Three Tips for Successful Blended Learning

evanhackel_7.jpegWhat is blended training? If you ask that question to a group of people, chances are most of them will reply that it is a mixture of live training, online training and possibly mobile training. Those people are correct. Blended learning often includes exactly those approaches to teaching skills and information. But blended training can also bundle in job aids, work simulations, and the opportunity to read articles and explore other resources.

After all, there are many different ways to convey information. But the strength of blended learning lies in more than variety, because it addresses the reality that different people like to learn in different ways. Another advantage is that blended learning offers the opportunity to repeat the same information in ways that remain interesting, because they are presented in different formats. And being repetitive is not a bad thing in training. It actually increases the likelihood that people will absorb the information you are trying to convey.

To reap those benefits from blended learning, I would recommend that you apply the following principles.

Key One: Know the End Up Front

What is it that you want your training to accomplish? Without having clear goals and knowing how to measure them, it is impossible to have high-quality training. To improve the results of training, be sure to explain to your trainees what you want them to learn. Defining and communicating clear goals is a critical first step in training success.

Key Two:  Repetition is important

The more often learners are exposed to the learning concept, the more likely they will properly absorb the information. Repetition for repetition’s sake doesn’t make sense. However via blended learning you can achieve repetition by using different mediums. This way you achieve the benefits of repetition in a manner that isn’t irritating to the learner.

Key Three: Always Provide Opportunities for Trainees to Demonstrate What They Have Learned

When people have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned, your training “sticks.” So no matter which setting trainees are in, be sure to offer assessments, simulations, quizzes and interactive exercises that allow them to show they have gained the knowledge you wanted them to.

Key Four: Limit the Number of Concepts You Will Include in Your Training

When franchises try to cram too much information into every owner’s head, the result is like trying to get them to drink from a firehose. They cannot absorb everything, so they feel overwhelmed and actually learn less.

The solution is to think creatively and strategically about which things need to be trained, and when. What are the most important skills and knowledge to teach brand new owners, for example? Which skills can be taught later, when owners have opened locations? Which concepts should be taught even later, when owners are staffing up, or getting involved in marketing and expanding?

Success comes from having a process in place that allows you to identify what matters most, and when.

Key Concepts . . .

  • Define your goals carefully.
  • Create an engaging mix of different training delivery vehicles. Allow them to act as reinforcement for the others.
  • Remember that being repetitive – in the right ways – is part of good training, not something to avoid.
  • Strategically limit the concepts you will cover in your training. Sometimes the things you decide not to include have the biggest effect in creating great training.

Evan Hackel is a 35-year franchising veteran as both a franchisor and franchisee. He is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Principal and Founder of Ingage Consulting in Woburn, Massachusetts. Evan is the host of Training Unleashed and author of Ingaging Leadership. Evan speaks on Seeking Excellence, Better Together, Ingaging Leadership and Attitude is Everything. To hire Evan as a speaker, visit www.evanspeaksfranchising.com.

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