In today’s hybridized on-site and remote work environment, there's a rising demand for corporate training.
Businesses have to find more reliable and effective ways to train their employees without raising costs. That’s where hybrid learning comes in.
It allows learners to study at their own convenient pace, and in the comfort of their office or home. Learners can skip ahead or rewatch material as needed, without being hindered by others in the group who might be faster or slower.
Furthermore, additional resources can be made accessible to improve the entire learning experience even more.
Read on to discover what hybrid learning is and the reasons why you should integrate it into your business’s learning management system (LMS).
Learning is a never ending process
What is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning is an educational approach that combines traditional classroom methods with online resources and opportunities for interaction.
In this model, some students can attend class in person while others take part from home. In essence, this type of hybrid approach combines instructor-led classroom experience with self-paced online learning objectives.
This is one of the most reliable methods for employee training as it provides learners with elements that represent the best of both worlds.
On the one hand, students can get individual attention, and get additional explanations on any concepts they need help with.
On the other hand, the self-paced aspect of the learning course will allow trainees the flexibility to learn whenever and wherever is most convenient for them - which is perfect for busy employees.
Important Note: Hybrid learning is different from blended learning. Blended learning combines online resources with in-person education. This means that some of the activities are conducted online while others are done in the classroom.
However, in hybrid learning, students have the option of choosing whether to learn online or participate in person.
Hybrid learning not only enhances corporate training effectiveness and reduces training costs, but also offers the following benefits:
- Boosts knowledge retention
- Facilitates a more flexible training schedule
- Enhances application of learning
- Offers peer-to-peer learning opportunities
How Can Hybrid Learning Be Integrated into an LMS?
Hybrid learning can be integrated into online course platforms used by an SMB or enterprise-level business as long as it has the following essential features:
Hybrid Learning is here to stay
- Learning Paths: This feature gives you more control over the learning process so you can provide or limit access accordingly.
- Social Learning Tools: These include forums, real-time chat, web conferencing, calendars, announcements, events, etc.
- Virtual Classrooms: You can use webinar software to give trainees a classroom experience from wherever they are - at home, at the workstation, or anywhere else.
- Analytics and Reporting Tools: These tools offer administrators feedback on how learners are performing so they can adjust and optimize the training.
Here are some helpful tips for putting these important features into use:
- Use the LMS for Content Delivery: Include video files, audios, written documents, live/recorded webinars, etc. in your training courses in order to accommodate different learning styles and engage students both in and out of the classroom.
- Create Learning Paths for Students: You can use customization tools to develop flexible learning paths for all. Instructors can then differentiate lessons based on the needs of individual trainees.
- Develop and Conduct Assessments Online: You can create or import assessments into the LMS with all or part auto-graded to help determine effective learning paths for individual students. This can also be used to group students for maximum benefit.
- Provide Space for Interactions: Integrate social media and/or discussion forums into your LMS to help bring your virtual classroom to life and encourage meaningful interactions.
- Incorporate Hands-on Activities Online: Create activities that merge face-to-face instruction with online activities to extend your classroom reach. You can use tools that allow students to collaborate on projects, hold private discussions, share content, etc.
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7 Reasons to Integrate Hybrid Learning Into Your Business’s LMS
The benefits of implementing hybrid learning are many. And while there are many different outside resources you can use, LMS remains one of the best and most reliable methods available to make this task as easy as possible.
Below is a list of reasons why such an integration is beneficial for your business.
1. A Flexible Learning Experience
In the wake of COVID-19, there are new forms of hybridized on-site and remote work that have developed, most of which demand a new approach to working and learning.
Integrating hybrid learning into the LMS will allow businesses to create a flexible learning experience when training and re-training employees.
Both online and face-to-face learning have their benefits and hybrid learning combines those two formats to offer unmatched flexibility so people can learn in the best and most convenient way for them.
For instance, some people are visual learners while others like audio. Some prefer kinesthetic learning or even a unique mix of all three. Either way, integrating hybrid leading into your business LMS allows you to provide students with a flexible learning experience while building a community. It also allows you to increase flexibility in the following:
- The learning schedule
- Teaching modes
- Engaging with different learning materials
- Collaborating with peers
- Communicating with instructors
… and much more.
Employees with different learning styles can all benefit from a hybrid learning solution, which is why it makes sense for organizations to integrate it into their LMS.
2. Boost Corporate Training Effectiveness
Invest in Corporate training for better productivity
A hybrid learning environment is highly efficient for both students and instructors. In addition to being flexible, this learning method also helps to improve learning and boost corporate training effectiveness.
It allows instructors to make the best use of their time instructing students in the classroom, and learners can complete certain portions of the course online.
The main reason why hybrid learning is so effective is that the combination of multimedia and instructional experiences delivers a rich learning experience that is repeatable.
Research has shown that involving multiple senses helps learners retain more information, and therefore it is this aspect of hybrid learning that is most beneficial for facilitating more efficient employee training.
You can maximize retention of your training courses by including various training models, such as:
- Classroom workshops
- One-on-one tutoring sessions
- Instructor-led training
- Real-life projects
… and much more.
