What Does a Blended Learning Training Session Look Like?

This page starts out with a summary of blended learning and its benefits, and then goes into a step-by-step description showing you how blended learning will work in your organization. (We will use the terms “classroom” and “group training” interchangeably.)

If you prefer a short overview, visit the implementation section of The Leadership Journey for Supervisors and Managers or The Customer Service Road Map.)

This information is meant to be a guide to help you get started. With the flexibility of our burst learning model, training can be tailored to meet your exact needs. Our training consultants can help you put a solution together, schedule a telephone call with one, or call us now at 1-800-541-7872.




There are Two Parts to Blended Learning

  1. E-learning (self-directed learning – students work on their own)
  2. Classroom Training Session (group learning with interaction and discussion)

While the majority of our blended learning clients offer classroom sessions for every course, it is not necessary. You can offer them for any number of courses in the curriculum.

Blended learning is self-paced e-learning with classroom training sessions “added-on” to reinforce and practice key skills.



Why do Organizations Choose Blended Learning?

  • Blended learning combines the convenience of e-learning with discussion and interaction of classroom training.
  • With blended learning, students are never off the job for more than an hour, and they get to participate in each course’s seven active learning components, thereby maximizing retention and learning.
  • Remote employees can participate in group discussion.



What is the Difference between Traditional Classroom and Blended Learning?

With Blended Learning:

  • Coursework is completed by students prior to the classroom training session.
  • The video is not played during group training. Students watch it during e-learning.
  • Group time is focused on discussion and practice.
  • Students wait until after the classroom training session to apply their personal action plans in the workplace. During the classroom session, students revise their action plans based on feedback from colleagues.
Lunch-n-learns are a great opportunity to hold the blended learning group training sessions.



What Part does E-Learning play in Blended Learning?

Students complete a short e-learning course (25 minutes) on their own time before the classroom session. Students come to class prepared with their personal action plan and coursework.

Near the end of the e-learning course, students print and save the questions and their answers for the course. (Students should be instructed ahead of time to do this and bring their completed materials to class.)



This article is about the student’s experience during the classroom training session while using blended learning. To learn about e-learning you can:



Group Students to Break Down Silos and Build Stronger Teams

When putting students into training groups, it is often a good idea to mix students from different teams and divisions, and sometimes levels of leadership. Having a mixed group of students interacting and holding discussions enhances learning and helps develop mutual understanding and respect. Departments and people start working together to:

  • Break down company silos
  • Build team unity
  • Develop stronger relationships
  • Eliminate friction



Leader’s Guides are Simple to Follow with Step-by-Step Instructions

Because our clients have so many students acting as group leaders, our Facilitator’s Guides are simple and easy to understand. They contain step-by-step instructions on leading group training sessions. (Over 44% of our clients have students taking turns leading group sessions.)

Facilitators manage the discussion, but they don’t need to be experts in the subject matter or even take the course ahead of time. They aren’t standing in front of the group lecturing about new skills. Group sessions are interactive with all students participating and sharing their knowledge and experiences. Group leaders simply follow the Facilitator’s Guide and manage the clock. Read more about this opportunity and its benefits.



Don’t Just Read About It – Experience It!

The best opportunity to learn is to experience. Print a Facilitator’s Guide and follow along while you review this page. You have two options to choose from:

  1. Build Accountability and Trust with Positive Confrontations from our training curriculum for supervisors and managers.
  2. What To Say – And What Not To Say from our customer service training program.
To get a complete understanding of what your students will experience when they participate in a classroom training session, follow along in the Facilitator’s Guide while reviewing this page. Focus on the role-plays, practice exercises, and discussions your students will participate in.

 Action Plan Review – Holding Students Accountable

The classroom portion of blended learning begins with students sharing their experience of applying their personal action plan from the previous course. Students know they are going to share and be held accountable, so they come prepared to the training session.

