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Online learning vs. traditional learning – why not blend them to create more impact

Gone are the days when employees used to work from a cubicle. Now employees are spread across different cities and countries. They are working from different time zones. Moreover, most employees are hopping on “The Great reshuffle” bandwagon for more work satisfaction and flexibility. Hence organisations are becoming flexible and moving towards a hybrid work culture to retain their best talents.

A hybrid model, in which employees can work remotely at least 25% of the time, is preferred by 83% of 9,326 workers polled in one survey.

Training the distributed workforce is surely a challenge that cannot be overlooked. The chief learning office or the learning and development team need to take a step back and rethink their enterprise learning strategies. For some companies, rethinking learning means abandoning traditional classroom training and moving towards online learning. Online/digital learning is undoubtedly a powerful medium to disseminate knowledge, but that doesn’t give us a reason to eliminate traditional learning that has its own perks. 

Let’s delve deeper to find out if traditional learning is still impactful or do you need to embrace digital learning or if maybe there is a third path that you can explore. 

Traditional learning – Is this old school learning technique still effective? 

The outbreak of Covid forced L&D professionals to debate various learning and development methods. Online learning captured attention, but traditional learning continues to be a tough contender. Yes, there are a few corners that traditional learning fails to touch, yet it cannot be completely replaced by online learning. For instance, the conventional learning atmosphere helps employees stay focused due to the in-person interactions.

  • Traditional learning helps build rapport between the learner and mentors through open communication.
  • It delves deep into the basics of new knowledge or skills. 
  • It encourages interaction within the group. 
  • It provides opportunities to clear doubt in real-time 
  • It provides hands-on experience through mock calls or role-plays.  

Traditional learning might not fit into a daily work routine. However, in-person training is essential once or twice a month, especially for technical roles, where a mentor’s presence is critical to demonstrate the process. 

Online learning – A smart way to bring learning into the flow of work

Due to ease of accessibility and a high level of flexibility, online learning gained popularity in the last few years. Moreover, digital acceleration post-covid fueled online learning, making digital learning the new buzzword in the L&D space.

Digital learning brings learning into the flow of work. Employees can conveniently turn their free time into productive learning hours. Moreover, asynchronous learning enables trainers to design and deliver course content that the learners can consume at their own pace. 

Yes, online learning cannot replace traditional learning, but it has its advantages.

You can:

  • Provide just-in-time training for employees situated in different countries.
  • Give employees control over their skill development through self-paced learning. 
  • Address unique learning needs through personalised learning
  • Maintain training consistency. 
  • Create a culture of continuous learning. 
  • Give employees ongoing access to key learning materials.
  • Measure the effectiveness of learning sessions. 
  • You save a lot of time. 

E-learning surely misses out on the in-person interactions, yet, it encompasses several benefits that can support employees’ growth and even improver employee retention.

e-learning increases retention

Blending online and offline learning – Making learning more agile for the hybrid work culture 

Whether you choose online or offline learning, you ought to miss out on something valuable that can contribute to the overall growth of your employees. 

So instead of making the tough choice, why not blend the two. 

Let’s look at an example of how we do it at disprz.

  • At disprz, we’ve created a dedicated online learning platform for our in-house learners where the trainers can create learning modules and assign them to the learners.
  • The learners receive AI-powered personalised recommendations based on their interests and past learning behaviour. 
  • We have a social platform where employees collaborate and share learning resources.  
  • The learning platform has a leaderboard that ranks employees who have enrolled and completed most courses. 
  • Moreover, we even leverage our Gameinar tool to make online learning sessions livelier and more interactive. 
  • Along with online learning, we even give importance to traditional learning; hence we have in-person boot camps once a month to train the employees.

In this way, we leverage both online and traditional learning to train the employees. Being a learning and skilling platform, we are focused on employees’ growth. Hence using this learner-centric tool, you can effortlessly conduct classroom training and blend it with online learning. 

  • You can share documents or resources from your classroom training online to ensure employees do not miss out on important insights.
  • Conduct skill gap analyses and create learning courses to develop the necessary skills.
  • Easily curate and assign content to the employees. 
  • with insightful analytics, keep track of the learning progress
  • Boost collaborative productivity through our social platform called buzz 
  • Using our LXP, you can create personalised learning journeys for your employees. 
  • By leveraging microlearning, introduce the employee to a new topic and elaborate on it later in classroom/in-person training. 
  • Every fortnight conduct traditional training and have mock calls/role plays to determine how much the employee absorbed from the online courses.  

Blended learning fits well in hybrid work culture. You can easily train employees online, provide feedback, and assess their performance through in-person interactions while they are in the office. 

Conclusion 

Online and traditional learning both have their own advantages. So embrace modern learning technology to have the best of both worlds through blended learning. You can easily switch from an online learning environment to in-person training and align the learning with the business outcome. 

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