The main downsides of conventional classroom learning are cost and time. You have to take trainees away from their desks (or their spot on the sales floor). Then you must pay for their transport and accommodation, all while ignoring the amount of cash they could have earned in the meantime. Online training solves the cost problem and the time-away-from-work problem. But are there any other measures you can take to maximize your training ROI? Here are some blended learning best practices to stretch your budget and improve employee engagement.
By generating your training materials from existing content, you avoid the cost of paying subject matter consultants. Repurposing content is faster than producing it from scratch, so your L&D team will use up fewer billable hours. The time they save can be used in other revenue-enhancing activities. Your repurposing method will vary, but be sure to pick cost-effective ones. For example, rather than digitizing an entire sales catalog, you could record mini audio clips. They’d describe each item in the catalog. These recordings can be done using a phone or a computer recorder. It doesn’t have to be a high-end studio with premium pricing. You could use basic tools and add ambient sound beds from free online libraries.
The online segment of blended training could be canned software, open-source code, or a native mobile app. And depending on your software specs, you may have to buy new hardware to accommodate it. So, for instance, you may decide to buy solar-powered tablets for every trainee. If they train on uniform devices, they’ll have more equitable training experience. Similarly, you might have to buy new desktop computers, laptops, or even servers to host your training software. Those are unnecessary expenses, though. Instead, start from the user. Verify all the computers and mobile devices your staff currently has. Then buy blended learning software that’s compatible with those electronics and invite learners to train on their own devices.
When you’re the top boss (or even mid-level line manager), it can be hard to run surveys. Whatever you ask your subordinates, they rarely give honest answers. Instead, they try to gauge the response you expect, then they offer some version of that. In a training scenario, though, you want to ensure the training you provide is actually useful (and the money you spend is put to good use). You want to confirm the type of resources they require. One of the most crucial blended learning best practices to improve ROI is gathering feedback and using it to narrow the scope. To get the best replies, craft your questions carefully. Keep them specific but open-ended. Don’t ask, “Would you prefer a language course or a coding course?” Or, “How can we train you to offer better skills?” Instead, ask, “If you could learn one skill to make your job easier, what would it be?” Or, “Tell me three things our training course doesn’t have that you wish it had, or vice versa.” Then you can use the data to personalize your blended learning LMS resources to suit their needs and preferences instead of wasting precious assets on support tools that don’t really address the gaps.
One of the perks of using blended learning software is that you can offer your employees ongoing support remotely. They’re able to attend live events or face-to-face sessions from anywhere in the world. However, you can also facilitate knowledge sharing and cut costs by encouraging peer-based feedback and support. For example, employees might participate in social media discussions or group collab projects to apply what they learned during the ILT session. This allows them to broaden their experience and knowledge base without digging into your blended learning budget, as you don’t have to develop as many resources to bridge the gaps.
I’ve already mentioned how audio clips can be used for training. Video is a helpful tool as well, especially for visual learners. They can watch the demo and mimic its actions. And because they’re visually oriented, they’ll remember more of the information for later use. Video tutorials also make useful additions to reference libraries. An employee can review a previous lesson by speeding through a two-minute video. It’s especially helpful for on-the-spot training during a work-based crisis. Video can be recorded on a smartphone or a cheap digital camera. It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production. It just has to be well-scripted and have a suitable soundtrack for emotional reach. This counterintuitive insertion of sentiment nestles it deeper into the corporate learners’ psyche because emotion triggers memory. This can help you retain knowledge better.
Nobody denies blended learning saves time and money. But why and how do we (corporates) love it? Let’s count the ways. We can improve the performance of programs by following these blended learning software basics, such as reformatting existing content and converting it into training material. This cuts content production expenses. Invite trainees to use their own smartphones, tablets, and personal computing devices to access the blended learning LMS. This eliminates the need to buy new office electronics. Ask your staff direct, ice-breaking questions to identify their specific training needs. And whichever training materials you end up collating, ensure they fully utilize multimedia capabilities. Offer each lesson in audio, video, and text so that everyone’s preferred mode of learning is accounted for.
Purchase blended learning software that brings the best ROI with the help of our online directory. It features the top platforms that are searchable by features, spec support, deployment type, and pricing model. You can even narrow it down by use case to find the ideal system for your training requirements and niche.
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