The 7 Keys to a Successful Blended Learning Experience

March 24, 2022

The 7 Keys to a Successful Blended Learning Experience

You have likely heard the term ‘Blended Learning’, or have even had a go at running a program of this nature. It has started to become a somewhat trendy phrase, but the nuances of leading a well thought out blended (or hybrid) learning or training program, are more complex than you may think. Creating a seamless experience that moves from online to offline and back again, is not an easy task, but it’s very doable and super powerful when done right!

In this short piece, I will share some very simple and tangible tips about how to conceive, plan and implement a compelling blended learning program. Leveraging years of direct experience and intelligence culled from our entire team, across a range of digital platforms, industries and program types, we will provide you with actionable steps to begin to design a best-in-class blended training and/or coaching program.

Likely the most important thing to consider in running your program or training, is to treat it like it is an agile development sprint. Essentially, you will want to frame your program; do some discovery; create your initial MVP; test it and iterate! Here are the tips to help you begin:

STEP 1: What’s the blend?

Think about what can be done online, and what must be done in person.

  • Be very cognizant of the ‘what must be done’ part. Getting many people together (sometimes across different time zones) can be challenging, so it’s key to be thoughtful about what will be most impactful in person (or on a video call). Sometimes this is clear, other times it takes additional conversations with potential participants and stakeholders to uncover this information. ‘Do your due’ (diligence)!

STEP 2: Customer/participant Insights

Interview or survey your past or prospective participants to deeply understand what will best serve them in their learning journeys.

  • This will help you unlock their true needs and desires, enabling you to create a program of real value.

STEP 3: Create the learning experience design for your training

  • Start simple in a Google or Word doc. Begin to frame the experience, so that you can see the flow. Include things like screenshots of videos and images that will be used online, and prompts for deeper inquiry and reflection.

STEP 4: Choose an aligned digital platform

  • This part is extremely important, as the type of digital tools you use will greatly inform the flow of the learning experience, the motivation that people will feel, the ease with which you can manage the program, and the outcomes you seek to engender.
  • DSD TIP: We have created a separate guide, just about this, that you can access if you are interested in learning more about blended learning design methodologies and how to most effectively leverage online tools (just reach out to our team to setup a discovery chat). We support many transformational companies and thoughts leaders in the training & coaching space to create their powerful blended learning experiences.

STEP 5: Craft your ‘MVP’ and run an initial Pilot

  • Once you have selected your online approach, you can begin to take your learning experience design (program scaffolding) doc, and apply the online portions to their respective platform (s). 
  • We recommend that you run a small pilot with 10-30 people. This will allow you to most easily run and support this initial program, and learn about what works and what challenges were faced in a short amount of time (which is the goal!).
  • DSD TIP: Include some goal metrics at the outset of this pilot, for example: we want 15 people to join the live video; we want 10 people to complete the entire course. Setting measurable goals while designing your programs helps to ensure that your goals are appropriately tied to your program scaffolding, and that you can track results in a timely fashion, starting with this first pilot.

STEP 6: Gather learnings

  • Once you’ve completed your pilot, you can begin to gather learnings. Whether you created a survey as a self assessment to gauge initial knowledge, share a post survey about what people liked and did not like, or spoke with participants about the experience, this is the time to coalesce that information.
  • DSD TIP: make sure to track these self assessments, course NPS surveys and overall desired metrics over time, to watch for trends, and emergent data that can help inform making improvements in your courses each time.

STEP 7: Begin to create your full, blended program

  • The final step in this process is to take your learnings, and use them to inform your full course. Now you can craft an experience that has been tested at least once, and continue to iterate in the future!
  • DSD TIP: you can utilize this initial course structure as a template to apply to similar future blended programs. On Dream See Do for instance, create a template and use that for other courses. You can also clone any template and the content will automatically cascade down to any cloned program/course in the future, making it much easier to create, implement and manage future courses!

Stay tuned for more blogs about how to inspire your audience, to keep them motivated and supporting one another.

I hope that this has helped you begin to visualize your dynamic blended learning program. Please download this free workbook to begin to leverage these tips for your work!

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