Converting from Face- to Face to Blended Training
Just like other courses, planning, developing and creating a blended course takes just as much careful considerations. Blended learning can be beneficial and exciting for the learners because it gives a different experience in learning. A blended course can provide a unique learning experience for everyone involved. With the use of technology, blended learning can at times eliminate the need for specific technology, and suggest that tools currently being used continue to be utilized instead of changing. This is an opportunity to make learning more engaging for learners and instructors. This process is not as simple as it seems. Using the scenario below:
A training manager has been frustrated with the quality of communication among trainees in his face-to-face training sessions and wants to try something new. With his supervisor’s permission, the trainer plans to convert all current training modules to a blended learning format, which would provide trainees and trainers the opportunity to interact with each other and learn the material in both a face-to-face and online environment. In addition, he is considering putting all of his training materials on a server so that the trainees have access to resources and assignments at all times.
Lepi, 2014 suggest within preplanning strategies the trainer should create conditions for success. Put together ideas for the training, using storyboards that could possibly give ideas a realistic feel. Also, create a timeline for implementing, developing, and when course should go live. The trainer should identify objectives for the course and align them with the goals. Create clear expectations. The modules for the course are available for the face-to-face training; however Instructional modules should still be created and intergraded with what is available. Learners in blended course assume more responsibility for their learning experience. Katie Lepi, 2014, points out that the trainer should determine technological devices that will be used and work alongside with technical support to ensure efficiency. It will also be wise for the trainer create an evaluation plan that helps them assess the success and failures of the training and give feedback on where adjustments need to be made.
The aspects of this course that should be enhanced are the learner activities. Making them available to learners online and allowing them to interact with fellow learners. This will also allow learners to engage in the training from anywhere. Creating discussion forums where questions and answers will be available. The instructor could use multimedia tools foe learners
to follow along. Another aspect that should be enhanced is the communication with the instructor. The role of the trainer changes slightly, the trainer still supports and guides trainees along the course. They provide direction for resources for success. They become a motivational
factor for trainees to stay engaged in the learning and maximize their experience.
Providing the trainees with an activities syllabus is one way to encourage virtual
communication. Activities could include trainees to form groups within the forums and require them to complete assignments as a whole. The trainer could solicit feedback from trainees through assessment software’s. The trainer can create schedules and times of when trainees should log on and require some form of participation.
In all blended course make the most of technology use, it makes learning efficient for everyone. Lepi, 2014 says that learning in multiple modalities yields more and better data that creates an integrated and customizable learning experience.
Lepi, k. (2014) How to Implement Blended learning. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/implement-blended-learning/