You must give students time to apply new skills back on the job. This is why we recommend at least one week between courses. Students will have time to use their new skills before learning skills from the next course. Applying new skills back on the job drives organizational and team performance and must be the goal of any training program.

Learning does not stop after a student leaves the classroom or finishes an online course. Students must use their new skills back on the job and are held accountable for doing so.

What does it look like?

  1. The group leader reviews the key learning objectives from the previous course.
  2. Students volunteer, or are called upon, to share their experience of applying their personal action plans in the workplace.
  3. After the student shares, other students offer feedback and suggestions.
  4. Students share what they would have done differently. Discussions take place enhancing, and reinforcing the learning from the previous course.
  5. Discussion helps students learn from their colleagues as well as from the course materials.

Time is usually allocated for one or two students to share. Depending on your culture, students can volunteer to share, they can be called upon by the group leader, or every student can share. Contact a training consultant for help in determining which method will work best for your organization.


Next, the focus of the learning turns to the current course.


Reviewing Key Learning Objectives

Courses start out with a review of the key learning objectives. This helps students recall the skills they were taught during e-learning.

What does it look like?

  1. The group leader shares the current course’s key learning objectives.
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide you should review the key learning objectives now.



Course Review with the Note-Taking Guide

Next is a review of the note-taking guide that students completed during e-learning. This is the time for students to get involved and focused on the new skills they will be discussing and role-playing.

What does it look like?

  1. Students take turns reading a complete sentence from the note-taking guide. Then they read the keyword they recorded in the blank.
  2. This process is repeated until all the key ideas have been covered in the note-taking guide.

Why are students reading the complete sentence and repeating the keyword?

  • First, it ensures every student has a completed note-taking guide that they can reference when they return to the workplace.
  • Second, the repetition of key skills reinforces key ideas, placing them into the student’s long-term knowledge bank. (Learn more about interval reinforcement in our burst learning model.)
  • Third, it creates an opportunity for discussion around the key ideas and how they fit into your organization.
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, review note-taking guide now.



The remaining classroom time is focused on role-plays, practice exercises, and discussion.



This is Possibly the Single Most Valuable Part of the Classroom Training Session

When getting feedback from clients about their training sessions with The Leadership Journey for Supervisors and Managers and The Customer Service Road Map, they often get very excited, nearly jumping out of their seats, when talking about the discussions that take place around the post questions and personal action plans.

Many find it to be the most valuable part of training. Students not only learn from the course materials, they learn from their colleagues’ experiences. A valuable dialogue takes place that never would have happened without the training materials.


Post-Question Discussion to Reinforce Workplace Application


Open ended post-discussion questions help participants transfer new knowledge and skills to the workplace, applying what they learned to their specific jobs. The open ended questions are written in such a way that students really have to think about how they will apply their new skills to the challenges and opportunities they are facing back on the job.

Holding discussions around each question provides the opportunity for students to learn from their classmates’ experiences as well as from the course material.

What does it look like?

  1. Often more time is spent on the post questions than any other part of the course.
  2. Continuing in the round robin format, the next student shares a post question and their answer. (Remember, students have previously answered questions during the e-learning course.)
  3. Other students can share their answers and ideas about the same question.
  4. A discussion develops among the students, with all participants sharing ideas and experiences.
  5. Students are encouraged to change their answers until they have solutions that will work best for them.
  6. This process is repeated until each of the four post-discussion questions has been discussed.

If the group is hesitant to share answers, example answers are provided for every question to get the discussion going.

If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide review the post questions now.

Practicing New Skills with Group Exercises and Role-plays

The group exercise provides a safe environment for participants to practice new skills. It gives students an opportunity to work together on applying new ideas. By practicing their new skills, students are much more likely to remember and use them back on the job.

What does it look like?

