Virtually There Session Recap
For the last 20 years, and especially over the past two months, our team has repeated a singular mantra: “one does not simply move a course online.”
But given the state of the world today, it feels imperative that we quickly adapt learning to the virtual learning environment. And while digital learning requires nuance, planning, and an awareness of both technology and instructional options, the transition can happen under pressure.
Two industry experts, Jennifer Hofmann of InSync Training and Charlie Gillette of Knowledge Anywhere, recently teamed up for a Virtually There session to help people get their digital learning acts together. Keep reading for session highlights to begin effectively blending virtual classroom events and eLearning components for seamless blends.
Transitioning from the traditional face-to-face classroom training model to a more dynamic, personalized digital model can seem overwhelming. To help clarify where to start with a training transition, Charlie and Jennifer focused on answering common questions like:
- How do I design blended learning programs?
- In what ways can I leverage digital learning?
- Which digital learning pitfalls should I avoid?
- What does good blended learning look like?
Thanks to interactive collaborative activities throughout the session, attendees contributed their responses about the possibilities of, and past hesitance to embrace, blended options for their organizations. Unsurprisingly, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, some of the responses to these questions varied from the initial predictions of the session hosts:
- Why will blended learning become more relevant in the future?
- Essential vs. non-essential workers
- Smaller bites, no travel
- Access for remote teams
- Social distancing
- We’ve been finding that more people can do their jobs from home now
- Why aren’t you blending now (or why weren’t you before the Coronavirus quarantine)?
- Limited resources and staff/trainers
- Management likes traditional learning experiences
- Lack of time and commitment from learners
- Our staff don’t trust it as effective, and they prefer face-to-face trainings
- Lack of business buy-in
3 Key Takeaways
- “Bad training can make you stupid.” Have you ever had the misfortune of discovering after a class that you really did not understand the material? Jennifer points to that feeling as a consequence of ineffective learning design and claims it’s more dangerous than not having learned the information at all. In the workplace, employees should not invest time in a training event or blended program that provides false confidence. Rather, it should equip them with necessary skills and access to on-demand resources and job aids they can utilize on the job when faced with informal moments of need.
- “Blended learning allows us to apply information to real work.” If you come to a six-session virtual learning program, the facilitator can give learners something to do between sessions related to your real work. For example, in InSync’s Virtual Classroom Design Mastery Series, learners design exercises for their internal training programs between live online learning sessions. As Charlie pointed out, this real work element truly gives people the chance to do something instead of just listening passively. It moves the training beyond, “Oh! We might have some examples for you later” to “Go practice this skill, come back and share how it went, and we can provide feedback and direction.” This ability sets blended digital learning apart from other training options (in the best way!).
- “One of the most common pitfalls to avoid when creating a blend is duplicating content.” We’ve all been there – we receive an email detailing the pre-work required before attending a virtual session. You read the article, or watch the video, or complete the eLearning module. But when the live session starts, the facilitator spends the first thirty minutes re-explaining the information you learned in the pre-work! Why does this happen? Charlie clarifies that this phenomenon boils down to an uncertainty that learners won’t do the self-directed portions of a digital blend. When curating and designing a blend, make sure to use language about the components that defines the importance of each element and make the content easily accessible.
Without a doubt, Jennifer and Charlie provided timely and invaluable insight about blended learning - the live online session offered a jumping off point for creating and implementing digital learning within your organization. To continue your learning journey, we recommend that you:
- Watch the recording of Get Your Digital Learning Act Together.
- Benefit: The recording offers the next-best experience to having attended live. Listening to expert advice directly from the source provides not only information, but also context and a real-world example of how digital learning components (like live virtual sessions) can contribute to an engaging experience.
- Read the blog posts highlighted during the webinar.
- Posts include:
- Defining the Modern Learner Experience
- Comparison Guide: Find the Right Type of Course
- How to Select the Right LMS Provider for Your Organization
- LMS Pricing Guide: Which Model Works Best For Your Organization
- Benefit: Creating great blends involves a thorough process, which a single one-hour session cannot completely define. Reading these posts allows you to more fully understand some of the conceptual material Jennifer and Charlie share at a high level.
- Download related complimentary toolkit.
- Benefit: Because all learning exists in a blend, Jennifer and Charlie created a robust toolkit that builds on the information included in the session. Inclusive of content like eBooks, tools, and more, the bundle helps you apply concepts from the session to your work.
The InSync Team thanks Charlie Gillette of Knowledge Anywhere for collaborating on this session! For upcoming complimentary event information, click here.