How Blended Learning Solutions Differ From Online Training Software
The term “blend” (as used in the eLearning space) means your training course contains both online and offline elements. There’s no template for which parts of the course will be digital or analog. Each organization can determine which bits they want to mix and match based on their objectives, employee preferences, and budget. But does this differ from online training that relies solely on learning technology? Let’s explore the key contrasts between blended learning solutions and online training strategies.
5 Main Differences Between Blended Learning Software And Online Training
1. Incorporates Face-To-Face Training Elements
Traditional training (for adults) usually takes the form of a seminar or conference. You’ll check into a hotel or visit a venue for a few days, maybe even a few weeks. Your facilitator or keynote speaker gives lectures and shares slideshows. Trainees take notes and mingle during coffee breaks. They might go out together in the evenings after class. Blended learning solutions incorporate this training element, but because the bulk of training happens online, seminars are shorter. Also, in blended software, you can recreate the face-to-face factor without the time or expense. Instead of having a physical workshop, trainees can schedule a live web conference. They log simultaneously and watch a real-time feed from their facilitator.
2. Instruction Takes Place Both On And Offline
We’ve touched on this in passing, but it’s more about the how. Online software keeps everything within the digital sphere. You read text, view images, or watch videos. You can also listen to live-streamed or downloaded audio clips. But with blended software, at least a portion of training happens off the computer/smartphone. It could be a face-to-face group session or video call. With online software, trainees sometimes video-call their instructors for assessment/feedback. This may feel like a blending tool, but it’s not necessarily the case. For it to qualify as a blended lesson, there has to be active knowledge transfer and a specified learning goal. Getting feedback from an instructor doesn’t count as training, but asking pointed questions does. So, in the most basic sense, instructor-prompted meetings aren’t necessarily blended tools, but trainee-initiated queries can be classed as blended learning LMS support resources.
3. Instructors Are Actively Involved
Online courses are often described as “instructor-less lessons.” They’re not really because someone did put them together in the first place. But after constructing the course and assembling its content, the instructor has no active role. Instead, trainees use FAQs, helper bots, or tech support for guidance. Outside of that, they study at their own pace and style. With blended learning, instructors are visible and present throughout. In situations where the instructor is not always on-site, they can be reached via video call. They might have daily or weekly consultation sessions with trainees. Or they may have a scheduled training webinar where trainees can ask (or type) their questions in real-time. It builds a cohesive corporate spirit and can make remote workers feel like part of the team.
4. It Has Room For Dynamism
Online training content is more or less uniform. In the sense that unless you edit or upgrade it, subsequent trainees will see the same visuals and hear the same words. Their training experience will be identical, and this is important in certain setups (eg franchises). With blended learning software, trainee sessions will differ slightly. The instructor for face-to-face sessions is unlikely to follow a verbatim script, even if the broader concept is the same. In some cases, each training group may have a different facilitator. That changes the whole lesson, even if their base material is the same. This isn’t necessarily a flaw. It means, for example, that repeat students receive a variant of their initial class. This makes routine compliance training less dull, seeing as it’s a little different each time. It makes annual compliance renewal that much more bearable.
5. Allows For Autonomy And Real-Time Peer Guidance
It’s true, in online training environments employees can still get peer-based support in the form of social media groups and other collaborative activities. However, this is somewhat limited when compared to attending live events of ILT sessions as they don’t have the ability to interact with peers in real-time or on a more personal level. Such as having impromptu discussions during a live event that ultimately reveal hidden knowledge gaps. Blended learning solutions give employees the power to seek out information and focus on areas for improvement on their own. But they can still tap into their peer-based network both on and offline. They’re more likely to relate with their coworkers and build teamwork skills because there’s no tech disconnect. Instead, remote employees can put a face to the name and get to know their peers, which fosters a more positive training community and culture.
Employees log in to the platform to achieve business outcomes, and there’s little room for face-to-face collaboration without the aid of video conferencing tools. Blended learning software is a different matter. So, how do you demarcate online training software and blended learning solutions? The latter is used in tandem with preselected offline training techniques. These include face-to-face sessions, either in person or via webcam. In this way, trainees learn both online and offline in a carefully curated lesson blend. Also, blended training has a present, identifiable, and easily reachable instructor/facilitator. Online training rarely has someone you can point to as your “teacher,” though you do get chatbots.
Which blended learning LMS is the right investment for your organization? Choose the ideal system for your needs by using our Best Blended Learning LMS Solutions list. It features the leading blended learning solutions and you can filter by features, deployment type, and pricing model.