Blended Learning-How to strike the right balance between e-learning and a one day class

I am currently designing a blending learning experience for our managers. The subject is how to conduct an behavioral interview. The class portion will be a day session with them doing mock interviews and getting certified. I don't want to spend a lot of time review basic information is why I suggested doing an e-learning before the class with a discussion board. I was going to do a quick review over the e-learning in the morning class with interactive activities to reinforce learning and not lecture. Does anyone have any advice on how long the e-learning portion should be and how to blend both classes? It is my first time creating a blending course and would welcome any insights. Thanks

9 Replies
Trina Rimmer

Hi Wanda. What an interesting design challenge! It sounds like you're planning to leverage e-learning as a kind of pre-work for the instructor-led session? If so, I think it would be cool to, as you suggest, use e-learning to introduce the basic concepts, perhaps with a narrative thread you could carry over into the classroom. The e-learning might introduce a cast of characters or a story and then the classroom day could pick up where the e-learning leaves off - almost like a cliff-hanger. 

Hope that gives you some ideas to start!

Bob S

Here's an idea I've done before on a similar topic using notable characters. Consider developing characters that make the stereotypical choices (including the right ones!)For example.... Hank always asks close-ended questions in every interview, don't be Hank! 

Then during the live session you can use the character pictures to quickly reintroduce the key concepts/pitfalls.... "So what did Hank struggle with during interviews?"  or "What was the thing Susie always did well?" 

You may be surprised how much easier it is for folks to remember things during a role play if they can see/hear "Hank" in their head  rather then "what's a close ended question again?"

Allison LaMotte

Hi Wanda! I would say that it is less about how long it should be, and more about what the learners need to know prior to the in-class portion of the training. Try to cut out any extraneous content and stick to the information that they absolutely must know in order to be able to participate in the in-class training.

Harri S

Hi Wanda, one thing you may need to consider is how much time is going to pass inbetween the online learning and the classroom sessions. If you're looking at a couple of weeks people will probably still remembet the online learning when they attend the workshop, if you're more likely to be looking at a month or two you may need to look at ways of keeping people enagaged and ticking over in the meantime.

Rebekah Massmann

Hi Wanda! I love this idea, it's a great topic for a blended approach. One constraint you may need to consider is how well your learners follow instructions. Will they do pre-work? If they don't, is it/will it be enforced by not allowing them in class? This depends a lot on your organizational culture, and it could impact the type of content you include. 

john faulkes

Wanda, in the eLearning pre, you have a great opportunity to simulate exactly what managers would do normally before conducting interviews: looking through the applicants' details, Resumes and forming plans. Why not focus the pre work around this - it would lock the two pieces of the training togethe.

Holly MacDonald

Wanda - almost all of my solutions are blended, I find that training on its own (e-learning or not) isn't enough to really help people apply what they've learned. I've found that thinking about it as a process or path towards learning and applying what they've learned is a powerful way to design.

One of the ideas that I had when reading your post was to include a survey in the pre work that asked them to share their challenges when it came to interviewing, which would give you some insight into what to spend time on in the in-person portion. You could also include a video assignment (where you propose a scenario and ask them to share how they'd approach it). 

I would also build in a portion of the e-learning that you could call "preparing for your first interview" that summarizes how they might apply what they've learned. You could include it in the course and might even publish it separately. I also think you should consider a "post" training element. It could be as simple as an email that follows up with them asking them about their ability to apply and includes a link to the elearning piece that preps them for their interview. 

Hope that helps!