In our latest monthly training session, we spoke with Electrolux and LECOM to discuss how they’re using a blended learning approach in their training and development.
Blended learning is a mix of traditional, often classroom-based, face-to-face training and online or e-learning.In this webinar, Electrolux and LECOM revealed what makes their blended learning approach so successful, and what challenges they overcame whilst implementing it, as well as which tools have enabled their blended learning.
In this blog post, we share the highlights from this webinar as well as answering some of your questions on blended learning. You can watch the training session in full below.
Blended learning at Electrolux
Eva Eriksson, Training Operations Manager Sales & Service at Electrolux, shared how her team used a blended learning approach to get started with e-learning. As recently as 2017, Electolux’s training was 100% face-to-face, but 18 months ago they began introducing a more digital approach. Now they incorporate e-learning for:
- Preparation before face-to-face training - to ensure attendees have the same base level of knowledge
- Repetition after face-to-face training - to ensure that key lessons learned do not succumb to the forgetting curve
By incorporating e-learning, Electrolux has been able to:
- Extend their training reach
- Create and deliver training modules at higher speed
- Improve employee retention
- Effortlessly personalize training
- Enable 24/7 access
- Gamify training
To achieve this blended approach Electrolux uses a range of tools:
- Easygenerator - for e-learning authoring
- Dreambroker - for video editing
- AdobeConnect - for interactive classroom training
- Cornerstone - for their Learning Management System (LMS)
Eva Eriksson also highlighted some of the challenges involved in launching their blended learning. One of the biggest challenges was the culture change of switching from 100% face-to-face training; the mindset needed to be changed. To overcome this, Electrolux launched a number of initiatives:
- Inspiration sessions from Easygenerator and Dreambroker
- Onboarding sessions with Easygenerator
- Q&A sessions with Easygenerator
- General support available from suppliers like Easygenerator
Another challenge was ensuring the learners’ journey was rewarding. They needed to make sure the courses were fun but also easy for employees and customers to learn. Gamification really helped in achieving this.
Blended learning at LECOM
Priscilla Martin, Curriculum Specialist at LECOM, uses blended learning for a flipped classroom approach.
A flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom.
At LECOM, one way that they flip their classroom is by using Easygenerator to create an e-learning course, that can include readings, videos, questions, and quizzes, which the students take at home. Then when they come back to class they:
- Discuss the training
- Are given another quiz
- Break into groups to discuss a given scenario
- Break into groups to discuss questions given them in the e-learning
- Discuss the questions as a group
There are a number of benefits to a flipped classroom not offered by a traditional model, where knowledge transfer occurs in the classroom with homework conducted in the learners’ own time. These include:
- Opportunity to address questions with the instructor
- The instructor can do more than transfer information, they can share knowledge and how to use the information in a practical situation
Q. How do you measure the effectiveness of this approach?A. Eva Eriksson - This is a project we are working on right now. We are working with Clicksense. In our LMS we do not have a good way of pulling reports, so now we are building a lot of dashboards. We are going to get data from throughout the business, we’re going to check the store data and compare it with how much training we’ve been doing. We’re running a couple of pilots now in the coming months to see the effect.
Q. Do you have any recommendations for tracking and tracing results with blended learning?
A. Videhi Bhamidi - I’ll start with highlighting the difference between tracking blended learning and tracking the traditional approach. In a traditional approach, you might be tracking one or two events, while in contrast with a blended learning program, learners may be picking and choosing a variety of activities. What I suggest is you need clarity on what the organization wants to achieve before adopting blended learning. I suggest there is clarity on what you want to interpret from the data so you can track the necessary performance metrics. Integration with XAPI can be a good way to get the tracking and tracing data.
A. Kasper Spiro - Videhi you mentioned XAPI, I’m not sure if everybody is familiar. Most of you run courses in a LMS, and the old system of uploading and running it is called SCORM. It’s really old, the latest version dates back to 2004. We have a new way of doing that called XAPI. It’s a lot more flexible, it’s more detailed as well. If you are tracking and tracing results and you don’t want to choose between an LMS and a new approach, Easygenerator can do both at the same time. If you have a tool like Cornerstone, which runs SCORM packages, an Easygenerator course can report to that LMS in the old school SCORM way but simultaneously you can start reporting in XAPI form. If you are doing blended learning you need much more flexible information, that way it makes it really safe because you have your information in your LMS, but at the same time you can experiment with the XAPI information; you can be sure you have your bottom-line and way more.
Q. Do you have any recommendations for which tools you should use for blended learning?
A. Videhi Bhamidi - As we’ve seen, blended learning cannot be achieved with a single tool. Neither a single authoring tool or an LMS will do the job. It has to have a blend. In our research, we noted that commonly used tools include: authoring tools, LXPs these days are becoming very popular, social learning platforms are being integrated, internal social networks are on the rise to support collaboration, and then external content platforms, like Youtube, Vimeo, are also coming in. The onus is on the learning professionals to merge them together in a meaningful way.