Learning is reaching new heights today thanks to technology & innovation which have taken education and training far beyond the classroom. Today training has become cost-effective and easily accessible on different platforms and multiple learning modules to help employees have an enhanced learning experience.
However, still many organisations are keen on opting traditional learning opportunities along with the newer online learning. Hence, this has resulted in a blended learning approach which offers the best delivery methods from both learning modes to accomplish a specific objective. It includes classroom instruction, online education, paper-based learning, electronic performance support and on-the-job solutions.
However, there are some challenges that blended learning presents that are mentioned below –
Learning too much too quickly
With advancement of learning technologies, education and training is becoming more and more accessible. But simply by using cutting-edge technology in developing learning solutions we cannot ensure that learners will succeed. Using too much technology might make blended learning look too extravagant and students might not take the training seriously. Moreover, new technologies will result in multiple glitches which may result in complete abandonment of the content. The dearth of technical effectiveness can lead to frustration and result in failure of the course. Hence, it is advised not to implement all available technologies at the same time. It is best to start with the easiest and smoothest technology possible.
The traditional mentality
In most cases, learners tend to believe that traditional classroom based learning is more effective and online education is of inferior quality. One of the reasons for this is that we thinks that familiar options and situation can lead to success. Most of us believe that in a classroom setting, the participation, effort, behavior, performance and progress of the learners are better assessed and analysed. When we shift learning to a technology-inclined platform, these parameters are changed from familiar to unknown.
Making a self-directed learning course effective and successful takes a lot of effort. Hence, facilitators, managers and Learning and Development professionals should have the willingness and confidence to completely support the course. Moreover, learners must be smartly and efficiently introduced to the training programme.
Managing & assessing progress
In an academic and professional training programme, one of the most demanding things to to do is keeping track of students’ progress. This problem also exists in blended learning and it cannot be ignored. Even after completing an entire an online course, if the learners do not develop a comprehensive understanding of the topic, then the programme has failed. Hence, we need to track both self-paced and classroom components of the blended learning approach in order to make sure that the learning is effective and beneficial.
To make sure that actual learning and training occurs, assessment must be introduced and implemented for online learning along with classroom education. Results should be tracked, monitored, measured and used to determine whether all requirements for learning have been satisfactorily met.
The bottom line
With effective planning and management, online education can be implemented successfully for training in organisations. The benefits offered by blended learning can be effectively enjoyed by the participants and the companies when all aspects, instructional, organisational & technical, are considered.
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