Embracing New Learning Trends: Are Associations Lagging Behind Corporations? Not Really.

 

In any organization, there are moments where leaders and team members stop and wonder how theirs compares to others in their industry. Are we really as far behind as we think? Are our challenges really that unique? How have others responded?  Most of the time, it turns out you’re not as far behind as you think, your challenges aren’t unique, and others are looking to you and asking the same questions. For associations, a question that may come up often is, “Are we implementing new training and learning trends for our members?”

All that being said, it can also be extremely beneficial to look outside your own industry to get an even better sense of what’s actually happening in a larger landscape and use that as your benchmark. For associations, this may mean looking outside your direct industry, or even taking a cue from the corporate world.

We recently had the benefit of sitting in on a webinar sponsored by Training Magazine and presented by Dr. Allen Partridge, Senior eLearning Evangelist with Adobe. In his session, Trends in Training and Learning Management, he reviewed a compilation of data from several different surveys of corporate continuing education professionals to identify learning trends and compare them to what these professionals are actually doing in practice. The webinar focused on concepts that are also prevalent topics of conversations within associations as well, including the rise of mobile learning, gamification, video, micro-learning, and learner engagement.

It turns out, while new ways to deliver learning are topics of frequent discussion, in practice, corporations aren’t any further along than associations. And, many of the tried-and-true methods of course delivery are still just as popular today. Here are four of the learning trends highlighted in the webinar.

Instructor-Led Training & Printed Course Materials

Despite the rise of virtual learning options, one survey revealed that 4 out of 5 respondents deliver training through in-person presentations—a trend that has remained consistent over the past the past ten years. The reason: when learning is a conversation, engagement and retention are higher. Additionally, nearly three quarters of survey takers said they use print materials to deliver their training, whereas only ten percent offer mobile and tablet-based materials.

Mobile Content

Speaking of mobile-based materials, although only ten percent currently offer mobile and tablet-based materials, there is an overwhelming sentiment that mobile-based learning is something most respondents acknowledged they need to do. Device versatility, ease of access to content and just-in-time reference to content were all noted as important criteria to have in place to encourage greater usage of digital training programs. But the time investment required to create mobile-friendly content was a major barrier. Many organizations are starting by creating only a fraction of content for mobile—particularly their newer content.

Microlearning

Based on the research, microlearning is considered to be the number one learning trends for training professionals in 2018. While implementation of this training strategy is growing, the buzz is still greater than reality. This is primarily due to the fact that there isn’t a clear and uniform definition of what microlearning means, and therefore, how it should best be executed. Some consider it to be “informal learning,” others “mobile learning” or even “short learning.” Each of these definitions serves a unique purpose and warrants its own strategy.

Gamification

While gamification is a major topic of discussion, corporate training professionals haven’t fully embraced this learning trend yet.  72% of respondents surveyed don’t use gamification in their learning programs, and only 14% feel very confident that gamification increases employee engagement in training. Some of the reluctance stems from the perceived cost of implementing it, coupled with the doubt that it actually drives behaviors that are sustainable for the long-term.

If your association has not fully embraced some of the top trends in training strategies and learning engagement, not to fear. Your corporate counterparts haven’t either. But they are starting to think about how to take small, deliberate steps toward implementation so they are ready to engage future learners—something every organization should be thinking about.

Get Your Training Courses Ready for Generation Z

For the past several years, a common theme around the strategy planning table is how to attract and retain younger members. With each passing year, this conversation is less about the long sought-after Millennials, however. The oldest of this generation is now in their mid-30’s. Many associations now have their sights set on the up-and-comers known as Generation Z. And what everyone is starting to realize is how different they appear to be from their predecessors.

Who is Generation Z?

Although there are some reported variances in the dates that define Generation Z, the general consensus is they were born between the mid-to-late 1990’s (roughly 1995) through the 2000’s (roughly 2010).

The eldest are in the process of graduating college and hitting the workforce, while the youngest are busy creating Google presentations, blogging and creating iMovies as part of their elementary school curriculum.

They are a very multi-cultural generation that is even larger than Boomers and Millennials. Today they represent over 25% of the U.S. population. And in just 5 years, they will represent approximately 20% of the workforce.

And, their overall outlook on life—their ambitions, goals, and the way they plan to achieve them—is the product of events and innovations that have completely changed even the world that Millennials knew. This is (potentially) a very different generation.

