Blended learning combines face-to-face with online training to create more memorable corporate eLearning experiences. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 5 blended learning activities you should consider for your corporate eLearning program.
How To Create A Memorable Corporate eLearning Course: 5 Blended Learning Activities To Include
Blended learning is a natural fit for corporate eLearning. Organizations have the power to provide personalized instructor-led training while still making the most of modern technology. Thus, employees can improve their skills, familiarize themselves with new tasks, and refresh their product knowledge whenever it fits into their schedules. They also have the ability to get one-on-one support to overcome workplace challenges and improve performance behaviors.
Here are 5 blended learning activities that you should consider for your next corporate eLearning course.
1. Skill-Centered Branching Scenarios
Discuss a specific skill that employees require in the workplace, and then encourage them to participate in a branching scenario. The scenario should focus on sub-skills and traits that lay foundations. For example, communication skills involve body language and other non-verbal cues. As such, the branching scenario might include eLearning characters with different personalities and facial expressions. Employees must use all of the “clues” to identify what the customer needs and how they can provide service.
After your corporate learners complete the branching scenario you can evaluate their performance. This also gives you the opportunity to recommend supplemental online training activities to fill skill gaps.
Tip: Conduct pre-assessments to determine what your employees already know and what you need to include in your corporate eLearning curriculum. On-the-job observations also allow you to identify which skills are associated with everyday tasks. For example, troubleshooting a tech problem may involve a variety of skills and abilities that are missing from your corporate eLearning program.
2. Training Webinars
Webinars are online training events where employees can ask questions and interact with their peers.
Typically, webinars are held through web conferencing software that features instant messaging tools. In most cases, they can also be recorded so that busy employees can still benefit from the online training experience. Be sure to schedule your webinar session well in advance and send out reminders a day or two prior.
Also, provide a general outline of what you’ll be discussing, as well as how employees are expected to participate. This allows them to plan ahead and create a list of questions or talking points that they would like to address. The moderator, or host, can answer the questions live during the event and ask for employee feedback.
3. Task-Based Blogs
Blogs are great stepping stones for reluctant employees, especially those who aren’t comfortable with technology.
Break your corporate learners into groups and then give each a task-related topic. Ask them to create a blog or website that highlights different aspects of the process, such as the steps involved. They can also create posts about the skills that are associated with the task and offer tips to improve efficiency.
There are a variety of free blogging sites that feature blog templates and themes. So, your employees don’t need any graphic or web design experience to create engaging online training content. This collaborative activity also gives them the chance to improve their technology and teamwork skills.
Tip: Create a guide that employees can use to get the blog up and running. Include links to popular blogging platforms, as well as articles and online tutorials that walk them through the sign up process. Once they’ve completed the site, develop a master list that features every blog so that they can give and receive feedback.
4. Online Training Simulations As Diagnostic Tools
Multiple choice and true or false exams can determine how much an employee knows. But simulations tell you how well they know it.
Corporate eLearning is more about improving proficiency and performance than delivering mass quantities of information. Thus, realistic online training simulations are one of the most effective diagnostic tools. After you’ve discussed the topic at length and completed the online training activities, ask your corporate learners to participate in the workplace simulation. Make sure it includes all of the key concepts you just covered, as well as pre-existing knowledge. This helps improve knowledge retention and understanding by relating new ideas to old information.
Tip: Employees don’t have a lot of spare time in their schedule. For this reason, it’s important to keep your simulation as brief as possible. In fact, try to keep it under 10 minutes and make it mobile-friendly, so that they can participate anytime, anywhere. In addition, each simulation should focus on one specific topic or task to avoid cognitive overload.
Targeted online training activities also serve as valuable “just in time” support online resources. For example, the employee can participate in a simulation when they are helping a customer and need help completing the process.
5. Social Media Support
Social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, can be transformed into engaging and interactive support online training tools.
Create a blended learning page or LinkedIn group for your corporate eLearning program, and invite employees to join. Set some netiquette rules so that everyone knows what to expect, and post regularly to keep the discussion moving.
Another option is starting a corporate eLearning YouTube channel that features online tutorials, presentations, and recorded webinars. Most social media sites also have built-in feedback tools, such as Facebook and YouTube polls. As a result, you can learn more about your employees’ needs, goals, and how to improve your online corporate eLearning strategy. Last, but not least, take advantage of the notification and calendar features to keep your employees in the loop. For example, let them know about an upcoming online training session that they won’t want to miss.
No successful blended learning strategy is complete without clear goals and a well-organized plan. Keep in mind that technology must have a place and a purpose. Every app, online resource, and activity has to support the learning objectives and tie into the instructor-led training. If not, then it may simply be a distraction rather than a valuable online training tool.
Do you know the difference between blended and flipped learning? Read the article Blended Learning vs Flipped Learning: Can You Tell The Difference? that compares and contrasts these two popular learning approaches so that you can determine which is best for your corporate eLearning course.