The last eighteen months have been filled with many experiments in conducting every aspect of the workplace virtually. Learning and development efforts have been no exception.
But now that many of us are headed back to the office—at least some of the time—the newest L&D trends are all about going hybrid. But how can you make sure your virtual training methodologies are effective and engaging?
What’s Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning combines traditional, in-person, face-to-face training with digital learning that includes virtual course delivery. As many companies are reoriented to a hybrid positioning, your employee training programs need to equally serve in-person and fully remote employees.
Both synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning activities engage all employees–and keep them connected to the office–no matter where they are working from at any given time. Hybrid learning is less about balancing the in-person and the virtual and more about offering flexibility in both delivery and participation. This benefits your instructors, your learners, and your organization.
Video is at the heart of the virtual components of hybrid learning. It’s as equally effective for live discussion and collaboration as it is for completing coursework for compliance purposes and in advance of live discussions.
FREE GUIDE: Driving a 360-Degree Hybrid Learning Experience
The Top L&D Hybrid Learning Trends for 2021
1. Moving Beyond Video Conferencing to Virtual Classrooms
Video conferencing is great. It allows people to see and hear each other in real time, no matter where they are in the world, and working through the COVID pandemic would have been awfully hard without it.
But now that we know that hybrid work is the future of office life because employees have come to value and thrive in the flexibility hybrid provides, it’s time to recognize that video conferencing is a great starting point, but it just isn’t enough.
Virtual classrooms, however, are helping companies make sure that remote L&D efforts are just as engaging, collaborative, and thorough as in person ones. Virtual classrooms go beyond video conferencing by offering persistent remote rooms that are chock-full of features that help people understand and apply new information.
With live remote instruction, real-time quizzing and polling, and collaborative notetaking, virtual classrooms keep your learners engaged and allow instructors to evaluate knowledge, interest, and participation during and after class.
Not only that, but virtual classrooms easily integrate with content management systems to generate repositories of on-demand content–like videos and recorded presentations–for employees to review or complete on their own time between sessions.
Corporate L&D efforts are moving rapidly to include virtual classrooms, not just for current needs, but as part of a long-term hybrid vision that centers the flexibility needs of employees.
2. Employees Love the Flexibility of On-Demand Learning
One of the great appeals of the hybrid workplace for your employees is the flexibility it provides. In the hybrid work environment, not all employees will be doing all their work during strict 9-5 hours. Your employees likely don’t even live in the same time zone.
In this new model of work, employees may choose to shift some tasks–particularly solitary ones–to non-traditional hours that work best for them. But what happens when they discover there’s information they need to get the job done, and it’s outside of more typical business hours? This is just one scenario in which on-demand learning can drive productivity.
What’s on-demand learning? It’s training and development an employee can access when they need it, without waiting for a trainer to be available, requesting special permissions, or waiting for a future training session that’s days, weeks, or even months down the road. By recording live video-based training sessions and implementing an effective content management system where content is easily searchable and discoverable, on-demand training can quickly become a reality for your staff.
Your L&D library can also easily grow, not just with each new live training session you offer and record, but also by giving employees access to easy-to-use video creation tools, in order to facilitate and organize more informal, peer-to-peer learning.
By making on-demand virtual learning a key component of the hybrid workplace, companies are boosting efficiency, cutting down on email clutter, and helping employees get the job done right without any frustrating roadblocks.
3. Data and Analytics Will Be Key to Designing Effective Employee Training
Which training videos are the most popular? Do certain sections of certain videos draw the most–or the least–views? Are employees searching for video content that doesn’t exist… yet?
In 2021 and beyond, corporate hybrid learning will be shaped by analytics that help companies understand how training materials are being used and what training materials employees want. Analytics can also help your organization make sure you’re meeting compliance requirements, as well as provide a window on which employees are most engaged in upskilling.
A robust virtual classroom and video portal solution can collect data and generate insights that help you redesign or finetune your learning and development strategy. By focusing on detailed, finely sliced analytics, hybrid workplaces are finding new ways to understand and deliver on what employees want and need to excel.
Ready to learn more about how to drive a 360-degree hybrid learning experience?