HFL Consulting’s training and events have now reached nearly 300 companies and over 3,000 individuals. What’s more, our programme of courses is extensive, and many have been adapted to meet specific requirements using traditional delivery models that employ face-to-face training in the classroom, supported where necessary by workshops or work-based activity.
Although this traditional approach to training has served our clients well, providing an opportunity to challenge experts, share ideas and experiences, and relate theory and practice through contextual learning, it does have some limitations. Not least in relation to time and cost because of the need to bring individuals together at fixed locations. With growing business pressures, it is also becoming increasingly difficult for people to escape for days at a time, making attendance on rolling programmes almost impossible for some.
Recognising the plight of leaders, managers, and supervisors in a competitive world, we have started to adapt many of our training courses to create blended learning programmes that can be tailored to individual needs. Traditional teaching methods are still used but much of the standard material can now be delivered through activity-based interactive modules within an e-learning environment. This means that learning can take place using laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones, so that learning can take place anywhere at any time.
Whilst e-learning is not a silver bullet, and the advantages of learning together should not be underestimated, it does bring many benefits. Standard and bespoke training modules can be combined into sequences and groups, with each module building on the outcomes of the previous ones, to create flexible learning paths for individuals, teams, or departments. Learners can also start and stop at any time, fitting lessons in and around daily schedules. This means that they don’t have to dedicate an entire day to training that has been organised by someone else in the business and can instead progress a topic at a time, at a pace to suit their own needs and learning style. Our e-learning environment also provides other tools, including blogs and messaging facilities, to make it easier for learners to pose questions to our trainers and each other, and share experiences so that they become part of an online learning community.
Another key benefit of this blended approach is that it allows us to bring individuals together on a single programme even though they may be starting with different levels of understanding and experience. The basics can be covered through tailored self-study so that learners can be brought together in the classroom or workplace to really start to build on common foundations, developing, applying and testing what they have learned through workshops and practical exercises alongside peers.
The e-learning environment also allows progress to be tracked and where testing forms part of an activity, reports and certificates can be provided as evidence of understanding or simply to show that learning has taken place. For those companies wishing to train large numbers of people, our course administrators can use grading tools and reports to provide inhouse summaries.