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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Best Learning Blends Online and Instructor-Led Courses | Gallup

Story Highlights
  • All companies have to focus on development to compete for top talent
  • Blended learning techniques are best for adult learners
  • Learners retain more when they immediately apply what they've learned
Jennifer Robison contributed to this article.

Learn why a blend of course delivery modes makes for the most effective learning, summarizes Adam Hickman, Learning Design Consultant at Gallup and Shane McFeely, Global Practice Researcher at Gallup.

Professional development is a critical concern for managers, L&D pros, HR leaders -- anybody in charge of leading or managing other professionals.

Companies invest a lot in their educational programs: well over a $1,000 per worker each year, on average. For that kind of money, a business needs to see and feel a substantial return on its investment.

That's why Gallup continuously evaluates the best way to teach and train adult workers.

With the explosion of online learning platforms and courses, the question of mode 
effectiveness becomes paramount.

Is learning more effective in live, instructor-led courses or online modules?
There are two schools of thought on that, and research is pointing to an answer: both are best, blended together in a program that reinforces learning.

But efficacy depends to some extent on learner preferences and needs, too.

Different Attributes
Perhaps the biggest advantage of instructor-led courses is that they engage learners in the material.
  • When a learner has trouble grasping a concept, a course leader can answer questions.
  • When learners do not see the relevance of the course content to their jobs, course leaders can help make those connections immediately.
  • And when learners want more information because they're excited about the subject matter, course leaders can encourage their discovery process and dive deeper.
Digital learning has other, but equally useful, qualities.
  • The on-demand nature of these learning platforms ensures workers can schedule learning around their calendar and workspace -- a big plus for remote workers or employees who work in offices far away from HQ.
  • Digital learning can also be scaled to reach a large number of workers and is not limited to physical classroom spaces.
  • And because digital learning is delivered over time, this mode of learning has the benefit of more natural opportunities for practice and reinforcement.

Source: Gallup