Designing effective blended learning journeys
blended-learning-wirksam-gestalten

April 17, 2024

With a combination of digital self-learning and live-training, blended learning is one of the most important development approaches in organizations. How can Blended Learning be designed and implemented effectively?

Blended learning combines the advantages of face-to-face training and digital self-learning and has established itself as an indispensable tool in people development. According to a survey by the mmb Institute, it is rated as the most important form of learning in organizations. (mmb Trend Monitor, 2023) But how can blended learning be designed and implemented to be as impactful as possible?

 

We spoke to a trainer and a participant of the troodi blended learning course about the targeted use of this form of learning. How can people developers utilize it successfully? The course supports people developers in their work with blended learning formats and promotes networking with other L&D professionals. Maike Willing, L&D Consultant and trainer at troodi, and Marten Schinke, Junior Consultant Blended Learning Management at Malteser, share their views on blended learning as a people development tool and their experiences with troodi’s course.

About the interview partners

Maike is an L&D Consultant and trainer for various topics at troodi. She has spent many years working both academically and practically on topics such as intercultural cooperation and digital collaboration and has been a trainer and facilitator in the profit and non-profit sectors. At troodi, she is passionate about designing targeted blended learning concepts together with client organizations and conducts these herself as a trainer in the areas of communication, diversity, and health, among others.

maike-willing-troodi
marten-schinke-malteser

Marten works at the Malteser Academy as a Junior Consultant for Blended Learning Management, designing programs for the development of employees. He has an academic background in Cultural Studies and Sustainability Humanities and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Human Resources Development and Communication Management. Marten is also an accredited intercultural trainer and mediator and applies his wide-ranging knowledge to Malteser’s people development efforts.

Maike, you have introduced a blended learning course for people developers at troodi. How did this come about?

We work with people developers from a variety of organizations on a daily basis and always see how exciting and inspiring the exchange on L&D topics can be. We talked about this in our team and the question arose as to how we could bring this group of people together. For one, to build a sustainable community and, secondly, to better understand the challenges of our target group. Blended learning has proven to be a key topic for us in the area of Learning & Development, which is why we are eager to share our experience in this area – and this is how the idea for the course came about.

What is the content of the course and what was important for the concept?

The course is structured in the form of a blended learning journey, which was very important to us. This way, participants can experience for themselves what it means to go through self-learning phases coupled with live-training. That will help them to be aware of opportunities and challenges when implementing their own development paths later on. We start with a joint kick-off, where we come together online and offer space for onboarding and getting to know each other. This is followed by the first module on “Designing effective blended learning journeys”, which provides practical tips and background knowledge on selecting and designing suitable learning formats. The second module focuses on the successful implementation of blended learning formats. This includes the identification of key stakeholders, getting them on board, and evaluating the measures. In both modules, the self-learning phase with a learning program on our troodi grow platform is followed by a live-session that focuses on the practical application of the content.

Marten, what advantages do you see for your organization in exploring blended learning formats further?

In the context of my work at Malteser, I deal with the conception and design of suitable blended learning solutions on a daily basis. Especially for an organization as diverse as Malteser, which is engaged in very different areas of work in full-time and voluntary work, suitable learning opportunities are needed. In my opinion, this is also the advantage of blended learning: we can bring together participants with different backgrounds in a joint training program. A three-day seminar is not always the right way to go. Blended learning enables greater flexibility and autonomy in the learning process, which benefits overall motivation to learn.

 

I searched for a comprehensive course in this field to ensure that these various measures would be effective, sustainable, and targeted. The aim was to obtain both didactic finesse and practical tips for implementation. Both are part of the troodi course and therefore match my requirements perfectly.

What were the most valuable insights you gained from the blended learning course?

My top 3 most valuable insights that will continue to influence me in my role are the following:

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Push and pull principle

As a training provider, we should ideally offer content according to the push and pull principle. Flexible blended learning solutions offer the potential to easily integrate topics that are not yet well established.

Learning buddies

Using learning buddies in the development process, who exchange information on their own parallel to the training, helps immensely to deepen the content and relate it to their own context.

Curated offer

It is important to control and reduce the choice overload in microlearning. As people developers, it is our job to curate the offer.

Maike, after a few courses, can you give us a conclusion? Was there anything that surprised you?

I was really impressed by the energy with which the participants showed up to the courses. We can come up with the most wonderful concepts, but in the end it’s the participants who bring it to life – and they did. I always notice this most when I forget that we are in an online meeting. There were so many questions, lively discussions, and practical cases that we were able to share in the live-sessions. We were also very pleased with the high completion rates in the self-study phases. Of course, we asked ourselves beforehand how our learning programs would be received and whether a busy target group such as people developers would prioritize the time for our learning programs. The results speak for themselves. I am very excited to see whether the networking will remain as strong after the course – that would be amazing.

Marten, how did you personally like the format and were you able to gain new insights for your target group?

I am convinced of value that blended learning provides. I realized for myself that it is very important to experience how certain aspects look in practice and what effect they have, in addition to the theoretical discussion. I found the combination of theory and practice in troodi’s course really helpful.

How do you intend to progress with blended learning in your organization?

We want to integrate blended learning as a standard in the different areas of the organization. However, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. The goal will be to design suitable training measures for the respective learning objectives, target groups, areas, and learning contexts. But one thing is clear: blended learning is becoming more and more part of our training standards. Not to replace what already works well, but to offer an effective addition or alternative.

Maike, what are your plans? Are you planning to offer this course in the future?

We are currently in a pilot phase and are using the feedback from participants to iteratively improve the course. Based on the positive feedback, we will definitely offer the course on a monthly basis until the end of 2024 and then start the overall evaluation. Personally, I’m already looking forward to the next courses and getting to know lots of exciting people!

If you would like to find out more about blended learning, feel free to browse our website or talk to our L&D Consultants. In our troodi L&D community, you also have the opportunity to network with other people developers and L&D professionals and exchange ideas on important L&D topics.

Jacqueline Soldan
Als Marketing Managerin bei troodi ist Jacqueline in sämtliche Marketing Aktivitäten über verschiedene Kanäle involviert. Ihren professionellen Hintergrund hat sie im Event Management mit einem Bachelor in International Business Communication, Schwerpunkt Marketing und Personalmanagement.

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