Everyone who’s been through school knows how classrooms work. You listen to the lectures, take notes, and complete exercises from home. This traditional model has been the standard in education for centuries.
The introduction of computers and the internet has changed that trend. Online classes are becoming more and more popular with schools and businesses, thanks to their versatility and accessibility they offer.
A new form of training known as blended learning has arisen. This approach offers a sophisticated approach that involves more than just putting class materials on a computer. Blended learning enhances the classic classroom model with internet-based, self-paced training and independent study sessions.
How To Use Blended Learning
Blended learning is also known as hybrid training because it combines three main elements into one lesson plan:
- In-person classes that instructors direct (the traditional model)
- Online components with pre-recorded lectures, reading material, PowerPoints, and interactive modules
- Independent studies
This way, participants enjoy both the direct nature of the classroom and the convenience and accessibility of online coursework.
Generally, blended learning training starts mainly with classroom lessons before transitioning to online tools because meeting with your peers face-to-face will facilitate collaboration with them later.
Types of Blended Learning Systems
Because it’s a relatively new invention, hybrid learning has only recently gained traction as technology becomes more accessible to the average person. Companies are still developing their own methods of blended training for their business partners and clients. Here are some models that have proven useful.
- Open classroom. Participants study the material on their machines as an instructor helps out. This approach is ideal for younger learners who enjoy working on the computer.
- Station-based. Learners cycle through three stations throughout the day: one group works with the instructor directly, another group of participants collaborate with each other, and another group studies lecture material on the computer.
- Flipped classes. Flipped classrooms are becoming popular in colleges and came up as a result of hybrid learning’s popularity in business. Students learn lecture materials on their own time at home and perform exercises in class.
Don’t assume that every blended learning environment must fit in with one of these categories. Use your own system if you believe it serves your company well.
The Role of Instructors
Many detractors of hybrid learning claim that it reduces the presence of the instructor-led training component and results in less face-to-face time, which is important for knowledge retention.
However, blended learning still sets many responsibilities for instructors, such as:
- Developing and conducting classroom materials
- Customizing the experience toward each student
- Providing constructive feedback to guide participants in the right direction
- Helping students collaborate both online and offline
How To Implement Blended Training in Business
Hybrid training is becoming popular with companies because instructors can focus more on the application of the material rather than just the content. Also, online classrooms are cheaper to maintain and more accessible to business professionals with busy schedules.
So, where do you get the equipment and software necessary to host online materials for a blended learning environment? Many organizations opt for virtual instructor-led training (VILT) environments and learning management systems (LMSs).
LMSs are an inexpensive and reliable method that outsources the implementation work and technical support to another company. Instead of spending the server resources of your company on a hybrid learning classroom, let CloudShare handle everything for you.
CloudShare: Your Ideal Training Solution
We can guarantee a smooth experience for participants and instructors so that you can focus on the more important aspects of corporate training. Get in touch with us today to see why businesses like VMWare, Fortinet, and Check Point rely so much on our virtual IT labs.