Why E-Learning and Instructor-Led Training Are the Perfect Match
The training strategy in your organisation shouldn’t be a zero-sum game. In other words, you shouldn’t go all-in for e-learning without any instructor-led training, and it shouldn’t be all instructor-led training either.
You can take this a stage further, however, by using both e-learning and instructor-led training at the same time.
Okay, not literally at the same time as that would mean a learner staring at a phone while an instructor is trying to teach them. It does, however, mean you can use both e-learning and instructor-led elements to deliver the required training on a single topic.
In fact, not only is this possible, but it’s also often the most beneficial approach. This is why, in the right circumstances, e-learning and instructor-led training are the perfect match.
Your Options for Using Both E-Learning and Instructor-Led Elements in the Same Course
There are lots of options to use both e-learning elements and instructor-led elements in the same course (an approach often referred to as blended training). Here are some examples:
- Classroom plus e-learning – for example, learners could complete e-learning modules before or after attending a classroom-based, instructor-led session
- The virtual instructor – this is similar to the above but, in this case, the instructor-led element is virtual with the live instructor communicating with learners using webinar or video conferencing technology
- E-learning plus attending a workshop, conference, or seminar – this is a variation on the above where there is a learning event that doesn’t fit neatly into the classroom-based description
- E-learning plus a collaborative project – this approach involves using e-learning in addition to the completion of a group project where the project work is done in-person in a group setting facilitated by an instructor
Developing a Strategy
As with most aspects of training, you can’t just charge into developing a training course that includes both e-learning and instructor-led elements. Instead, you need a carefully planned and coherent strategy.
Here are some of the things you should think about:
- The topic – assess the main topic of the course to decide if it is suitable for a blended approach to developing and delivering training. If so, consider if it’s the best approach.
- The learners – how will the learners who will be completing the course respond to a blended approach?
- Your budget – does your budget have provision for the instructor-led element, or do you need to revise your strategy to deliver the entire course using e-learning?
- The logistics – are the learners based in various locations around the UAE or even further afield? Or, are all your learners based in the same location? How will this impact on the logistics, costs, and feasibility of adding an instructor-led element to the course?
Remember, you should measure all the above questions against return on investment. After all, the more costly strategy might produce the best outcomes so will deliver the best return on investment.
Benefits of Using Both E-Learning and Instructor-Led Elements in a Training Course
In the right circumstances, using both e-learning and instructor-led elements offers a range of benefits. Those benefits include:
- Helps to reinforce learning and increase retention rates
- Improves learner satisfaction
- Generates better levels of engagement which improves overall outcomes for the course
However, the central benefit of the e-learning plus instructor-led approach is you get the best of both worlds.
Getting the Best of Both Worlds in Your Training Strategy
Here are some examples of how you get the best of both worlds by using e-learning and instructor-led elements in the same training course:
- You get the consistency, immediacy, convenience, and low-costs associated with e-learning while also benefiting from the personal interaction and support that a real-time instructor offers.
- You can empower learners to complete some elements of the course at a location and time that suits them, encouraging them to take charge of their own learning while also benefiting from the more social learning atmosphere created by a group in a classroom, even if that classroom is virtual.
- You get valuable data from the e-learning elements of the course including completion rates, pass rates, and more, plus you get the highly valued, more nuanced, and more broad-ranging opinions of the instructor.
- Your training course will appeal to those who thrive on technical solutions, like the delivery of training through e-learning, while also appealing to those who prefer a more traditional approach that involves real-time personal interactions.
Developing the Right Strategy for Your Course
When considering a training delivery strategy, the best approach is to keep an open mind. We’ve established above there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you should have all options available to you.
This should include the option of creating a course that includes both e-learning and instructor-led elements. It may take more time than creating a course using e-learning only, but the results – and, more importantly, your return on investment – should be better.
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