In a previous article on blended learning, I mentioned that it’s a bit like a smoothie—with ingredients like e-learning, instructor-led training, mentoring, and performance support all blended together. And while whipping up a blended learning strategy that includes different ingredients can help ensure learners get a balanced meal of knowledge, skill-building, support, and practice, including e-learning doesn’t always mean serving up e-learning courses followed by instructor-led training.
Let’s take a closer look at four fresh ideas for incorporating some new flavors of e-learning into the smoothie!
1. Use some creative quizzing to help sustain learning
For many critical training topics (diversity comes to mind) you might be thinking about blended learning as a way to help change your organization’s culture over time. One of the challenges that makes sustained learning and change difficult is that it’s easy for folks to slip back into old ways of thinking. That’s where some engaging quizzes can help to periodically grab their attention and reinvigorate their thinking.
2. Break the ice with an interactive interview
Mentoring and job shadowing are a common part of blended learning programs. But time spent with mentors and mentees getting to know one another can be hard to come by. Why not let e-learning help break the ice between learners and mentors, making their time together even more productive?
For example, you could do a webcam interview of mentors, asking them key questions about themselves and their organization. Then, using an authoring tool like Articulate Storyline 360, you could create interactive interviews, like the one outlined here, to make that video into a short, engaging tool for getting learners up to speed on their new mentor(s). Not only is it a nifty little icebreaker, it’s a nice time-saver when you've got a steady stream of people going through a mentoring program.
3. Try decision-making scenarios to build problem-solving skills
Scenario-based learning is a powerful way to immerse learners and challenge them to think critically. A good way to give learners a chance to safely practice handling tough situations is to give them a decision-making scenario. Decision-making scenarios give learners the chance to sink their teeth into a tough problem, and safely experience the consequences of their choices.
4. Provide easy-to-access performance support content
Sometimes you need to get people up to speed on a lot of detailed information. Take new product training, for example. New product training is ideal for a blended strategy that incorporates elements like product knowledge training, sales coaching, and performance support to make sure learners can deliver a flawless customer experience.
In this Rise performance support demo, we've taken loads of technical specs about smartphones and condensed them into this handy quick reference guide that’s easy to navigate from any device. Can you imagine how helpful something like this would be to a newly trained sales associate?
There are loads of ways you can get creative with your blended learning strategy. The ones I’ve covered here are specific to e-learning, but a blended program gives you lots of opportunities for innovation. Before you go, check 10 Things You Could Create Instead of an E-Learning Course for even more ideas.
And if you’re looking for more information about blended learning, don’t miss these helpful resources:
- Storyline 2: Guide to Blended Learning
- A Quick Primer on Blended Learning
- When Is Blended Learning the Right Strategy?
What fresh ingredients are you adding to your blended learning strategy? Share them with us by leaving a comment below, or posting your pointers in our Building Better Courses forum.
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