Using Blended Learning
Types of Blended Learning
- Face-to-face driver – where the teacher drives the instruction and augments with digital tools.
- Rotation – students cycle through a schedule of independent online study and face-to-face classroom time.
- Flex – Most of the curriculum is delivered via a digital platform and teachers are available for face-to-face consultation and support.
- Self-blend – Students choose to augment their traditional learning with online coursework.
- Online driver – Students complete an entire course through an online platform with possible teacher check-ins. All curriculum and teaching are delivered via a digital platform and face-to-face meetings are scheduled or made available if necessary.
Many companies put up content on the LMS, add a quiz and sit their trainees in front of a computer and expect world-class learning to take place. This is fine if the company has put the required research and expertize into the courses created, and created a comprehensive course for their trainees to complete. but more often than not they will trim it down, leave out or take out what they deem to be materials that are not required for the trainee to complete the training on their own. They give the trainee little face-to-face time or hands-on time to learn the skills they require for their role in the company. This is especially true of many businesses in the hospitality sector as they need to use staff ASAP, this leads to bad service, not because the trainee is bad at their job, but because of the lack of blended learning within the business and not focusing on the training needs of the trainee.
How Blended Learning Works
Blended learning is best done (in my opinion) when we use online learning systems to deliver courses to trainees that they can take at their own pace, along with practical on the job training that is checked against the checklist for the online training for the particular course, and face-to-face time with a mentor when to answer any questions or issues that the online and practical training has not answered completely for the trainee.
As an example, one of the courses that I roll out frequently is that of Food Safety & HACCP, and this is a subject that requires both online, classroom and face-to-face time with a mentor to ensure that the trainee receives a full understanding of Food Safety & HACCP, and can demonstrate in a real workplace situation what actions need to be taken to ensure that all food produced or handled, meets the legal requirements and limitations that are there to protect the trainee, company and the customer or end user. It’s simply not good enough to assume that because the trainee has acquired the knowledge through online learning that they are ok to work in a commercial service kitchen environment. In the face-t0-face with the mentor, the trainee must demonstrate all four types of contamination, high and low-risk food, chemicals, required temperatures and the range of critical control points that control the flow of production through the kitchen before they are signed off to work in the commercial kitchen.
In my research, I have found that trainees who completed the online training only, remembered less than 40% of the content if they returned to work within two days and that if they returned to work after three days that figure dropped to 25%. I also found that trainees who completed the online training and the practical & face-to-face retained 80% of the training even after being away for a week.
Getting Best Results
Using blended has proven to bring better results to the trainees as they get to us a wide variety of tools to complete their learning, from pretests, videos, text, interactions, PDF’s evaluation quizzes, practicals and face-to-face mentors. This gives the trainee the highest rate of succeeding in the workplace. This also allows us to tailor our practicals and mentoring to suit each trainee and their learning styles. Trainees that go through blended learning programmes retain more information than trainees that don online training alone.
Using proper blended training will allow you to train your trainees to a very high standard and also will result in a greater retention rate of trainees. If you tell a trainee what to do they will remember less than 20% of the lesson, if you show them how to do it they will remember up to 50% of the lesson and if you allow them to do the task themselves, they will remember up to 80% of the lesson. Learning takes the form of the following for most learners:
Tell the Trainee (up to 20%)
Tell your trainee how to do the task required. Make sure that you give them enough information that they can absorb, but not so much that you overwhelm them.
Show the Trainee (up to 50%)
Show your trainee how to do the task. Talk through the process and encourage the trainee to take notes or draw diagrams.
Let the Trainee Do the Task (up to 80%)
Allow your trainee to do the task and to talk through the task with you to show their understanding of the task and/or instructions at hand.
Review the trainee’s work and give constructive feedback so that they can correct any issues that they encountered in the task.
Let the Trainee Apply the Task & Fly (up to 100%)
Allow the trainee to practice and apply the newly acquired knowledge in real life task and let them spread their wings and fly.
The more options and ways of learning that you can offer your trainees and the more time you put in to researching what blended learning system is right for your trainees, then the more successful your training will be and your trainees will have a solid grounding and knowledge of the tasks required and how to implement them in the workplace.
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