Turmoil and Technology Has Made Them Pragmatic, Entrepreneurial

A Non-Standard Path to Success

Generation Z felt the fallout from the Great Recession and has never known a world without terrorism. Unlike the so-called “entitled” Millennials, they understand that success isn’t guaranteed. They are prepared to work for it, and to make it their own.

  • They actively seek out opportunities to learn, develop and grow
  • They aren’t necessarily set on taking a linear path to success
  • They have a greater entrepreneurial drive than their predecessors, and have grown up in a world where they’ve seen (via social media) even their youngest peers have success with self-derived ventures
  • They are also more financially conservative than their predecessors

Beyond Tech Savvy

For Millennials, technology was very much present in their lives, but as a parallel activity, something to “play with” in their free time. Contrast this with Generation Z, where technology is fully integrated into everything they do. It has changed the model for how they interact with the world around them, how they learn and, most importantly, how they process information.

  • Where Millennials are the generation that shares content, Gen Z is the generation that creates it
  • In the classroom, a Gen Z student uses multiple platforms (including both print and digital) simultaneously to learn and reinforce a single concept, and often has the opportunity to choose how they want to learn
  • Thanks to DVRs, media streaming and 24/7 connectivity anywhere, the concept of appointment-based anything is fading fast

Social Media Maturity

For Gen Z, social media is no longer a new fad. It’s an established reality. And while it is the basis of a majority of their social connections, Gen Z is much more “mature” in their use of it than Millennials are.

  • Social connections matter even more to Gen Z more than to Millennials. They want to be culturally connected, and have a tremendous fear of missing out (a.k.a. “FOMO”)
  • At the same time, they are more conscientious of social media privacy, and tend to be drawn to more private forms of social interaction such as Snapchat, Secret and Whisper

How Gen Z Might Shape Your Association’s Educational Programs

Today many associations grapple with how to remain relevant at a time when access to free knowledge is just a click away. But there’s good news. Gen Z will find tremendous value in the growth opportunities that associations provide by increasing knowledge and facilitating connections. As long as you can adapt to their needs and meet them on their terms.

Here are 5 things to consider in your next program development and planning session:
1. Is there an opportunity to re-define the classroom setting, using unique and non-traditional locations as a means to help apply learning?

2. Is there an opportunity to develop sessions that allow attendees to co-create content as a means to facilitate learning and professional development?

3. How might you combine instructor-led training and self-guided learning as part of a single learning strategy (versus an either-or approach)?

4. How can you more effectively tie print and digital materials together in a complementary way? For instance, does it make sense to use print to introduce a complex topic, with digital tools such as video, interactive platforms, virtual and 4D technology to facilitate hands-on application of the concept?

5. In looking at your printed materials, how might you re-develop and re-design them to provide shorter pieces of content with more visual cues that support the text?

Although Millennials are still extremely relevant to associations, it won’t be long before all eyes are on Generation Z. How accurately can we predict future preferences based this current profile of a very young generation? It’s too soon to tell for sure. What is certain, however, is that, just as with Millennials, it won’t be long before we’re reevaluating and reconsidering today’s best practices. And it’s never too early to start planning ahead.

Now Available: 2018 Training Trends Report

Educational programs provide a tremendous source of value for associations and other training-based organizations. That’s the takeaway from our 2018 Training Trends survey. The majority of respondents in this year’s survey (67%) look to capitalize on this fact by increasing the number of programs they offer. The focus on core strategic initiatives in the coming year, including program and content development, however, may need to come at the expense of other tasks.

How will this outlook impact those responsible for developing and implementing educational programs? We conducted an online survey of 111 continuing education (CE) and training professionals to understand their challenges, opportunities and priorities in the coming year.

Download the 2018 Training Trends report to learn:

  • How much time do CE professionals devote to program development tasks?
  • How effective are these programs in helping organizations reach their goals?
  • What percentage of the budget will be allocated to on-site training vs. online training in 2018?
  • What is the most common way for educational content to be re-purposed?

Takeaway #1: Continuing education takes place in a variety of formats.

Eighty-four percent of survey respondents indicated they offer multiple options for learners to participate in seminars, courses and workshops.

Offering learners choice on how they receive their training means CE professionals must also provide their course materials in a variety of formats. Print retains its lead as the most common format for course books and study guides, with online training materials coming in a close second. Mobile resources for training saw limited use in 2017, but with trends like microlearning on the rise, it will be interesting to see how these numbers evolve in the next few years.

Read the full report to learn how CE professionals balance developing new course content with other top training priorities.

