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Digital Learning Essentials: The Go-To Guide for Efficient Hybrid Training

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Summary:

In the context of the rapid obsolescence of professional skills and a shortage of talent on the market, Learning & Development (L&D) teams need to rethink their approach to corporate training. They need to create hybrid formats that adapt to the needs of each learner, making the most of face-to-face, distant, synchronous and asynchronous learning.

More than ever, learner engagement is a key factor in accelerating and optimizing the training experience. With collaborative workspaces adapted to hybrid training, you can maximize engagement levels from anywhere, at any time. Visual platforms like Klaxoon enable you to offer personalized content, create an emotional connection, encourage interaction and constructive feedback for better long-term learning retention.

To improve the effectiveness of your digital learning initiatives, it's important to set up a working environment that encourages everyone to get involved, especially at a distance where it can sometimes be more difficult to express oneself. Your training space must emphasize practice and experimentation, which make up 70% of the learning process. It must also enable effective monitoring of knowledge acquisition.

Finally, L&D teams need to evolve towards continuous support and invest in a genuine learning culture which, according to Gallup, can increase company profitability by as much as 11%. The Klaxoon collaborative platform offers a personalized hybrid training experience and facilitates the transition to agile learning.

2 years: that's the average lifespan of a professional skill before it becomes obsolete (compared with 30 years in 1987, according to the OECD). 

Against this backdrop, combined with a major shortage of talent on the market, the challenges of professional learning (also known as Learning & Development or L&D) are becoming increasingly strategic. We need to train quickly, in volume, on new skills, and in a context of budgetary restraint.

To meet these challenges, there are a multitude of learning formats available today. Among them, digital learning continues to gain momentum, especially since the 2020 pandemic. But we are also seeing a return to face-to-face training for certain courses, as they are still perceived as being more qualitative and engaging.

In fact, regardless of the format chosen, it's learner engagement and effective monitoring of progress that determine the pedagogical effectiveness of a company training course. In this step-by-step guide, you'll discover the different ways to maximize this engagement in your digital learning initiatives, and more broadly in your hybrid training sessions.

One person working on a computer displaying a training course Board, and four other people connected simultaneously by video. | Klaxoon
In training, learner engagement is fundamental to generating better long-term results.

What role can digital learning play in the return to face-to-face training?

Digital learning has been used and democratized in companies since well before the pandemic. But it was during this period that it became an essential solution in all business sectors, due to the confines of the workplace.

Since the end of the pandemic, while the need for distance learning remains undeniable in organizations, there are also many arguments in favor of a return to face-to-face training for certain courses, as they are associated with the following benefits:

  • Better content quality;
  • Greater engagement and interaction;
  • Better retention of information;
  • Greater personalization (especially in answers to questions);
  • Easier feedback to learners, etc.

In practice, the majority of companies today use training methods that are at least partly digital. This is due to the fact that teams are increasingly distributed geographically, but also to the desire of organizations to reduce their costs (particularly in terms of travel, accommodation, etc.).

L&D teams therefore need to offer a flexible solution, depending on whether or not face-to-face training is required. This takes the form of a hybrid solution, also known as blended learning, which consists of offering both face-to-face and distance learning sessions during the same training course.

So how do you address both formats in a coherent way, and make digital learning moments more interactive? One effective approach for trainers is to combine synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous and asynchronous: harness the full potential of digital learning

Despite corporate investment in internal skills development to encourage talent retention, teams and the managers who embody them have less and less time for training and learning. Indeed, this is the number one obstacle identified by learners to effective training, ahead of lack of commitment and budget (Learning at Work 2023, CIPD).

To help them structure their learning time in hybrid mode, it is therefore important that you enable them to fully exploit the potential of asynchronous moments, in the same way as synchronous moments:

  • Asynchronous learning enables interaction before and after the training session: preparing the session with early participation, sharing feedback at a time that suits learners best, etc.
  • Asynchronous learning can also be applied to more collaborative formats such as brainstorming, onboarding, or kick-off. It is particularly effective for international teams working in different time zones.
Milton Neto: "When we launch a meeting here in Brazil, the teams in Singapore always have the opportunity to interact with us." | Klaxoon
As an example, at Embraer, Milton Neto ensures efficient asynchronous exchanges between teams located thousands of kilometers apart.
  • In asynchronous mode, information is centralized in dedicated collaborative spaces and is always available and accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Some solutions enable you to effectively combine synchronous and asynchronous digital learning. Such is the case with the Klaxoon collaborative platform, which offers a complete virtual space fully integrated with tool suites used in a training context, such as Google and Microsoft:

  • It includes activities designed for synchronous interaction. For example, the integrated Live videoconferencing tool, as well as Challenge Questions to encourage participants to give the right answer as quickly as possible.
  • It also offers asynchronous activities: Quizzes, Surveys to gather feedback or ask for the group's opinion, gamified courses, etc.
  • It features integrated measurement and reporting tools, for effective monitoring of learner progress and the acquisition and mastery of new knowledge.

Thanks to this type of solution, we're now talking about a true hybrid training experience, where learning can take place both on dedicated synchronous time and directly in employees' daily lives, in the form of microlearning.

However, as we have seen, lack of time is not the only obstacle to effective corporate learning. In second place comes the lack of commitment to training. So what are the levers that L&D teams can use to maximize learner engagement throughout their hybrid training courses?