With such a rich mix of training modes, your hybrid learning system will help you achieve much higher engagement levels from trainees, and ultimately boost corporate training effectiveness.
3. Efficient Use of Business Resources
These days, there is widespread access to digital technologies that can supplement different forms of learning, including hybrid learning. By integrating this learning approach into your LMS, you make it easier for employees to make full use of the resources available to them.
Students don't have to participate in in-person classes when online alternatives are available, and instructors can avoid the frustration of attending a class only to find that all the students are doing their work virtually. In fact, instructors can even use a podcast hosting platform to record supplementary lectures or learning materials for students for future use.
These tools make it easier to plan the course syllabus, schedule classes, and set hours for virtual or face-to-face instruction so resources can be allocated accordingly for optimal use.
4. Lowers Training Costs
For the most part, holding training workshops, lectures, or conferences in a physical location is costly for the business. But, with hybrid learning, students can access courses online. All they need is a computer or smartphone and an internet connection.
Reduce training costs with hybrid learning
This cuts down dramatically on costs, making hybrid learning the most affordable way to train employees in many businesses.
Furthermore, this method of learning requires fewer instructions and less physical space compared to traditional learning models. Additionally, you can purchase PLR courses at a much lower cost than if you were to create your own. This means that upscaling employees can be done at a significantly lower cost, allowing you to dramatically improve your return on investment (ROI).
You save on everything from:
- Instructor fees
- Training materials
- Travel expenses
- Location expenses
… and much more.
Your company will be able to implement distance learning on a worldwide scale while dramatically softening the impact that training and re-training have on your daily operations, as well as the employees themselves.
5. Effective Time Management
Hybrid learning helps time management
Yet another reason to integrate hybrid learning into your business’s LMS is that it allows you to effectively manage your time. Time management is something that is essential when it comes to upskilling employees.
With hybrid learning, individual students can find ways to use their time effectively. For example, in a situation where one of your employees cannot attend a lecture in person, they have the flexibility of participating in that same class online from anywhere in the world and at any time.
Course participants can choose the lessons that work best for them according to their individual schedules, which motivates students to stay on top of their game and helps to strike a balance in their education and training.
The benefits of time management can also be enjoyed by educators who can use hybrid learning as a way to control the schedules and teach in a more efficient way. For example, instructors can pre-record lessons, freeing up their time to focus more on helping students one-on-one so they can learn more efficiently.
6. Foster Beneficial Learning Environments
The majority of learning comes from peers and on-the-job activities. Very few learning experiences can match the intimacy and immediacy of in-person learning.
That's why hybrid learning is a great opportunity for students to not only have the flexibility of learning online from anywhere across the globe, but also benefit from the real-time engagement between peers.
Synchronous group work, deep conversations, and presentations with Q&A portions can be conducted by integrating hybrid learning into your business’s LMS.
You'll be able to take advantage of the in-person time as a way to help your employees form meaningful academic relationships, which they can then continue online.
Additionally, such a connection will help you build a strong sense of community both in and out of the classroom. This means that whatever the preference of your trainees, they can easily collaborate and participate with other employees, as well as engage with the instructor.
7. Offer Freedom for Independent Academic Exploration
Establishing a learning schedule based on the company's needs often lowers the quality of learning. Even worse, employees might drop out due to the inability to keep up with the schedule demands.
Hybrid learning can help you avoid this problem.
The majority of students these days prefer freedom and privacy. They want total independence while they learn. The same goes for your trainees. If you want them to learn more effectively, you have to afford them the freedom to learn and explore the lesson material in their own time.
As you've seen from the reasons outlined above, hybrid learning comes with a ton of freedoms. Students that excel at independent learning and self-management will thrive under these conditions.
They will also have the freedom to learn from a location of their choosing and be free to revisit materials however many times they want to, at their own pace.
In short, integrating hybrid learning into your LMS will give you learners more control, which ultimately leads to more effective corporate training.
This is particularly important since employees aren't conventional students.
They typically have serious time constraints, not to mention having to balance their heavy workloads with family lives, as well as their social lives.
Integrating hybrid learning is a great way to make the best use of your business’s learning management system.
This way, you'll be able to use your LMS as a useful tool that lets trainees learn at their own pace, and allows instructors and employees to use business resources and manage their time effectively, and ultimately lower training costs.
The best part is, you'll be able to measure the effectiveness of your hybrid learning approach through a wide range of reports from your LMS so you can tweak and optimize your strategy to impart even more effective training to your workforce.
Thanks to benefits like these, it's likely that even after the pandemic, businesses will continue to offer hybrid learning options.
Now that you know the reasons for integrating hybrid learning into your business’s LMS, it's time to get started so your organization can begin to enjoy all of these benefits and more.
Over to you. Have these reasons convinced you why it's a great idea to integrate hybrid learning into your business’s LMS? Share your thoughts with us!
Still confused? Feel free to contact us and consult our experts.
Ron Stefanski is a college professor turned online business owner. He’s helped hundreds of thousands of people create and market their own online business. You can learn more about him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com