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Stephanie Morgan Is there such thing as a ‘perfect’ blended learning solution?

Creating a fantastic blended learning solution for your organisation is a current challenge felt by many L&D professionals.

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The learning landscape has seen some dramatic changes over the last decade, and even more are on the horizon. Changes such as the emergence of new technologies, the introduction of 5 generations in the workforce and scientific breakthroughs providing more information about how we learn than we have ever had before.

Don’t get me wrong, with the right skills and knowledge, all of these changes can be used to create positive and lasting change for learning and development. But, the quickening pace of all this change has left many L&D professionals feeling overwhelmed, and unsure how to apply this new information to their everyday learning solutions. This is especially true for those just starting out on their blended learning journey.

Blended learning has been developing rapidly over the last 5 years, and what started out as simply adding in some eLearning to your solutions, has soon evolved into something much more nuanced and complicated, especially with digital learning innovations popping up at every corner.

So, is there really such as thing as the ‘perfect’ blended learning solution?

The answer is yes and no.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ blended learning solution. It doesn’t have to have a certain percentage of digital learning vs experiential, or even include the latest tech if it isn’t right for your organisation or the outcomes you want.

Your ‘perfect’ blend will be unique to your organisation, adaptable, and well-balanced in a way that’s specific to you.

Be unique

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The ‘perfect’ blend addresses the unique needs of your learners and the goals and objectives of your organisation. 

Your learning solutions should always help the business to achieve its’ goals and strategies, so the foundation of your blend should align with the business – this will also help you to measure the success of your blended solution in a way that translates well to your board.

Your perfect blend will constantly address the needs and learning preferences of your people, helping them to do their job as effectively and efficiently as possible.

There’s no point in creating fantastic solutions that aren’t accessible or engaging for your learners. Consider how your learners work, where they work, and when they’re available before you decide what goes into your blend. For example, if your learners are away from the office travelling a lot of the time, podcasts or learning apps might be a better option than learning that requires physical presence.

So, a ‘perfect’ blended learning solution will look different for every company. It will align with the business’s objectives, address your learners needs and be engaging and accessible in a way that suits them.

Be adaptable

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Because of the quickening pace of organisational change, and the emergence of new information and technology, it’s vital that your blended solution is adaptable and able to transform alongside these changes. It’s impossible to create a blended solution which anticipates and is prepared for all types of change, so creating one which is malleable and (relatively) easy to adapt is the next best thing.

And, thanks to the launch of The Transformation Curve, we now know that being able to transform and adapt alongside organisational change, and to keep improving our approaches and strategies is the key to success.

Be well-balanced

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Your blended learning solution will be made up of many different types of learning, and it’s important to get the right mix of elements for your learners.

Technology can be a bit of a trap when trying to create the perfect blended learning solution. Towards Maturity’s recent benchmark report shows us that it’s a common mistake to think that the more technology is used, the better. Digital learning is not a replacement for experiential learning or coaching and mentoring, but when put together, they can make a much bigger and longer lasting impact for your learners. So really, it’s all about getting the right balance.

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Although creating a ‘perfect’ blend isn’t as straight forward as some might hope, the benefits of creating a well-balanced and adaptable blend that is aligned with the business, are certainly worth the effort.  

If you want to find out more about how to create a fantastic blend, our six-step guide to creating successful blended learning can help!

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Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning

Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.

Follow @stephanieLandD

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