The e-learning movement is now hitting the realistic zone. We always knew e-learning won’t completely replace our traditional face to face sessions. While many organizations have realized significant cost savings with e-learning. There are some new challenges that have surfaced. The most important one being not losing “personal touch” and ensuring engagement. So we want e-learning but not at the cost of personal touch with the audience.
I am sure if you have been keeping a tab on learning methodologies Blended learning must have come your way.
Challenges Differ for Trainers and Organization
Recent tech advances have turned the tide in favor of flexibility. Disruptive innovation and design thinking is replacing one size fits all solutions. This particularly throws up some unique challenges.
Challenges for Big Organizations:
Adaptability and speed of implementation is a major concern. Bureaucratic processes and systems might significantly delay evolution in learning methodologies. If you want in on blended learning bandwagon you got to cross more than 1 hurdle.
- Buy in from management
- Buy in from internal L&D stakeholders
- Positioning blended learning within the organization
- Acceptance of blended learning methodologies by employees
- Training trainers to use blended learning
- Acquiring / Choosing ownership strategy on LMS
- Sourcing strategy and vendor management for blended learning design and implementation
- Continuous feedback loop, testing and improvising pedagogy for achieving the learning goals.
In this light the ownership of Learning and development rises to a whole new level. Organizations stand to gain significant competitive advantage. But this needs speed and agility along with high level of commitment to make it a success.
Challenges for Freelance Trainers:
Freelance trainers with “signature” modules can explode the value proposition with blended learning. Not just that they can actually benefit from standardization on module delivery. Tracking effectiveness and keeping a tab on what’s working can enable freelancers to improvise on learning pedagogy and value they bring in the classrooms.
However again there are some challenges before we get there…
- Design/Re-design of learning modules with blended learning in mind
- Pitching and acceptance of blended learning as a package for corporate clients
- Zeroing in on a LMS to execute blended learning
- Execution of blended learning modules (Tech, Delivery, Usage)
- Using data and information available to enhance learning experience
- Challenges on sourcing and vendor management. (Quality and Cost)
- Instructional design to supplement ground reality, learning goals, usage and implementation.
- Making blended learning collaborative, creative, engaging and memorable.
- Pricing the blended learning modules with standard freelance trainings.
- Willingness to keep testing and changing the learning strategy to suit learning goals.
Blended learning is about design based on outcomes. With that in mind content delivery and learning activities need to go hand in hand. This needs a thoughtful integration between trainer, learner and course design. Blended learning is not making your existing “course x into course x and a half” and everyone needs to be clear on the expectations.
Blended learning is a great opportunity to address learning from varied angles. You can think “out of the box” on instructional strategies and learning activities. Don’t shy away from using extensive activities that drive home the learning goals. Think of Discussions, Lab, On the job training, field trips, group work, online activities, lectures to individual projects and reports and more…
What do you think? Is that a good assessment of Blended learning challenges faced by corporate and freelancers? Agree or Disagree have any inputs? Just let us know by leaving a comment.
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