Blended Learning: Aligning Training Content and Methodology
Finding the Right Methods for your Training Content
PowerPoint presentations were once the default option for corporate training. Fortunately, now there are many compelling alternatives, but determining the best method for a specific type of training content can be overwhelming. That’s why so many companies are turning to training vendors.
Pairing your content with the right method can improve training, but doing so effectively can be a challenge. Here are a few examples of how to do so in a way that engages learners and improves performance.
Checklists are a way to channel learner’s motivation to finish the training. People have an innate desire to check off all the boxes once they’ve started, so presenting visual progress keeps learners on task.
More importantly, checklists add order to information that could otherwise seem chaotic. Content can be communicated in small, accessible ways that isolate and emphasize crucial learning steps.
This is especially helpful when it comes to compliance training. Effective content is vital to maintaining regulations, health, and safety. In the case of compliance, checklists can add accountability. “Checking off” steps means an employee has read, understood, and processed that information.
On-Demand Training Content
Half of the battle in instructor-led-training is getting everyone to show up. However, on-demand training is a pretty effective new training method to counteract that problem. It can be applied to virtually any training content type.
On-demand training is most effective when hosted on a flexible learning management system or mobile app that accommodates asynchronous learning. This is great for hospital staff or traveling salespeople that are constantly on the move.
This is also a perfect model for training on procedures that are completed infrequently or don’t require memorization. The training material can be referenced when needed. Consequently, on-demand training is often short, modular tutorials with built-in practice so that the focus is on learning skills rather than specific information. And, the end goal is improving each employee’s individual performance.
YouTube and similar resources have attuned learners to short, focused, and flexible video training instead of long, self-contained ones. Strong storytelling combined with custom-designed videos can energize and humanize training. If a picture says a thousand words, think about what a video can do to revolutionize your company’s training.
But, video itself has different styles, each suited for different learning goals:
Demonstration videos are show-and-tell. This is an effective way to train new skills. Seeing really can be the best way to learn, so this can be valuable for onboarding new employees or brushing up experienced ones.
Dramatizations are fully scripted with professional actors. These video scenarios can model best practices, tell stories, and convey nuance because they’re completely controlled. They’re also particularly useful for portraying real-life situations.
Description videos are commonly referred to as “talking heads.” Hearing someone tell a story and describe their feelings can be incredibly useful in industries where experience is the key to success.
Documentaries combine the previous styles into one. This style helps learners retain information and connect the dots from their actions to the end results. So, they are especially effective in industries where it’s hard to see the big picture on an individual level.
Motion graphics create unique visuals to tell stories. They’re perfect for times when explaining isn’t enough to convey an abstract concept. Motion graphics have limitless potential to combine text, audio, and visual components in creative ways.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Many industries have complex, routine operations that need to be completed in a specific way for safety, quality control, or efficiency. So, when companies need consistency, they must reduce miscommunication and increase compliance.
Standard Operation Procedures, or SOPs, are learning tools that provide a set of step-by-step instructions on how to carry out complex operations correctly. As opposed to other training methods, this one needs to be memorized and/or highly visible and readable. Often SOPs are found in industries where incorrect action can have large-scale consequences, like hospitals, financial institutions, or public utilities.
Because compliance is critical, E-learning modules can host SOPs that are accessible from employees’ devices, precisely-written, and easily-digestible.
Though one of the learning styles discussed above might stand out to you, chances are you see the value in many of these options. That’s why blended learning solutions are so important to consider. They give companies the flexibility to mix and match all the available training methods and content.
Knowing the options and resources available is half the battle. As you collaborate with a training vendor like AllenComm, you’ll have guidance to align training methods with your content, as well as your business goals. Whether you use on-demand, video training, SOPs, or a blend of them all, your workforce will develop skills and knowledge more effectively and efficiently as you embrace relevant types of training methods.