In the world of learning and development, there is a growing need for different styles of training and teaching in a business or work environment. Whilst there are plenty of different academic to vocational learning courses on offer, I feel that there needs to be a better link on how a person can specifically develop themselves to grow into their own personal goals whilst meeting the key performance criteria of the organisation. Within L&D, many different learning options exist, both online or through the traditional path of workshops and training days, however, the world of professional development seems to be few and far between in terms of learning and developing options which combine them both or use them both to make a stronger delivery.
This is something which has interested me and continues to be of interest to myself and the team to incorporate blended learning into the programmes which we offer in BRITEthink. It takes many stages of detailed planning and perfecting the right story to tell with a range of online learning options, even more of a challenge is to then ensure that this process fits in with the workshops and coaching which we incorporate into the on-site delivery. We recently worked with a UK national logistics organisation to bring in not just a short “one-off” training programme, but to create a continuous learning programme which is designed to go on over the 12 months where the team members have access to face to face and an online portal which we have created with a collection of learning videos and activities; this was brought in as a flipped learning approach, this means that a majority of the core learning actually happened before each month face to face training in the business premises took place. Personally, I feel that this was great; when we met the team at each specific location, they already had a lot of the background knowledge thanks to this process which enabled us to create a more engaging session when we came to meet them.
For me, this style of learning really enabled us to have continuous communication with the team and stopped the days of team members just coming to a session and taking notes off the powerpoint, mainly because this was already completed from the online resources prior, something which always included content from different a different range of styles. This could be a piece to camera learning, animation or live sessions with each session being short, sweet and to the point. These blended learning courses happened in a variety of subject areas which we were delivering to different teams in the business, ranging from developing leadership and strategic planning skills to understanding how the team can be better creative thinkers, conflict resolvers and generally building up and growing better innovation.
I don’t think online learning will ever completely replace the interaction which we get in corporate training and I don’t believe in short online-only courses for the work setting. To make this work, the link between both elements and making content online available in preparation is how a trainer and facilitator needs to start to think about the process of learning and making this more continuous. The flipped learning approach is working with us and I have heard numerous accounts of this being strong in high school settings from the states where teachers are delivering online and then homework now turns into group work and is completed in a classroom setting. What needs to be delivered into the work setting is something like this and something which brings the sparkle and magic back to traditional methods whilst embracing technology and its uses to the practice more.