Webcast Recap: 3 Takeaways on the Shift to Blended Online Learning

May 26, 2020

woman sitting at desk looking at a laptop

The pandemic has disrupted how employees learn and how L&D delivers learning—but not all disruption is bad, and L&D is rising to the challenge. As L&D pros around the world transition their in-person training to meet the needs of remote learners, we wanted to know what’s working. 

Amy Borsetti, Director of LinkedIn Learning Solutions hosted a webinar with Daniel Brigham, Digital Learning Specialist and LinkedIn Learning Instructor, and Kristina Tsiriotakis, Global Director of Learning & Organizational Development at DECIEM, to discuss how companies are making the shift to blended online learning. We had more than 2,000 attendees who asked over 250 questions, confirming that this is an essential topic that needs our attention now.  

Here are three takeaways to help guide you through this time of change. (And be sure to watch the full discussion here.)

1. Embrace a new approach: blended online learning

To engage employees in our new, online-first world, L&D leaders are embracing blended online learning: a combination of live, virtual experiences and online learning content.

Daniel believes that the most robust training is a blend. Figure out what resources you have available and put them together in creative ways based on what you’re trying to teach. For example, you can give employees foundational information via traditional online learning, teach skills one-on-one (or one-to-many) through virtual instructor-led training (VILT), and provide on-demand video resources to support them on the job, in the moment they may need them. 

Video in particular is booming right now. “Whether it’s LinkedIn Learning content or something people can access after the fact, video is a great way for learners to be self-sufficient,” says Daniel.

Kristina encourages L&D pros to “play with micro macros,” or shorter sessions over a longer period of time. Kristina says, “There’s only so long you can tune in online, so keeping it shorter and simpler is best. Then, continue the conversation over many weeks and months to start forming these habits and boost learning.” 

Kristina does this by sharing LinkedIn Learning courses as pre- or post-work so employees can think about what they learned and then come back to a human-to-human VILT session to engage in conversation.

2. Deliver self-directed learning content when employees need it most 

L&D pros are playing an increasingly important role in helping employees navigate constant change. Mental wellness support, for instance, has emerged as a top priority. By using LinkedIn Learning to see what content is being consumed, Kristina and her team can quickly deliver content and experiential sessions when employees need it most. 

They also created an at-home learning toolkit to help employees easily access various digital tools—videos, live sessions, online learning—and build their own learning journeys. Rather than prescribing learning, Kristina wants to give people as many paths as possible to learn in the way that feels best to them. 

3. Use online games to engage learners (but how?)

When we asked attendees what type of online learning they’re currently using, we weren’t surprised by the top two: more than 76% use live virtual instructor-led training and over 62% use self-paced e-learning courses.

  • Webcast-survey-What-types-of-online-learning-are-you-currently-leveraging

Surprisingly, only 7% of attendees said they were using gamification. Based on the live questions from attendees, it turns out that  L&D pros want to use online games to engage learners, but they are unclear about how to implement gamification. (Looking for inspiration? Our Guide to Gamification offers plenty of good ideas!)

Let’s continue the conversation

While companies have already made massive changes in their approach to L&D, we are still only at the starting line of a major step-change. 

“I think this is the moment that most of us have been waiting for in our careers,” said Kristina. “We have this captive audience and if we continue to put our people first, there’s a huge opportunity for us to be true business partners in the organization.”

By sharing challenges, solutions, and  ideas, we’ll all be more successful—together. Here are a few ways to stay connected:

To watch the full discussion, check out the on-demand webinar recording here.

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