  1. Students work in pairs or small groups.
  2. A set amount of time is given for students to complete an exercise.
  3. Students in each small group discuss a current problem or opportunity they are experiencing, which is related to the skills they are learning. As a team, they pick one to practice.
  4. Students often write out a script, scenario or word track to use while they practice.
  5. Next, students take turns practicing by role-playing with other members in their small group.
  6. Roles are reversed so every participant in the small group has an opportunity to practice every role.
  7. After the allotted time runs out, the group leader asks for students to share their experiences from the exercise. 
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide read through the role-play now.


Reviewing Skills with the Quiz

Each student would have already completed the quiz during the e-learning course, so most of our clients skip over the quiz review when taking a blended approach to learning. They are often using blended learning because of time constraints and they feel that the review of the note-taking guide is enough. If you choose to review the quiz….

What does it look like?

  1. Students take turns reading a question and sharing their answer with the group.
  2. This process is repeated until all the questions have been reviewed.

This process of reading the full question and correct answer further reinforces key ideas and acts as an additional reinforcement for students. (Read more about the science and methodology behind our burst learning model.)

If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide review the quiz now.

Applying Skills in the Workplace – The Personal Action Plan

During e-learning, each student completes their personal action plan. Their personal action plan is their written goal sheet — a tool that makes it easy to apply skills back on the job. With their written action plan in place, each participant is better prepared to apply new skills to the specific challenges, objectives, and opportunities they are facing in the workplace.

Focus Drives Action
Students choose one key skill to apply to the workplace instead of many. This makes it much easier for the student to take action. It is less overwhelming, and the student sees it as an achievable goal – they get a taste of success and are excited to learn and apply additional skills in subsequent courses. A cycle of continuous improvement develops.

What does it look like?

  1. Each student shares their answer to the question, “What is the most important idea that you learned from this course?”
  2. Remember, participants may be on different teams, have different responsibilities, and may be experiencing unique challenges, so no two answers may be alike.
  3. Next, students take turns sharing the personal action plans that they are going to use back on the job. Sharing gives other students an opportunity to offer ideas, suggestions, and experiences to help the student who is sharing.
  4. This process is repeated until every student shares and offers feedback. Action plans are refined before they are used back on the job, maximizing the positive change students will have in your organization.
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide go through the personal action plan.


Wait. There is more, and it is VERY IMPORTANT!


Applying Skills Back on the Job

Learning does not stop after a student leaves the classroom session. They must now use the skills back on the job. Students must understand that they have to apply their personal action plan and that they will be held accountable for doing so. This will help drive action and extraordinary performance from participants.

What does it look like?

  1. Students usually have a few weeks before the next course, so they have a “deadline” for using their personal action plan back on the job. This gives them plenty of time to put new skills into practice, ensuring they will retain them and create positive change in your organization.
  2. Students come prepared to the next class as they know they will be accountable for sharing their experience of applying their personal action plans. (Remember each training session starts out with a review of the previous course’s application into the workplace.)

Holding Students Accountable — One-on-one Follow-up

Some of our clients choose a more individualized approach to follow-up with students. Instead of holding students accountable during class, students follow up one on one with their manager, mentor, or training partner.

What does it look like?

  1. Follow-up can be a short five-minute meeting, a telephone call, a lunch meeting or a formal sit-down. There are a variety of options that will meet your time constraints and culture. Learn more about follow-up options for The Leadership Journey for Supervisors and Managers and The Customer Service Road Map.
  2. Students come prepared to follow-up meetings as they know they will have to share their experience of applying their personal action plans.
  3. The person following up with the student does not have to participate in a course. Follow-up Guides are available with The Leadership Journey that make it easy to follow up and ask specific and targeted questions.
View a Follow-up Guide from The Leadership Journey. (link will open in a new window)

Continuous Improvement and Learning

With our burst learning model, students develop a continuous improvement mindset that drives change and bottom-line performance. Short courses are offered at regular intervals, creating momentum — skills develop over time instead of tapering off. Students develop positive habits and a performance-improvement mindset spreads across the workplace.

Do you have questions?

With the flexibility of our burst learning model, training can be tailored to meet your exact needs. Training consultants can answer your questions and help put a plan in place.
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