Generate high levels of engagement throughout your hybrid training courses

Build a session tailored to your participants' needs

Even before the training takes place, taking the time to co-construct it with online learners enables you to tailor the course to their needs. 

At a time when we are constantly exposed to enormous amounts of information, it is important to design your digital learning to avoid cognitive overload. Use asynchronous surveys to find out participants' specific needs and expectations, so you can understand what really adds value for them.

A person completing a Survey on a mobile phone. | Klaxoon
Participants can complete the Survey at their own pace after the session, encouraging full and constructive feedback.

Experience learning through emotions

Whether remote or face-to-face, an effective way to enhance the learning experience is to stimulate emotions. Creating a complete, enjoyable, and well-designed experience then promotes lasting impact through emotional connection.

For example, you can start a training session with a gamified activity such as an icebreaker or a refresher. In addition to creating a bond and a climate conducive to exchange, even when participants are at a distance or don't know each other, this encourages them to express themselves and enables even the most introverted to get involved in the training.

Interact with everyone repeatedly

There's nothing like regular interaction with the audience to stimulate engagement and improve memorization! 

Constant interaction means you can respond effectively to participants' needs, preferences and unique ways of thinking. And this is all the more true at a distance! Behind a screen, some participants may feel less comfortable speaking, and the way you design your digital learning needs to take this into account.

To encourage better overall participation online, consider using collaborative visual environments such as whiteboards, but also interactive activities like quizzes, voting questions or gamified courses.

A person working on a computer with a Board displaying an open Voting Question with participation results. | Klaxoon
In a whiteboard, you can also retrieve participation results directly from your interactive activities.

Gather feedback at every stage

The importance of feedback at every stage of a training program is well established. Although often perceived as a corrective tool, feedback is essential for continuous improvement. Receiving positive, constructive or even informal feedback helps to establish a culture of constant improvement, fostering a healthy, innovative learning environment.

In digital learning, provide your learners with ways of communicating their feedback to you, during or after a training session. You can share surveys, and evaluation requests, or use more comprehensive online feedback methods such as Kudo Cards or Retrospective.

Maintain acquired knowledge over time

In addition to continuous interaction during sessions, it's important to maintain the knowledge acquired over time through spaced repetition. So, after an e-learning course, be sure to share summary content with your learners at regular intervals to reinforce the assimilation of new notions. 

Klaxoon's Memo tool is ideal for this: it allows you to secure the next steps in your training by visually summarizing a module or session in just a few pages. You can even include several types of questions (single choice, multiple choice, Yes/No, etc.) to engage your learners by testing their knowledge as they progress.

Whether before, during or after your blended learning sessions, you need to be able to offer a complete, coherent learning experience that enhances engagement in both digital learning and face-to-face modules. To achieve this, you need a workspace that meets the needs of both formats and enables you to provide continuous support for your learners, wherever they may be.

Create a work environment conducive to effective learning

Build a consistent competency-based experience

According to HBR, the future of training will depend on the technologies available to companies, but not only. The "70/20/10" model breaks down the learning mechanism into three fundamental aspects: 

  • 70% of learning comes from learners' experience, notably through practice and feedback;
  • 20% comes from exposure, i.e. mentoring or peer learning;
  • Only 10% comes from educational training content as such.

To foster a blended learning experience and personalized skills development, your digital learning environment must therefore take account of these different learning modalities, and above all enable your learners to practice, experiment, and be supported in applying the knowledge they have acquired.

Provide support in applying what you've learned in digital learning

Gartner identifies a number of ways in which L&D teams can support their learners over the long term, and thus increase employees' professional development by up to 45%:

  • Provide them with the right resources and opportunities.
  • Inform them of how these resources will help them develop their role and skills.
  • Give them access to mentors or peers to help them re-contextualize what they've learned.

The Klaxoon collaborative platform can help you implement each of these 3 steps, thanks to complementary functionalities: 

  • A collaborative space to centralize your resources, with the online whiteboard Board, but also Networks that let you organize your Klaxoon activities by folder, in a secure way.
A person holding a smartphone on which a Klaxoon Network dedicated to a safety training module is open. | Klaxoon
In a Network, simply organize your training modules visually into private groups.
  • Tools to inform learners and test their knowledge: Session, Memo, Quiz, Survey, etc.
  • Activities to connect learners and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration: Open Question, Voting Question, Yes/No, etc.

Conclusion

From now on, the role of L&D teams in companies is no longer simply to deliver one-off training courses, either face-to-face or remotely. Rather, they must support learners in developing their skills over the long term, throughout their career, and not just in their current position. 

In short, it's a real investment in a learning culture that, according to Gallup, could increase corporate profitability by as much as 11%.

To accelerate the speed and scope of skills acquisition, it is becoming necessary to implement agile and hybrid learning: dynamic learning paths, asynchronous learning or learning integrated into the workflow in digital learning solutions, etc.

Finding the right rhythm to alternate these different formats requires experimenting with learners' needs, and always focusing your training on personalization and feedback for continuous improvement.

Thanks to comprehensive, interactive collaborative workspaces like the Klaxoon platform, you can offer truly personalized training experiences in face-to-face, remote, synchronous and asynchronous formats. You can also closely monitor participants' engagement and progress in your training sessions, thanks to integrated reporting tools.

What's more, Klaxoon allows you to get started quickly and intuitively, thanks to 45-minute discovery sessions focused on training challenges. Don't hesitate to sign up to discover the full potential of the platform for your digital learning initiatives in just a few minutes.

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