For many learning organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a digital transformation by forcing an almost-overnight shift from in-person training. Having spent decades delivering the majority of their learning in classrooms and dabbling with eLearning, companies are now scrambling to finetune their digital strategies. The silver lining to all of this is that they were forced to take a hard look at their in-person training, their digital approach and what it means to have a truly blended approach.

The pandemic does not mean the end of the classroom. Face-to-face training may be on hiatus but it will return, though maybe not at pre-2020 levels In fact, in Brandon Hall Group’s Learning Strategy Survey, 94% of companies said that redesigning the classroom experience was at least somewhat important to helping them achieve business goals. Nearly one-third said it was critical. As we head in that direction, companies will need to get far more innovative at combining digital with the richness of ILT in blended learning solutions. 

For most, the problem is that “blended learning” meant giving classroom attendees a follow-up link for more information or a thumb drive containing related materials. This still treats the two elements as unique, separate experiences. We now have an opportunity to rebuild our approach to blended learning and make something with much higher engagement and longer retention. 

There are many ways to do this and I am hosting a webinar with Steve Meyer, Managing Director of Rapid Learning to look at their Micro-Virtual Professional Training (MVP) framework. It brings facilitated learning like ILT and VILT together with digital elements and collaboration to create a truly blended experience around a single-content focus.

I encourage learning professionals looking ahead to their post-COVID strategy to join the discussion as we talk about what blended learning could and really should look like. 

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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