Blended Learning to Reduce Costs

Fully one-third of the 172 learning professionals who attended a Webinar last week cited “cost reduction” as a main reason for incorporating blended learning. Also high on the list were

Fully one-third of the 172 learning professionals who attended a Webinar last week cited “cost reduction” as a main reason for incorporating blended learning. Also high on the list were geographic limitations (28 percent).

The Webinar, titled “How to Successfully Migrate Traditional Training to Blended E-learning,” was co-sponsored by Elearning! magazine, Atlantic Link (now Kaplan IT) and Citrix GoToWebinar. The speakers were Dr. Richard Hyde of Atlantic Link and Connie Stephens, a performance consultant for RBC Bank USA.

The audience was split almost 50-50 between those who did and didn’t use blended learning before the days of e-learning.

Those who have used a blended learning solution overwhelmingly (two-thirds) cited the development of computer-based modules as the element that took the most time and effort. In practice, the most time-sensitive element was converting content to computer-based materials (two months). Converting to instructor-led content took just two weeks, while mentoring programs took about a month.

Ten “best practices” were cited by Stephens as necessary to creating a blended learning program:

1) Know your audience.

2) Obtain management buy-in.

3) Ensure that the content being migrated to e-learning is appropriate for the media.

4) Require completion of prerequisite learning for attendance in classroom training (make attendance a reward).

5) Pilot the program first. Solicit feedback, and build time into the development plan for revisions.

6) Collaborate with SMEs early in the development process.

7) Establish an effective measurement system.

8) Ensure the ability to keep content current.

9) Establish a coaching/mentoring program to reinforce the learning.

10) Have fun!

Fifty-four percent of the attendees said that they would use, or have used, at least seven of those best practices when developing their own blended learning programs.

For more information on Elearning! magazine’s Webinars, visit our Website, www.2elearning.com.

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