Give Classroom Training A Boost

Adult educators (AEs) can do more to harness the benefits of blended learning.

Blended learning that combines the strengths of traditional and online learning takes the best of both worlds to make for an engaging and effective mode of learning.

Adult educators (AEs) can do more to harness the benefits of blended learning, as illustrated in the white paper “Blended Learning: The way ahead for an ‘always learning’ organisation”. A good Learning Management System-based blended learning programme can help redefine the way classroom training is conducted, making it much more effective.

To raise the level of the learning outcome, the authors propose that learning objectives should take precedence over everything else. AEs should first set clear learning objectives before choosing the best mix of channels and delivery methods to fulfil their objectives.

To illustrate their point, the authors provide two scenarios:

Scenario 1:
In a typical classroom training session

  • The trainer uses learning resources such as a presentation and teaches various concepts to the class
  • The learners are encouraged to ask questions after the presentation
  • The session will end with a paper-based activity session
  • Handouts of the presentation/study material are given to the learners

Scenario 2:
In a session that uses blended learning

  • The trainer shares a calendar with the session participants and ask them to complete online assessments before the sessions
  • The trainer asks the learners to take a few basic courses which will help them have a better grasp concepts later explained in the face-to-face session
  • The interactive presentation is tweaked based on the pre-session assessment results; topics are introduced/removed based on the learner profile
  • The presentation has links to YouTube videos, and encourages all learners to play a five-minute game on their systems
  • Polls and assessments during the face-to-face sessions help the trainer understand how well the class has grasped the topic
  • Assignments can be finished online, when the learners are back at their workstations

Even though the learner, training content and topic remain the same, Scenario 2 illustrates how the way knowledge is shared and disseminated, and the learning outcome, has been completely transformed. This results in increased learner engagement and a higher quality of knowledge sharing in real time.

In addition, for the training providers, it would also be possible to ensure that every dollar spent is accounted for with the technology-enabled Learning Management Systems (LMS), and learning becomes a measurable outcome.

This article first appeared in IALeads (April 2015 issue), an e-magazine from the Institute for Adult Learning.

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