With continuous technological development the place of learning became a dimension to consider in corporate development projects. “Should I make this training for my staff in person, or would the online version work better?” Multiple aspects shall be considered when making this decision – convenience of participants being only one of them.
DEVELOR’S Blended Learning – Extended Learning concept is a learner-centered approach through which we deliver impactful learning experiences by consciously blending the place and time of learning. We combine the benefits of experienced trainers with the opportunities offered by technological advancement.
Time of Learning – Key Differentiator in Blended and Extended Learning
In addition to the traditional online-offline differentiation, we differentiate the program elements along a second dimension: time of learning. What does the time of learning mean? We differentiate whether a group of participants engage in learning at the same time (at a learning event) led by a trainer or facilitator or they are allowed to access materials, tools, simulations and practice their skills at any time that works for them independently, without the support of the trainer. The former – instructor led learning of the whole group at the same time – we call synchronous learning. The latter – individual, time independent study is known as asynchronous learning.
Synchronous Learning – When All Learn at the Same Time
Examples of synchronous learning elements are probably easier to find. These include classic classroom training courses, workshops, practice sessions, individual or group coaching sessions or game-based classroom and outdoor sessions with facilitators. Moreover, the online counterparts of these occasions belong here, too. Virtual courses, webinars, online coaching or even online game-based events are typical examples of synchronous learning.
Asynchronous Learning – The Time of Learning is Flexible
Most of us can probably imagine or heard about online asynchronous elements. In fact, thanks to the Internet and other modern digital technologies, the range of online asynchronous elements is expanding. E-learning materials, microlearning nuggets, business simulations or online performance support tools are just a few examples from a wide range of tools that we at DEVELOR use and offer to our clients.
At the same time, there exist offline asynchronous elements as well. It is just that many times we are not even aware that what we use is actually an asynchronous learning. DEVELOR’s portfolio abounds in these elements as well. Individual, pair or group assignments in between training sessions, written summaries, memos, tips & hints, recommendations to read & watch, printable checklists, scripts or templates are those that we use most commonly in our development solutions.
Unlimited Options for Blended Learning – a Blessing or a Curse?
On the one hand, the abundance of tools for Blended Learning is reassuring. What can be better than having a plethora of options to build your unique programme for your people? Thanks to that, the chance for Learning & Development specialists to choose the most appropriate combination for the target group is greater.
On the other hand, the sheer amount of Blended Learning elements – asynchronous and synchronous, in person and online – poses a great challenge. To navigate the options requires the thorough knowledge of the available tools and methods, conscious planning, and accurate knowledge of the needs and opportunities of the company and the target group.
Therefore, if you are not yet familiar or comfortable with planning complex learning paths, it is worth involving an external expert.
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