The new advances in the online or the technology-based training created methods of course design and training and development programs. Many organizations started to depend on online training heavily, mistakenly claiming that its benefits exceed the traditional instructor-led training.
Corporita Academy has organized a focus group of training and development professionals and employees and other professionals to explore and discuss the comparison between online training versus instructor-led training. The discussions created opportunities to consider different models, mainly, the blended learning model.
Participants in the focus group listed several advantages of the online training:
- Reduced time, effort and costs.
- Increased trainee’s learning.
- Improved organizational culture regarding change management; formalized systems including policies, procedures and functions; and building efficient networks based on knowledge sharing.
- More appealing to younger generations.
Participants also highlighted the advantages of the traditional training and development model, such as job shadowing, formal and informal mentoring, classroom setup, and instructor-led or facilitated workshops. The conventional methods have the benefit of building effective social interactions and knowledge and expertise exchange.
The emerged theme of blended training and learning highlighted the value of creating a third, hybrid model that uses both the online training and one or more of the traditional model. The hybrid approach brings the advantages of both model into one comprehensive program.
Some of the advantages of the blended training model are:
- It enables the organization to structure the training program for the best utilization of budgets and employee’s time.
- Buy off-the-shelf programs and use these to train employees.
- Hire exceptional instructors or use the talented employees as instructors in traditional training programs.
- Use different training methods to satisfy the needs of different types of learners such as the visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.
- Use in-class discussions as well as online discussions to create more opportunities for knowledge sharing.
- Enhance professional relationships and internal communication using group activities and team projects.
- Use rich media such as videos, podcasts, and presentations to make training more enjoyable.
Flexible and innovative approach to designing training and development programs resulted in a new hybrid model that supports self-paced learning, rich media, mentorship and knowledge sharing in a blended training and development program that utilize the new technology-based training methods with the more traditional methods.
Such hybrid or blended programs reap the benefits of both program types while lowering the overall costs of training without losing the human interaction and knowledge retention of the traditional programs. With a multitude of tools, online applications and off-the-shelf courses, the company can utilize key technology and collaborate with excellent trainers in on-site or off-site workshops or through more innovative accessible ways such as web-conferencing.