Turn Your Training Seminars into an Event

Finding new ideas to improve your training seminars can be a challenge. Developing, promoting and facilitating instructor takes a significant amount of planning, leaving little time for brainstorming the little extras that make the sessions so memorable. This topic came up around the office the other day as I was talking with a co-worker that specializes in conferences. We grabbed the video camera and sat down for a quick chat about some ideas program coordinators can borrow from their event planner colleagues.

We hope our conversation sparks some new ideas that help make your next training seminar an event to remember!

Video Transcript

Dan: So as an association, you know the difficulties in putting together your workshops and seminars. There’s a lot of things that go into planning it; how do you make it more exciting? I had a chance to meet with Matt Harpold here at Omnipress and talk about how meeting planners could turn that workshop into something more of an event, something really exciting!

Dan: You work with a lot of AMCs, a lot of meeting planners. They’re used to putting together big events, organizing hundreds or thousands of people coming together. What are some of the things that the meeting planners think about that could pertain to some of the program coordinator?

Matt: The piece that could be leveraged more is the learning that you can make on the connections side. Learning from your peers.

Dan: Have a social hour?

Matt: Have a social hour, happy hour, or even just go and get dinner.

Dan: Go and get together with some friends and colleagues and learn about some things on an informal basis about the industry and some things that they’re dealing with.

Or even take advantage of, let’s say you’re in Pittsburg, for example, and there’s something in the industry that your group is coming together on, do a field trip or something of that nature.

Matt: You learn more about the area, the culture that’s around those spots and really learn things that are outside of that classroom.

Dan: An example that I was just thinking about now is maybe you association is focused on food or food safety or restaurants, or something of that nature, so you may get together to raise money for food pantries in the local area, or you may get together and clean up a park.

Matt: Kind of making it more of an event rather than just having the “I’m hear just to learn”. Sometimes you can learn things outside of a classroom.

Dan: Thanks Matt, great conversation! Hope you have a few take aways you can implement with your next workshop or seminar. And if you do, please leave us a comment so other people can see what’s going on and really benefit from you ideas, as well. Thanks for your time!

How Social Proof Can Increase Enrollment In Your Training Courses

 

Social media offers many new and innovative ways to promote your training courses online, but it also excels in one of the oldest: recommendations from a learner’s peers. Of course, in the online world, everything needs a buzzword, and in this case, “peer recommendations” is now known as “social proof”

Social proof is a simple concept: people trust the recommendations of their friends and peers more than they trust traditional advertising. Leveraging these recommendations is a great way to expand visibility, increase enrollment and validate people’s confidence in your continuing education courses.


Social proof can be a powerful addition to your overall marketing strategy, and who better to leverage for these positive testimonials than your current learners? Oftentimes though, your learners would be willing to share their thoughts about your course but aren’t sure how to do it, so while in the classroom, let them know that you’d appreciate the feedback and explain how they can help advocate for your continuing education courses online. Here are just a few of the ways your current learners can help become advocates for your courses online.

Write a guest blog article

Have a current learner write a guest blog post about their experience in your training course. They can share their key takeaways from the course or any tips they’d like to pass along. This is a great way for future learners to get a first-hand look at what it’s like to take your course.

Social proof: Guest blogs give a personalized account of your training that a potential learner can identify with and see if they’d be interested in taking it themselves.

Provide a case study

Interview a current learner and use the information you collect to create a case study about their continuing education experience. Ask about their impressions of the course and the instructor, as well as how they plan to use the knowledge they acquired through taking the course. Make sure to follow up with that student to see how the information they learned has helped them in their career. These case studies can be posted on your website or blog.

Social proof: A case study can be an effective way to increase enrollment in your courses by showing specific examples of how the knowledge from your training courses can lead to a better career.

Share on social media

Learners can share their experiences or interesting facts presented in class on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter during breaks or before and after class. Then, your organization can share or retweet the posts as a quick testimonial.

Social proof: Social media posts help show the learner’s friends and colleagues that they are advancing their careers, which can help inspire their peers to do so, too.

Create Facebook events

If you’ve set up Facebook events for your future continuing education courses, your learner-turned-advocate can personally share and invite their friends who might be interested in taking a course.

Social proof: The invitation from the learner themselves will serve as a personal recommendation rather than an advertisement. Facebook event invites can also create a sense of community before the class even begins.

