Blended versus Online Training in Corporate LMS

Blended versus Online training? Perhaps you are already familiar with these terms in your research on how best to deliver your training on your corporate LMS. It’s a good starting point.

What is meant by both terms?

In its narrowest sense, blended learning combines elements of online course materials with face-to-face meetings;  or a substantial amount of content is presented online with participation in online discussions and face to face follow-ups. Online delivers all content via an LMS including assessments and records the results. Assessments in a blended course may also be delivered online.

There are many pedagogical theories floating around about what method will work best in your corporate LMS. First, the fact that you chose to go with a technology-based pedagogy puts you in the position of a binary choice between the two delivery systems.

Presumably, you are engaging your employees or learners in a systematic way of training that will guarantee their success. You don’t want your workers to flunk out of your online school. So when push comes to shove, it really depends on the nature of your training whether you go with blended or online.

Here are some considerations:

    1. Is your training just a matter of complying with legal obligations? For example, let’s say you are running a restaurant. Your wait staff has to know what the proper procedure is if they break a glass or prepare food with a cut. Simple. That could probably be accomplished in an online-only LMS. But what about something complicated, like how to respond to on-the-job sexual harassment? A blended approach might be a better way to go with components of the training presented online and face-to-face role playing.
    2. Does the course material require constant updating? Let’s say you are operating with a fleet of mobile repairers who have to deal with a number of appliances. One of your suppliers is coming out with a new model with new features that require a different repair protocol. Chances are you would want to update your field staff with the latest information, which can probably be best delivered online.
    3. What kind of assessments are you delivering? Soft skills, such as how to treat a customer or a fellow staff member will most likely require scenario based training done face-to-face. The follow-up assessment, could then be delivered online through an LMS. So blended would be the way to go.
    4. Will your training require heavy use of video or other multimedia with interactive elements? 
    5. Do your assessments have to be integrated with HR systems? If the answer is yes, then online will be the best way to go because of its seamlessness. However, the integration is often problematic.
    6. Will your staff be using their own mobile devices to access training? This is a biggie. If the answer is yes, then online is your main choice and you have to work how you will be paying for data downloads.

If you want a more thorough analysis of your choices with a corporate LMS, we invite you to contact My Learning Space.