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The Way I See It … Blended Learning: A New Approach For 2006


Mystery PractitionerE-Learning is now one of the main training methods for modern business environment but is this really more effective than the traditional classroom style workshops? Patricia Davies, Group Marketing Manager of GBS Corporate Training, explains why incorporating the new with the old may be the best way forward in 2006.

Over the last few years, e-learning has increased in popularity to become one of the key forms of training for businesses. The development of new technology and the certainty of decreasing software costs will help to ensure that e-learning is here to stay.

But is e-learning the most effective way to train staff and does it deliver sustained results for ongoing staff development? Certainly, it has draw-backs: research shows that classroom based learning increases knowledge retention by up to 50 per cent, a fact which e-learning alone does not take advantage of.

An alternative to isolated e-learning is the blended learning approach which combines classroom based education with the convenience and cost efficiency of e-learning. Combining a variety of learning experiences will enable a complete end-to-end training solution and, as individuals react differently to different methods of training there will be something to suit everyone’s individual needs and abilities.

Back to the classroom
One of the perks of being in a classroom is that it gives delegates a chance to ask questions about things that they are unclear about; it also enables them to discuss related issues with a fully trained advisor. Ensuring that classroom training is as interactive as possible will result in an enjoyable but positive and productive experience.

However, classroom based learning does have its downfalls. It is unreasonable to expect delegates to retain all the information learnt from the training course and for the classroom session to ultimately have a positive effect on the trainees the information must be reinforced. This is where e-learning comes in.

Prior to a classroom based training course it may be beneficial to provide delegates with material to prepare them and give them some basic knowledge on what they are about to learn.

E-learning is a fast and convenient way to do this. It is also an effective way of providing people with materials after the course which will help to re-enforce everything they were taught. Providing easy to use e-learning solutions to help back up and refresh teaching will ultimately result in the organisation achieving a greater return on their training investment.

The blended approach
The flexibility of the blended learning approach ensures that each training session can be tailored to meet the individual needs and focuses of the company. Company branding can be placed on all training material and although an external company hosts your training solutions, it is ultimately the individual company that controls it, therefore material can be adapted each time something changes within the company without the inconvenience of having to contact the training provider. However, the most important aspect of our blended learning approach is to ensure that the content that is delivered online is intrinsically linked to the classroom experience.


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