Leave an online recommendation

Whether it’s on your organization’s Facebook page or your website, positive reviews speak volumes. Ask your trainees to leave reviews sharing their experiences and recommendations online. This is something you can ask all of your learners to do after the course is over to gather more testimonials and boost your brand.

Social proof: Reviews increase the confidence in the value you provide through real-life feedback from actual learners.

In the world of social media, social proof goes a long way and can increase both the awareness and positive reception of your organization. If current learners are willing to share their experiences online, both future learners and your organization can benefit.

 

If you are interested in learning about other ways your organization can spread the word about your training courses and increase enrollment using social media, download our free whitepaper, “Promote your Training Courses with Content Marketing.”

 

 

It’s Time for the 2018 Continuing Education Industry Survey

Click here to take the survey!

I’m excited to announce that we are conducting ‘The State of Continuing Education Content’ survey again this year. If you are responsible for training or continuing education programs for an association, we want to hear from you! Please take just a couple of minutes and complete the short survey.

This is the 4th year in a row that we will be using your survey responses to compile ‘The State of Continuing Education Industry’ report, which will be released in January. The report provides a glimpse into how your colleagues are developing and implementing educational programs.

But before we can produce the report, we need your input! Please do so today!

 

Video Transcription

Do you ever wonder what other associations are doing for their continuing education programs? Me too!

 

I’m Dan Loomis, I’m the Director of Training and Publications here at Omnipress. We’re conducting a survey and would love to have some of your input. This is our fourth year of doing it, so we ask questions like, What’s happening with your instructor-led training? What about the printed materials? What about online? How are things changing, how do you see things changing in the future?

 

And at the end, we put together a great comprehensive report that you can have access to and you can see what your colleagues are doing.

 

I think it’s fantastic, so we’d really appreciate it if you could just grab a cup of coffee, take a few minutes and help your colleagues out to give everyone an idea of what’s happening in the association continuing education realm. And then we’ll send you the results when we’re done. Thank you!

 

How Print On Demand Helps Your End-of-Year Planning

 

During the last few months of the year, many associations will be planning which continuing education courses they’ll offer in the new year. Not only that, but they’ll probably be looking at ways to update their existing training course materials to reflect new developments in the industry.

If your association is looking to refresh your course books and other materials next year, you might run into a problem; you’ll need to use your existing course books until the new ones are ready for publication. So what do you do if your course book inventory is running low?

Doing a large print run in this situation just doesn’t make sense. In a few months, you’ll be ready to print and distribute the new books, and the old ones will be discarded, costing your association money for wasted product.

But there is a solution for this: Print-on-demand! People typically think of print-on-demand as a smart way to keep inventory costs down, but this isn’t the only way to take advantage of it. Print-on-demand can also be used as a stopgap for your training materials while you prepare new course material. This model lets you keep the inventory you need in the short term without wasting money on a large print run that will become obsolete in the near future.

How print-on-demand can work with your course updates

Print-on-demand may not work the way you initially expect it to. When you need a course book order fulfilled, we don’t print one single book at a time.

Instead, we create a micro inventory for you that allows you to fill your customers’ orders without committing to a large quantity. This may entail printing 10 books initially, then printing a few more as orders are sent out. What’s even better is that you only pay for the books that are actually ordered by your learners!

By using this solution, your association can save money by not wasting a large inventory of old training course materials as you prepare to update your content. You can continue to grow and evolve as a continuing education provider without the stress of wasting course books.

As you prepare material for your new courses, you also need to think about how you’re going to promote them at the start of the new year. Download our free whitepaper to learn more about how content marketing can help you promote courses online!

Promote Your Training Courses With Content Marketing

 

We’ve heard from organizations that increasing enrollment in their continuing education courses can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive. Organizations sit on a goldmine of useful educational materials and resources, but might not know how to use them to their benefit.

Since getting new members to enroll in your courses is so important to your organization, you need a way to expand your reach and keep learners interested in your training courses year-round.

That’s why we’ve created a guide to help you use the educational materials you already have and share them on social media.

Our new whitepaper, “Promote Your Training Courses With Content Marketing,” offers in-depth strategies for:

  • How to transform existing educational content into shareable information
  • Which visual tools you can use to create eye-catching promotional graphics
  • How Twitter can help you build a community of learners
  • How to promote your courses as events on Facebook
  • How LinkedIn can help you expand your reach to users outside of your existing network

Using free social media tools to share your content is a great way to start using your educational materials to their full potential. If you’d like to learn how social media can help your organization engage new and existing learners, download our free whitepaper!

