Blended learning for face-to-face trainers

Blended learning for face-to-face trainers

Posted on Nov 04, 2015

Blended learning: the advantages for face-to-face trainers



So what exactly is blended learning?

No – we don’t mean popping your paper training course in the food processor, blended learning is defined as ‘A formal education program in which a student learns, at least in part, through delivery of content and instruction via a digital and online media’. The student has some element of control over time, place, path or pace – but the level of control they have will differ depending on what model of blended learning they take.

Or rather more simply, this means mixing your media when it comes to training. This can be done by combining some face-to-face elements with webinars, e-learning, virtual classrooms or interactive lessons – to name a few.

Blended learning is in keeping with the consciousness that we now live in a digital age. The ways in which we work, learn, socialise and carry out every day activities are changing. Not too long ago online shopping seemed a bit daunting – but it now equates to £52.25 billion (15.2%) of all retail sales in the UK.

As people, we are now used to receiving a continuous stream of digital information – and at a fast pace. Apps, newsfeeds, quick links and push notifications only echo this need for information, and how we incorporate it into our daily working and social lives – so why should the way we learn be any different?


The six models of blended learning

Blended learning can traditionally be classified into six models – so let’s get traditional and swot up on the magic six!


1. Face-to-face driver.


This is where the trainer drives the instruction and arguments with digital tools. This model relies heavily on the physical trainer to deliver most of the curriculum (much like a traditional classroom), then deploy online learning on a case-by-case basis to supplement or remediate, often at the back of a ‘classroom’.

2. Rotation.


This model involves face-to-face and online learning. Participants will ‘rotate’ across e-learning, small group instruction and pen & paper activities. The time scheduled during this model is divided and fixed between these processes – or it will be at the trainer’s discretion for any given course how the learning format will be split and structured.

3. Flex (not our muscles… our minds!)


In this model, the learning curriculum will be delivered in most part via an online platform. Trainers will then provide on-site support on a flexible and adaptive ‘as needed’ basis, through in-person one-on-ones or small group discussions.

4. Labs.


Labs is where all of the content is delivered online or via a digital platform, but this occurs in a consistent location, such as a classroom (or training suite) and with the use of online trainers. Your learners will usually take traditional classes in this model too.

5. Self-blend.


Any time a learner chooses to take an online course in addition to your face-to-face training, classes or mandatory training they would fall into this category. In the Self-blend model, the online learning is always remote – which makes it different from the above mentioned ‘Lab’ approach.

6. Online driver.


This model will require your learners to complete an entire course through an online platform with you checking in with them from time to time. Your check-ins are optional, and at other times mandatory – this will be at your discretion, and will sometimes depend on the subject matter.


What are the benefits of blended learning?

You can reduce your training costs through blended learning. Not having to physically be in the training room means fewer expenses for travel, transport, accommodation and meals. It also means you can literally be in two places at once, earning income from a face-to-face training day, whilst your online market is busy purchasing and completing their training – it truly is a win-win.


Blended learning combines the best parts of both face-to-face and online learning. Users have control of the way they learn (time, speed, pace, and path) within the set models (the aforementioned six) and have the traditional support elements of you, the trainer, if they require additional help or guidance.


The methods used in blended learning can result in high levels of student or participant achievement compared to face-to-face training alone. Participants are able to re-visit online resources and refresh their knowledge or understanding of the subject matter at any time – and with the online driver model, can actually decide to take their learning further and consume more information on any given subject, independently and at their leisure.


All in all, blending different delivering modes in your training can significantly increase its ROI (you can calculate this here using the handy tool flick have produced).


custom flick



What are the benefits of offering blended learning solutions to your clients?


  • You have a wider appeal to more potential customers as some people have a personal preference for certain media so, if you can offer what someone’s looking for, you stand a better chance of them choosing you.
  • You can be more efficient with your time – not everything lends itself to online and, similarly, not everything needs to be delivered face-to-face. By covering a range of learning media, you can more precisely choose which elements of the learning experience should be delivered in certain ways. This frees you up to focus on delivering the elements that are most effective when face-to-face.
  • Finally, embracing a blended approach can save you valuable time by collecting your training feedback for you, compared to you doing this yourself in a physical environment. Online learning systems allow you to gather valuable data about your participants’ performance via online quizzes and tests, and can generate feedback in the form of automatic reports. Moreover, a blended learning approach can help you measure the effectiveness of your overall training program, evaluating what methods worked well, and what didn’t so you can be ready to make a change if required. Your clients benefit as well, since they are able to review their learners progress, weaknesses, and strengths


We’ve talked more about the benefits for you in going online, in our blog on How to make money from your knowledge: 6 killer reasons to go online.


The future of learning

As with the online shopping example we discussed earlier, there is no doubt that online learning styles will only get more and more common. It’s been predicted that in 2015 alone, 98% of organisations are predicted to use e-learning courses as part of their learning strategy, and by 2019, 50% of all classes will be delivered online.


Online learning and the sharing of training models via digital media will ultimately enhance the way that your training is delivered, and with all the signs pointing towards the growth of online learning as a choice for employers and businesses to provide their mandatory training – now’s the time to get your content online.


Interested in finding out what it’d be like to create your own blended learning experience? Have a look at flick’s custom page today and see how we can help you take your face to face training online in 7 easy steps.


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