What is Hybrid Training?

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The events of 2020 caused nearly all professional trainers to embrace virtual and online methodologies, representing an enormous paradigm shift in instruction delivery. The fast adoption of new technologies and techniques meant that suddenly virtual training was viable—and pro trainers were finding novel ways to make online instruction fun, lively, and energizing. 

Which means that the paradigm is very unlikely to shift all the way back as face-to-face training becomes practical again. Instead, organizations are more likely to take up a new approach, called hybrid training.

Hybrid Training Defined

Hybrid training (sometimes known as blended training) is aptly named, as it fuses two successful approaches to training: face-to-face meetings and online instruction. The ratios of this mixture can vary: participants could meet online one day and in-person the next. In other cases, learners may be directed to complete specific modules online before meeting for an in-person workshop.

This means there’s no single best way to start your hybrid program. But the general idea is to provide learners with a synthesis of both virtual and face-to-face learning in order to take advantage of the benefits of each.

Hybrid training isn’t always easy to pull off, as it requires a significant amount of both virtual and face-to-face infrastructure to be available. But because just about everyone made recent investments in virtual training, most of that needed infrastructure is now widely available.

What are the Benefits of Hybrid Training?

Hybrid training has become a favored training approach because it effectively maximizes the benefits of both virtual and in-person methodologies. Those benefits will vary from program to program, but they will generally include:

Flexibility

Perhaps the greatest strength of hybrid training, the blend of virtual and face-to-face programs allows you and your participants to stay flexible. Course material can be easily accessed whether your session is meeting in-person or online (and whether participants are local or regional). This makes you and your participants prepared for any bumps in the road you may encounter, from the small (such as staying home to care for a sick child) to the large (such as a global pandemic).

On a smaller scale, this flexibility can make scheduling easier and allow participants more time to spend with the material. Because there are fewer disruptions, this flexibility means participants are improving both retention and efficiency.

Supporting a Variety of Learning Types

Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people learn better in a quiet, tranquil environment. Others might really need face-to-face time to get the most out of learning. A hybrid training program can ensure a broad variety of learning types are successfully engaged:

  • Visual learners can engage with images, infographics, and videos online and come to face-to-face sessions having digested necessary material.
  • Kinesthetic learners can explore new concepts in face-to-face sessions and reinforce material with online or virtual supplements.
  • Audio learners can discuss concepts and materials in small groups in face-to-face sessions or in virtual breakout rooms.

Hybrid training also offers some distinct accessibility benefits, which can lead to broader participation among learners.

Participants May Learn Better

Hybrid training isn’t simply a mixture of virtual and face-to-face technologies, it’s a blend of self-directed and assisted learning. Participants can often learn at their own pace and then have assistance with putting what they discover into practice. This means that:

  • Trainers can cover more material and in greater depth.
  • Participants can often review material at their leisure, leading to improved retention.
  • Participants are less likely to get bored and have more energy for challenging sections.

Research suggests that, overall, hybrid training will lead to better outcomes.

Hybrid is the Way of the Future

Hybrid training is likely to represent a new model of training as it grows in popularity. To learn how to implement hybrid training in your program, it’s useful to have both face-to-face and virtual learning skills.

Train-the-Trainer Boot Camps coupled with Interactive Virtual Trainer workshops can give you just the right combination of skills to help your hybrid training program take off! Or, you can work with a Training Consultant with The Bob Pike Group to create your own custom training program based on your business and training goals.

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