Skillsoft Blog

Five Reasons to Add Live Courses to On-Demand Learning

December 3, 2020 | by Ryan Ahern


The Learning and Development (L&D) community is always on the lookout for the best ways to deliver useful and engaging corporate training materials. On-demand learning provides many unique aspects that an instructor-led course alone cannot easily support, like personalization, curated content, scenario-based videos, self-assessments, mobile access, and more. Modern learners are always trying to learn more. They like to build their learning pathway and seek recognition through certificates and badges. Giving your workforce access to a robust online learning platform filled with professionally-developed content can inspire a self-directed and continuous learning culture. Adding a live course, whether in-person or virtually, brings some unique benefits to your learners and program as well. In this blog, we’ll unpack five reasons to consider adding a live course to your on-demand platform in a blended learning environment.

What is blended learning, and why is it important?

Twenty years ago, companies typically delivered all corporate training in a classroom setting. Today, different learning environments can address company goals and learner needs. A blended learning approach has emerged, which combines the best of two methods offering some portion of the training delivered in an instructor-led training (ILT) course paired with a self-paced online learning platform. Blended learning is quickly becoming an ideal delivery option for corporate training, given the changing workplace dynamics. Remote work has increased, bringing more opportunities for virtual instructor-led training (VILT), providing tremendous cost savings. The blended learning approach gives organizations of all types the chance to address learner needs, educate their workforce more efficiently, and drive learning outcomes.

Five reasons to add live courses to on-demand learning

The pace of technological innovation in the workplace is rapid. More tools and technology are automating processes and reducing human interactions. Employees are inundated with email and are always accessible via instant messaging. Still, employees crave opportunities for a deeper connection with peers and to feel a part of their organization. In a recent study by Deloitte, 79% of respondents said that “fostering a sense of belonging in the workforce” was important or very important to their organization’s success in the next 12 to 18 months. The L&D function is a core component of fostering belonging for an organization, and delivering a live course is a great way to bring people together to learn, share, and connect. Here are five reasons to consider adding live courses to your on-demand programs.

  1. Drive greater engagement and focus. Some training programs need higher levels of engagement to help students master a complex topic. For example, a sales training program may work well in a blended learning environment where learners take self-paced digital courses early in their schedule on negotiation, effective communication, or presentation skills. Facilitators may choose to use role-playing to pitch a product or overcome objections for the instructor-led portion. The combination of self-paced learning with a live course is a powerful motivator creating engagement and dialogue to take knowledge to the next level.
  2. Discussions and case studies. So much learning can happen when there is an open discussion or case study as a part of a live learning session. In leadership development courses, for example, a great deal can be delivered through digital learning. Fundamental leadership content areas like leading teams, managing people, coaching, and emotional intelligence are compatible with on-demand learning delivery. Every learner is at a different stage in their leadership journey and requires a different focus. Some leaders are first-time managers just getting started. In contrast, others are mid-level or senior-level leaders with more advanced competencies. Each category requires a different approach and content structure. New leaders may need more conceptual learning, while mid to senior-level leaders might be more motivated to learn with discussions and real-world case studies. Adding a conversation with an industry expert through a webinar can add value for leaders at every level. Whether for leadership development or other training needs, facilitating discussions or case studies is an excellent opportunity to expand your training program's effectiveness.
  3. Elevate learning through colleagues. Learners crave a story and some of the best learning experiences come from peer-to-peer interactions and tales from the battlefield. Hearing how your colleague overcame a challenge or their tips for mastering an application or topic can add value to a learning course. For example, in the technology and development world, time is scarce. Learning must fit into the tiny open spaces on their calendar. The skills needed to manage projects and fix technical problems are complex, and learners may need more time to gain mastery. Adding a VILT session where technical professionals can share their expertise and shorten the learning curve through peer-to-peer interaction is a tremendous time-saver and a great reason to consider blended learning.
  4. Flexibility to address learner needs. As an instructor, you have many tools to assess how your learners are progressing. You might use quizzing, exams, self-assessments, participation data, and more. Hosting a live course and hearing the questions, answers, and assessing in real-time how the class is doing gives you the ability to adapt your instructional methods on the fly. Live courses can bring flexibility and adaptability for instructors to adjust their course based on observations in a live setting.
  5. Networking opportunities. Whether you're part of a large global enterprise or a small regional organization, there can be challenges to connecting with others in the company. Some may be in groups that have very little interaction outside of their immediate team. Others may be in different time zones or on different continents, making it tough to get to know one another. Bringing your workforce together in a live learning course offers that opportunity for belonging and much more. For learners, making connections with people you might never cross paths with is a real opportunity. The conversations and relationships can be long lasting, bring new ideas to workplace innovations, and drive greater employee engagement.

Engagement and participation are essential elements for a successful blended learning program. The Skillsoft Percipio platform now offers learners a centralized portal to register and access live courses alongside their rich on-demand digital content. The Percipio digital learning experience platform makes learning easy, accessible, and useful. Learn how the Percipio platform can improve learner engagement to reskill, upskill, and future-proof your organization. Request a demo or connect with your Skillsoft account team today.

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