What is Blended Learning?
The Blended Learning learner journey approach includes using multiple learning channels to deliver learning and engage a learner, and has taken its place centre stage as the preferred method for many organisations L&D strategies Worldwide.
What does Blended Learning mean for the learner journey?
When learners were simply sat in a classroom, watching a PowerPoint or a TV screen, it appeared to be simple to identify and evaluate the learner journey and experience (yet we know many still struggle with this).
You had your captive (or captured!) audience, the teaching was only going in one direction and the method of evaluating was a questionnaire which all individuals could answer at the same time. Sound familiar? This was, and more than often still is, the go-to approach for the execution of learning evaluation that we see amongst our array of clients.
But blended learning poses a new, huge, multi-geography, multi-channel challenge. So how do you identify, evaluate and improve the learner journey when you have so many channels and audiences to address?
Well any marketer who is used to managing large-scale campaigns will already know the answer, they just need to apply it to L&D.
So, our 4 top tips to help you on your Blended Learning learner journey insight and evaluation quest are;
Know your Products
Be familiar with the stages associated with each element of your learning mediums, e.g. for classroom learning the stages the learner goes through may be initial enquiries, booking, arrival, session 1 (then include the specifics within session 1), lunch and so on.
Map the existing processes and then separately you should map the experiences within these processes – they’re two different things! When you have a sound understanding of your processes before they are blended, it’ll be easier to measure impact, outputs and experiences when you create learning pathways.
Know what it is that you are measuring and looking for. This will enable you to assess across your spectrum of learning mediums. It can be everything from number of interactions through to facial expressions, user interaction on screen, number of silences in discussion and body contact. Again, knowing your processes and learning products will make measurement of your learning pathways easier when the channels are combined.
Create Learning Pathways
Your learner is not going through their learning channels in isolation, the channels of learning, be it classroom, online, social or peer to peer learning all come together to form a bespoke learning pathway relevant to the individual. Within this pathway individuals have different experiences and expectations which you need to measure – and which is why point 2 is so critical.
Outcomes and Impact-Orientated
Be outcomes-orientated. Understanding the stages of the learner journey is important, but knowing them in the context of what needs to improve, what you can improve and then how you’re going to do it is where you’ll really make the difference.
For blended learning especially, knowing the learner journey is a tough ask. But if you do your homework and know your core elements in isolation before you take a learner through the learning pathway, you’ll have the best start.
In my previous blog I looked at learner journey warning signs and indicators and why a Learner’s experience needs to be monitored closely – not just the course content either, but the overall journey from the induction, to assessor engagement, to learner wellbeing, and everything in-between.
Good luck and if you need any help, give us a shout.
Chief Pattern Maker
STITCH Learning are ‘Learner Journey’ specialists, a research and marketing business specialising in helping Colleges and Training Providers identify, evaluate and improve their learner journey.
If you’re a College or Apprenticeship Provider who needs our support get in touch: Kate Carney: mobile 07717 203763 or email kate.carney@STITCHlearning.co.uk