Use your LMS to deliver blended learning
Blended learning is a learning delivery method which mixes conventional teacher-classroom methods with more progressive self-paced training involving media-rich content. The benefits of blended learning, when used in conjunction with other methods, have the potential to increase learner engagement and encourage learners to hold on to all of the information.
Aside from the benefits to the learner there are many ways in which blended learning can help the administrative side of your training. Managing hundreds of students, all of whom need to attend classes and seminars and complete tests, is complicated. Blended learning can potentially alleviate some of these issues as it hands power to the learner to complete the training in their own time.
Have a solid learning plan in place
The first thing you will need to do when considering how best to implement blended learning is to have the training needs of your organization clear and defined.
Do your research – what sort of material are you wanting to deliver? Is there scope for blended learning within your needs? It’s no use thinking about blended learning if the material you are training your workforce on doesn’t lend itself to rich and dynamic media content.
Be aware of your audience, and how they will be using the content. Paradiso LMS offers blended learning together with mobile learning, which lets your learners continue their training whenever they want on on whatever device. However if the majority of your workforce doesn’t have access to training outside the workplace, then there is no point thinking about blended learning and mobile learning.
The most important thing is that your learning needs fall in line with your business goals. If you can deliver blended learning that drives other initiatives, then it could save you money and improve other areas of your business.
Decide what combination of blended learning best suits you
The best LMS platforms have a number of blended learning options available to you, and if you are going to be designing your own content then it’s important that you understand how they can help.
Blended learning as I have said is a combination of traditional techniques with cutting edge methods. The closest thing an LMS has to a classroom is, rather imaginatively, called the Virtual Classroom. Paradiso LMS’s virtual classroom integrates with major corporate video conferencing software, such as Adobe Connect, WebEx or BigBlueButton, so if your workforce is already familiar with these then that’s one less thing you have to train them on.
With Paradiso LMS you have several options, including:
- Gamification is the use of game dynamics and strategy in learning. It’s fun and engaging for the learner and keeps them interested.
- Social Learning encourages collaboration and understands that the learning process doesn’t stop when the learner leaves the classroom. With the evolution of SCORM, Tin Can Api, informal and formal learning activities that take place outside of the LMS can be tracked and analyzed. No more missed training sessions you have to reschedule (or at least not as many).
- Mobile Learning allows learners to continue the learning process at their leisure and on thee device of their choice. Giving them the power to choose when and where they learn opens up new possibilities for learners who previously couldn’t be reached.
Ensure that all stakeholders are on board
Before you implement blended learning in your organization it is critical that all those who will be using the LMS know what to do with it – not just the learners but all instructors and admins too.
Paradiso LMS has been intuitively designed to make navigation easy, but unless everyone is trained time and resources will be lost. Training them up will also give you the opportunity to let them know of the benefits that an LMS with blended learning can bring and how best to harness them. The social features of Paradiso LMS can be of great use in this.
Produce exciting and dynamic blended content
It’s all very well having everyone in the know, but if you don’t leverage the power available to you through your LMS then you may as well not bother.
Paradiso Composer, our web-based course authoring tool, gives you the resources you need to create fun and engaging SCORM-compliant elearning material. Using it you can collaborate in real time with other course designers thanks to several social features, include gamification, easily import PowerPoint presentations and include a number of cool special effects, among several other great features.
Assessments that were previously manual can be brought online. Administrators can manage them and track performance from the LMS, and learners can get easy access to take the test online when it is convenient for them.
Once you have followed all of these steps and have a good training strategy in place, your training will be streamlined and there will be a number of benefits to your company and the learners taking part. The idea of blended learning is not to replace the teacher and the classroom (although who knows what the situation will be like in years to come) but to complement it with engaging content which gives them a breath of fresh air.
If you are thinking of implementing blended learning, or if you are looking for an LMS which supports it, then we would love to speak to you.