This is One of the Principles of Teaching Adults You Must Keep in Mind

 

Anyone that has stood in front of a classroom knows that there is a big difference between teaching adults and teaching children. Aside from a lack of note passing and paper airplane throwing, adult learners come into your training courses with a specific goal in mind; after all, something motivated them to enroll in your course.

Recognizing your learners’ goals is such an important part of adult education that Malcolm Knowles—the leading voice in the study of adult learning—notes this as the first of his five principles of teaching adults. And it makes sense: By harnessing this embedded desire to achieve, you can steer your students’ motivation and lead them to a positive learning experience.

That means part of your role when designing a course is to make sure learners see exactly how the course can help them achieve their goals and then provide a framework that allows them to achieve them.

Show your learners what they can expect

When starting a new course, it is important that learners see how the in-class lessons will help them reach their goals. Make sure it’s clear from the onset what they can expect to achieve by completing your training course. Once you know their motivations, you can design your course to preview the outcomes they can expect to see once they complete it.

Right off the bat, your course should demonstrate to your adult learners how the content will be relevant and applicable to their lives and careers. Talking about goals and how your course can help learners reach them creates buy-in and can improve engagement.

Include course elements that fit your learners’ goals

When you think through the goals and motivations of your adult learners, you can use the principles of teaching adults to design a course that helps them learn and grow in their desired ways. It’s also important to think about how your learners’ will use this knowledge after completing your course. What kinds of outcomes do you want to see in your graduates?

This will help you include different course elements that more appropriately engage your learners and help them meet their goals. Depending on how the training concepts will be used, some course aspects will be more relevant than others.

For example, if a learner is taking a certification course in food safety and needs to know the rules and regulations surrounding that topic, ending the course with a quiz is an important step to test their knowledge and ensure they understand the material.

However, for a learner who wants to grow as a professional in a leadership course, a multiple choice test will probably not benefit them much. Instead, your leadership class could participate in a role-playing scenario in which they put their new-found leadership skills to the test.

Keeping your adult learner’s motivations in mind is one of the most important principles of teaching adults. If you structure the elements of your course with this principle in mind, you’ll be helping learners achieve their goals and stay motivated to successfully complete the course.

Inspiration and Integration: ASAE Annual Meeting 2017 Video Recap

 

A number of Omnipress employees made the trek across the border to participate in this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting in Toronto. As usual, it was an event full of informative sessions and great conversations.

Two members from the Omnipress Print and Fulfillment team that attended the meeting, Tracy Gundert and Janel Savich, talked with Dan Loomis about their takeaways from the week and about two themes that came up repeatedly in their conversations: Inspiration and Integration.

Watch the video below to learn a common challenge that all associations face, and how association staff can use “integrations” to make their jobs easier.

 

ASAE Annual Meeting 2017 Event Recap Video Transcript

Dan: So what was the number one thing that you heard from people stopping by, visiting the booth, or just networking and general sessions. What was everybody concerned about or inspired by?

Tracy: I think they all want to provide, all the different associations, no matter if it’s a trade association, a professional association, they all want to continue to improve the benefits for their members. What more can they give their members? How can they really become part of the value that their members receive from being a part of the association? They want to be sure that they are providing that.

Janel: I think that collaboration, getting together with our clients, hearing how our service fits in to meet the educational goals of their members and the people they serve. It’s inspiring!

Dan: ASAE Annual Meeting always brings people together to talk about innovation, and technology, they always do a good job with that. What types of things did they talk about with integration this year, anything in particular?

Janel: They want that ease to have their systems integrated together so they can talk to one another. Make their jobs easier. Pull the information together; get the reports in one central location.

Tracy: Along with talking about multiple partners, that is certainly one thing we heard, even with print and fulfillment vendors is that they want to have one source. Right now, a lot of them have multiple sources where they are printing at one facility and fulfilling out of another facility and it’s just, you know, its not very integrated in terms of the data. And it also creates a lot more time that they have to spend coordinating it, so they are really looking for that all-in-one type of solution.

 

5 Easy Ideas for Promoting Training Courses Online

 

Increasing enrollment for your in-person training programs is a top priority for continuing education professionals. Having a well-defined target audience of association members helps, but even that won’t guarantee learners will discover your course offerings. And to borrow from a famous saying, “If a course has the best content but no one is around to promote it, does it get found?” Help your learners find courses that benefit them by taking steps to promote your training courses online.

