Someone asked recently, “Is instructor lead training (ILT) dying or is that something people still ask for?”

If that makes you nervous, don’t worry. Face-to-face delivery is not dying. Rather, recent trends and technology are causing changes in the landscape of training. Training departments are reallocating where they spend their time and money into blended learning.

A shift, not an extinction

With more and more businesses and people on the move, instructor-led training works only in certain situations, such as when all employees are onsite at the same time. eLearning lets employees learn anytime and anywhere. So, eLearning should be better, right?

Not necessarily.

Enter the blended learning approach

ILT? eLearning? Mobile? Perhaps it is not only eLearning or ILT that is the solution, but a combination of the three. Blended learning, or the “learning mix,” as corporate learning expert Elliott Masie describes, combines “instructional design, with learner choices, and external resources. This mix presents instructors with the opportunity to exploit the unique features of each delivery method to optimize learning.”

How blended learning works

A medical device company faced a crucial training challenge when they acquired a line of power tools to add to its portfolio of products. The majority of the items sold by its sales force were one-time use products as opposed to capital equipment. This presented a two-pronged training need.

First, the 1,200 sales reps needed to understand how and why selling capital equipment was vastly different from selling the one-time use products they had handled previously. In addition, the reps needed basic education about the new line of products so they could sell effectively—and with confidence.

The answer was an app, which enabled reps to learn the necessary background information on power tools in preparation for in-person training.

With the app serving as a prerequisite for the basic face-to-face training, the in-person sessions could focus on building confidence and specific selling skills. Then after face-to-face training is completed, learners can continue to sharpen their knowledge using the same handy application they are already familiar with.

It’s like a blended learning sandwich!

Create the learning combo that’s right for you

Not only does blended learning play to the strengths of each delivery method, but it’s also proven to be more effective than ILT or eLearning alone. A study found that combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger learning advantage than purely face-to-face or purely online instruction did.

So when you are building a learning strategy, get creative! Throw in several different delivery methods and blend away to provide your users with engaging learning.

We all want learning that works

Check out how we helped Southwest Airlines create an app to support their ILT.

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