Did you ever wonder why some people are so good at learning specific skills or information, while you or someone else may not be? It's easy to think you're just “not good” at learning material; but actually, it's more likely the material is just not being presented in a way that makes it easy for you to understand. Decades of research has shown that people learn best in different ways, or styles, and most of us benefit most from a learning environment that uses multiple styles to increase engagement and understanding. You've probably experienced this yourself without even realizing it; that's because most tasks naturally use this blended process.
Even something as simple as baking a cake can use multiple learning “types” to get the best result: You watch a cooking show where a cake is made; your read the recipe; and then you engage in hands-on learning when you actually mix up your ingredients and pop the batter in the oven. That's three types of learning – and “all” you've done is bake a cake.
It's the same at work: Some people are going to learn better via lectures, some by hands-on, some by seeing it done – and there are other ways to learn, too. The more ways you can engage your learners, the better they'll be able to grasp your subject matter. That's where e-learning can help.
Blended learning uses a combination of teaching and learning approaches to help people learn and absorb information in different ways. In a workplace setting, e-learning has become an integral part of the blended learning process since it can easily supplement traditional “in-person” learning techniques, like demonstrations and one-on-one or group training through use of quizzes, monitoring, feedback and self-paced learning modules. In fact, monitoring and feedback are an important part of the learning process. In our cake example, feedback could be seeing how well the cake has risen or how good it tastes, for instance. Based on those results, you can judge how well you learned the recipe and the baking process.
In a job setting, e-learning can support the blended learning experience in several important ways:
Here are a few of the primary ways e-learning can improve a blended learning experience in a job setting:
- It makes it easy to address different learning styles: E-learning lets you incorporate different types of learning materials and experiences so employees are more likely to find something that resonates with them and their specific style of learning. Combined with traditional learning techniques, e-learning lets you easily add video, audio and visually-enhanced materials to keep things fresh.
- It's more interesting (dare we say “fun”?): When learning is enjoyable, not only are workers more engaged, but they're also more likely to remain engaged throughout the entire process. Plus, e-learning is easy to incentivize through gamification or other approaches to improve overall results.
- Individual assessment is easier: Since e-learning allows for ongoing monitoring of an employee's progress, it's easier to assess not only the e-learning portion of your training program, but the traditional components as well.
- Feedback is more relevant: Thanks to ongoing individual monitoring and improved assessment, e-learning lets instructors provide individual feedback that specifically addresses areas of weakness or provide additional explanations of concepts that a learner may not fully understand. Feedback can be provided confidentially, which makes it more likely an employee will ask questions, and it can be given without holding back other learners who may understand those concepts.
- It's just more convenient: Finally, including e-learning as part of a blended learning program means employees can complete at least a portion of the learning experience when it's most convenient for them.
Wise Businessware's LMS system offers lots of flexible options that make it easy to use in a blended learning environment. Contact us today and learn about how our solutions can help you.