Easy Ideas to Promote Training Courses Online

Using your existing course content is an effective way to promote your training courses online. Sharing the course syllabus, a chapter of the course book or a practice exam gives potential learners a clear idea of the information they will receive when taking your course. You can also look at leveraging your existing training programs as a way to spread the word about your new offerings.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn five easy ideas that will help you get started promoting your training courses online.

Ready for more marketing ideas for training courses? Download the whitepaper Promote Your Training Courses With Content Marketing for ideas on how to turn your existing educational materials into effective promotional content.

 

Easy Ideas for Promoting Training Courses Online

Which of these ideas have you found to be most successful for promoting new courses? Are there other attention-grabbing techniques that are not on this list? Please share what has worked for you in the comment section!

 

From the Infographic

5 Easy Ideas for Promoting Training Courses Online

  • Share the course syllabus.
    • Motivate potential class participants with an overview of the material to be covered
  • Offer a free chapter of the course book.
    • Sample course content will entice learners to register
  • Post a practice exam.
    • Show students what they can expect to learn after completing the course
  • Increase your online presence.
    • Make your organization stand out when people search for professional development opportunities
  • Cross-promote other training programs.
    • Use banner ads, sidebars, and pop-ups to advertise similar courses that would interest your learners

Should Your Association’s Next Course Be Online, or In-person?

The internet has changed just about every aspect of the way associations deliver education. The rush to move training courses online happened at such a furious pace, there was little time to assess the impact it would have on learners.

Luckily, with so many online courses now completed, there are plenty of examples to study. Material that succeeds online has distinct traits compared to those that benefit by having traditional, in-person instructors. Using these findings can help determine if you should hold your course online, or in a classroom.

It should be no surprise that the number one factor that makes a course successful online or in-person comes down to the course content. And this isn’t just limited to what’s on the page. Your decision-making process should also include how learners retain and apply the content. Some material is best learned by an individual at their own pace, and some topics need group interaction to be effectively learned.

Here are three questions to ask to help decide whether to offer a course online or in-person.

What amount of learner interaction does my course require?

The amount of natural interaction required for students to advance through the course is an important first step in determining if it should be offered online or in-person. Technology has enabled chat rooms, forums and video conferencing to simulate a classroom environment for many courses. If your course requires basic interaction between students, online communications can fill that need.

But what if your topic requires learners to work together to solve problems in real time? This is best facilitated in a face-to-face environment. Take a CPR course, for example. As good as our computer technology is, there is still no way to simulate the type of interaction needed for people to work together to save a life. Courses that train people to work closely as a team still benefit from actually being in the room together in one location at the same time.

Does my course material rely on in-person, instructor-led support?

Some topics not only involve student interactions, but also rely heavily on instructor/learner interactions. An example of this kind of course is a food safety course. A computer simulation could replicate a safe food-handling procedure, but in reality, the instructor needs to be present to observe how actual food is handled. That is something that can’t be simulated on a computer. If your course deals with a topic like math, this real-world instructor supervision may not be as essential.

What value do face-time and networking provide to my learner?

It’s important to consider not only the effective way to teach your course content, but what is the most effective way a student will learn the course material? Your course material may be simple to explain, but further discussion could help your learners to take the content you’ve taught them and apply it. A topic like this might be better suited to a workshop format that encourages discussion between the learner and the instructor, and the learner’s peers. It is hard to create that same kind of free exchange of ideas unless everyone is actually located in the same time and space.

 

The answers to these questions should provide you with a good idea if your content is well-suited for an online course, or could benefit from in-person training. There is, however, a third option, blended learning, which combines elements of both.

Blended learning: The best of both worlds

In a blended learning course, there is some amount of classroom instruction combined with some form of online course materials. In this situation, an instructor led training course could assign online content for learners to review before they get to class. Class time can then focus on the specific tasks that are most beneficial to complete in person. Or, online content can be used after an instructor led training course to expand on what was learned in class. This can take the form of a video, or interactive experience. A test can be administered online as well to make sure the concepts that were learned in the classroom were completely understood by the learner.

Conclusion

Asking and answering these three questions should start to give you an idea of whether your course would benefit from having an in-person training component. If you have a course that has historically been taught online or in-person, ask the course “graduates” for their feedback. Would the in-person course have benefited from having more online independent study available? Or, for an online-only course, would the material have been better absorbed through interactions with an instructor or other learners? Finding the right balance for your course is an important step in creating effective training courses.

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