employees have a trainer to assist them with their learning, which can be in-person or virtual, allowing them to choose how they learn to optimize their training.

Implementing blended learning in the workplace

Whichever blended learning model you decide to adopt, it’s important to stay on top of new L&D trends and keep an eye out for any opportunities to optimize your training program.

Most importantly, be sure to ask employees for feedback to ensure you’re meeting their demands and providing them with the tools and flexibility they need to learn effectively and efficiently.

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