Online and Blended Learning – what’s in it for you?
Every year, more and more organisations are turning to online and blended learning for at least some of their training needs.
If you haven’t yet tried it, you may be wondering why it’s becoming such a popular choice. What can it do for your organisation – and is it really as effective as face-to-face training?
Stretching the budget: a constant headache
Training is a big investment, and you have to make your limited budget go a very long way. It’s not just front-line staff you have to think about: everyone in your organisation needs up-to-date compliance training. Regular changes in regulations can put you right back to square one.
In most cases, the biggest cost of training isn’t even the course fees – it’s the effort and expense of covering shifts while your staff are attending courses. If you’re based in a remote location, you have to budget for travel time and costs on top of everything else. And if someone misses out on a course for some reason it can be a major challenge arranging for them to catch up.
With only so much budget to go around, you’re facing a constant juggling act, balancing priorities to make sure everyone on your team receives the essential training they need to excel at their job.
The solution: online learning
The most obvious benefit of online learning is that it will save you a lot of money – in some cases bringing the cost down to a few dollars per person per course. And since staff can access training from any computer, there are no travel costs to factor in.
Then there’s all the time and money you’ll save on back-filling. With face-to-face training, you have to pull several staff members out of service at the same time to attend a course. But since there’s no need for everyone to complete online training at the same time, you can schedule study time for each team member one at a time, or even work it in around their existing shifts.
Record keeping is another headache you’ll no longer have. Our online learning portal automatically keeps track of who has logged on and completed which modules, and gives you instant reports on attendance, outcomes and participant feedback so you can immediately identify any problem areas.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of all to online training is that it allows each person to learn at their own speed and in their own way. Virtual courses deliver visually engaging, interactive material in easily digestible chunks that can repeatedly be accessed until the learner fully understands the topic.
There has been plenty of research into the effectiveness of online teaching, with the findings showing that the outcomes are consistently as good, and often better than face-to-face training. This has been found especially for people who have a more limited understanding of the topic at the start of the course (as shown by this interesting study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
When you need to cater for people with different levels of existing knowledge, learning styles, and linguistic backgrounds, you need tailored training. Through online learning, it’s possible to tailor courses to the individual needs of your staff members. Call us to find out more.
Blended learning – the best of both worlds
Online learning is great for theory and knowledge based learning, however, care workers need practical training for topics like manual handling, medication and infection control.
Blended training is a mixture of online and face-to-face delivery. It offers the best of both worlds, keeping the cost and disruption of training to a minimum while still giving staff all the hands-on skills they need. Your team members can gain a thorough understanding of the theory in advance, and then follow up their online learning with face-to-face sessions that focus purely on practical training.
Choosing the right provider
Training is only as good as the provider. And in the disability and community sectors, where everything you do has a direct impact on the safety and well being of your clients, it’s absolutely essential that your staff receive high-quality, evidence-based and 100% up-to-date training.
That’s why so many organisations choose Training Alliance as their learning partner. We have an unrivaled reputation as a training provider – and as part of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, it really matters to us that people in our sector have the skills they need to support people living with a disability.
Our courses are developed and delivered by passionate and experienced disability professionals. We keep course content and materials up to date in line with changes in legislation and best practice.
You can choose from our extensive library of online courses, some of which form part of nationally-recognised qualifications, and you can tailor them for your organisation by adding proprietary material like your own policies and procedures.