Blended Learning is the combination of online courses with traditional classroom-based training (or webinar). It is one of the most important by-products of eLearning. Online training is an excellent medium for the delivery of training, but it is at its most potent when it is combined with face to face and peer oriented training. This is commonly called Instructor-Led Training (ILT). I have spoken to hundreds of training professionals who have discussed their strategies with me. Here are a few simple steps that will help you get the most out of your instructor-led training sessions.
1. Enrolling In The Course
Enroll your learners in a course that contains an ILT module/section. The first in the series of modules should be online elements. This is an excellent way to assess the current knowledge level of the learners and to prepare them for the instructor-led training section of the course. Learners can take the course in their own time and develop an understanding of the areas that they are not adept in.
2. Giving Access To Resources
In conjunction with the actual course, provide each learner with resources that they can use as supplementary learning collateral. Whether this takes the form of documents, presentations, or videos, this will allow the learner to search outside of the parameters of the course and the ILT. It will act to supplement their understanding of the topic.
3. Letting Your Learners Select From A Choice Of Live Sessions To Attend
Depending on time and budget constraints, I would suggest running multiple instructor-led training sessions with lower numbers in attendance. As your learners will have taken some online training, you should be receiving them at a point of further understanding. You will in essence be focusing on the higher level elements, augmenting their understanding now that they will have a foundation. The psychology of choosing an ILT session rather than it being decided for you as a learner leads to a more positive attitude when attending. A Learning Management System should allow you to run multiple ILT sessions attached to a single course to avoid extra organisation. You can also set capacities and waiting lists for such events in LearnUpon. You may also alter your future scheduling to match how people have historical chosen.
When you schedule your classroom sessions, the last thing you want to worry about is ensuring that your learners actually attend! Make sure the Learning Management System you use has good communication tools with the attendees. You should be able to send out iCal invites so that the event is on their work calendar. Remember to schedule some helpful reminders too!
5. Engaging All Learners
When carrying out face to face training be engaging, be inclusive and seek interaction. Some of the best instructors are incredibly inventive in the manner that they run their training sessions. They are adept at creating vibrant workshops.
- Use teams.
- Inject urgency.
- Set goals.
6. Quality Over Quantity
You should keep the sessions short. Most people have short attention spans and are busy. Ensure that the end goal is always in focus and that you are adding value at every stage of the training.
7. After The ILT
Once the face to face or webinar section of a course is completed, the next step should be an online element where the learner reflects on the learning elements and take away from the session. This is where a learner can take stock of both the pre-ILT course stage and the classroom teachings. This will help solidify understanding.
8. Assessing Understanding
Allow the learner to assess their own understanding by getting them to take a quiz or complete an assignment. Whether it is a series of multiple choice questions or a reflection piece which will be uploaded for review and feedback, this is the learners’ opportunity to challenge themselves and use the information you have provided and the conversations you have facilitated. You will be able to report on the results of these actions so that you can identify and support all struggling learners. If someone falls below the threshold of a passmark that you have set, you may request that they retake the course.
Here is where we get reflective on our own performances. Surveys allow us to take a step back and understand if our course content and design is compatible with the situation. Learners who are given the opportunity to give feedback will surprise you at how constructive they are in their criticism. If one analyzes the responses with an open mind you can make subtle tweaks to improve the course content and flow.
The key is to treat every stage of the process with equal care and attention, maximizing the impact on the learner’s journey. We all strive for recognition, so why not add certificates for your learners to gain upon completion of their course? For information on how to effectively introduce certification into your courses see How To Use Certification For eLearning Assessment.
See how ILT’s are created and managed in LearnUpon: Schedule a demo now.