Five steps to achieving effective blended learning

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17 May 2017
Written by Speak First Linked-in icon

Last week was the London CIPD Show. It’s always a great event and an opportunity for people from the L&D community, but also those looking for self-development, to come together and get excited about what they do, to learn, and to find ideas to take back to work.

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One of the things the event got me thinking about was the way in which the conference encouraged me to learn. I attended conference sessions, as well as looking around the exhibition and undoubtedly learnt from both experiences. Where I learnt the most though was through accidental conversations, by throwaway comments in Q&A sessions and from the varied conversations happening on social media. I’m sure there aren’t many of us in training, management, learning and development, HR or organisational development who aren’t familiar with 70/20/10 but it’s always nice to be reminded by a glimpse of it in action.

So how do we harness what we know about what works for us to create truly blended learning in our companies? There’s more to blended learning than a couple of workshops with a webinar in-between and making sure it works is crucial in the development and retention of our people. It’s something that I and Speak First are passionate about, and we would love to discuss with you. We want to hear your suggestions and experiences as much as we like to share ours. After all, we love to learn.

1. Start with ‘why’

Know your objectives first and select technology second. One of the most common mistakes is having a course or a programme and trying to squeeze it into a blended format. Step back and think about what you want to achieve, then make your content relevant.

2. Develop effective measurement tools

Once you know what you want to do, and how, you need to think about that key topic at the moment in L&D – metrics. You can’t measure everything, so make sure you chose just the most important things. There are different types of assessment, which could include work performance but may be achieved through simulations or workplace tasks to check learning can be applied. Think about quantitative and qualitative measures.

3. Understand what your people like, want and need

If your office is made up of mainly Gen-Y staff they may have different preferences to a workforce who have been with your company for twenty or thirty years. That doesn’t mean you can assume that youngsters like YouTube and older people like workshops, but asking them how they like to learn and understanding their motivations is the key to workplace and blended learning that sticks. Find out where they go now for the answer to things they don’t know or want to find out about.

4. Create engagement and a blended culture

Creating an engaged community who are on board with sharing their learning, accessing information and experimenting with concepts in the workplace is crucial to blended learning being more than a token effort. Make sure you create a plan or strategy to take them with you, create a brand, market it effectively and start a buzz about what’s going on.

5. Be a curator, not a trainer

If you have a question now, you turn to google first. People now reach out to learn and find information rather than waiting to be told. The key is making sure the right information is accessible, in a place that they can easily access when and where they need it. Help them to learn how to find the best quality information.


If you’ve got anything you’ve tried that you think works, or have tried to create a blend and struggled to get it off the ground or working how you want it to, then drop us an email here we’d love to hear from you.