Blended Learning Top Tips from The Oxford Group & Kineo

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Today we are faced with a complicated decision making process when determining the best learning strategy for our organizations given the increasing range of technology-enabled learning solutions, and the challenges of delivering learning in a cost-effective and timely way to large numbers of people spread across the globe.

To help you with this challenge we have pulled together our top 7 tips for creating a blended learning strategy that really works for your organization.

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Blended Learning Top Tips from The Oxford Group & Kineo

  1. 1. Top tips for making blended learning effective in your organization
  2. 2. Why use blended learning? Today we are faced with a complicated decision making process when determining the best learning strategy for our organizations given the increasing range of technology-enabled learning solutions, and the challenges of delivering learning in a cost- effective and timely way to large numbers of people spread across the globe. While technology and e-learning aren’t the only options, given the number of learning methods, how can you make learning effective for the specific environment of your own organization?
  3. 3. Tip #1 – Know what is out there Build – and keep building – your understanding of what learning vehicles could be included in a blended programme.
  4. 4. Tip #1 – Know what is out there • Basic? Yes, but the learning landscape is changing at an increasing pace. • For example: Three years ago, who would have thought that large sections of our employee base would look first to social learning, rather than rely on longer-established ways of training? • The blended learning ‘mix’ is continually changing. What’s it going to look like next week/next month/next year? And how will learners' increasing access to mobile technologies change this blend?
  5. 5. Tip #2 – Develop a vision Develop a vision of what blended learning needs to achieve for your organization and/or for your specific development programme.
  6. 6. Tip #2 – Develop a vision What are your objectives in terms of business benefits and learning outcomes? • Each element in the blended mix has its own strengths and weaknesses – and these may change in relation to specific learning objectives. • Acknowledge these and position each element so that it provides your programme with its strengths; and develop a combination of elements which complement each other.
  7. 7. Tip #3 – Acknowledge what you have Acknowledge the learning culture and technological infrastructure within your organization.
  8. 8. Tip #3 – Acknowledge what you have • It may be that your aim is to change that culture; however you need to approach this one step at a time. • Start with a blended programme that learners will use given their current attitudes to learning, workplace constraints and the technology which is easily available to them. • As the programme gains credibility and acceptance you can gradually add to it/increase its sophistication.
  9. 9. Tip #4 – Accept different learning styles Accept that individual learners will engage with some elements of the blend better than others; this is only natural given different learning styles.
  10. 10. Tip #4 – Accept different learning styles • The elements each need to reinforce the key learning messages for your programme as a whole, so that if a learner finds it difficult to engage with one element in the blend, they don’t miss a major message for the programme. • Ensure that your blend provides a variety of different types of learning experiences such as storytelling, exposure to theories, observation, practice, application and feedback so that learners can engage with learning in ways that suit them.
  11. 11. Tip #5 – Invest in the right LMS If you really want blended learning to work for you, invest in a good Learner Management System (LMS)
  12. 12. Tip #5 – Invest in the right LMS • Your LMS isn’t just an IT system which holds e-learning and records usage – it’s a learning portal which provides learners with an engaging way of accessing a wide range of types of learning – both online and face-to-face. • It should have the flexibility to be as simple or sophisticated a portal as you need, so that it can accommodate new elements as your programme develops… oh, and yes, it also records usage.
  13. 13. Tip #6 – Try, test, try again Pilot – evaluate – adjust – implement – evaluate – adjust… it’s a continuous cycle! Pilot Evaluate Adjust Implement Evaluate Adjust
  14. 14. Tip #6 – Try, test, try again Remember the business benefits and learning outcomes you identified at the start. Continue to evaluate your success against these, and as your organisation’s needs (and technology) develop over time, review how your approach to blended learning can best support these.
  15. 15. Tip #7 – Think global Think how any of these steps might change when you’re developing programmes for a global audience.
  16. 16. Tip #7 – Think global • Remember that learners may not have access to the same level of technology in different regions of the world – your solution needs to be useable by all. • Different regions of the world may show preferences for different elements of the blended programme – what works well in one region may be less effective in another. So remember to pilot – evaluate – adjust! • Ensure that whatever technology you use, e.g. for e-learning and your LMS, is able to accommodate different languages easily and cost-effectively.
  17. 17. Want to take it further? Read the full white-paper we have prepared with our partners, City & Guilds Kineo: Blended Learning Today: Designing in the new learning architecture (PDF)
  18. 18. How we can help you Together with our learning technology partner City & Guilds Kineo, we offer a comprehensive package of services which support our clients in creating and maintaining the most appropriate blend to meet their learning objectives and fit with their business environment. To learn more about how we can help you meet your blended learning challenges visit: www.oxford-group.com/services/blended_learning
  19. 19. The Oxford Group The Oxford Group is a global organization, providing management and leadership training, executive coaching and consulting services to the world’s leading companies. We offer a full curriculum of courses, workshops, masterclasses and one-to-one coaching at all levels of the Leadership Pipeline, through both standard and bespoke solutions. Phone (+44) 085 250 8448 Visit: www.oxford-group.com Email: marketing@oxford-group.com Follow us: The Oxford Group | @The_OxfordGroup Blog: www.theoxfordgroup.wordpress.com

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