As we know, the VET landscape is an ever-evolving one, as is the technology landscape. This makes it hard for RTOs to keep up with the changes. It is frustrating, time consuming and at times, exhausting. But this is our current situation, and as a VET community, we need to learn to review, adapt and improve our course delivery models to meet the needs of our students and to remain competitive.
A quick win for RTOs is to see the rapid advances in technology as a new opportunity to design their courses in ways that strengthens the students’ ability to learn, and not as a threat. Continuously evolving your blended learning strategy every 2-3 years is a way for RTOs to remain robust, relevant and competitive. Today, the modern version of blended learning is the flipped learning model. Where students learn the critical knowledge in their own time, and then come to “class” to do the skills deepening and assessments. This model is rapidly being adopted in the VET sector.
But as we know, blended learning can also come with risks that need to be addressed in your strategy e.g. reduced retention and completion rates, and it has to be tailored to the cohort of learner.
To achieve this, we thought we would share with you 5 important ingredients that make up a successful blended learning strategy:
- Start with the most important ingredient: building a strong “human to human” student engagement/support strategy. This is the center and the foundation of blended learning. The student engagement/support strategy is made up of trainers building relationships with students both face to face and online.
- This needs to be combined with a student engagement team that focuses on the student’s progress and other concerns. They are the “go to people” for the students. They should care for the students and build a relationship with each student. Think of them as coaches for the students.
- Next, we need to ensure your learning platform/LMS is up to the modern trends in blended learning. In a nutshell, it must be student centered, mobile, collaborative, social and easy to use.
- After that, you need to have engaging content and assessments; today’s e-learning content has moved so far away from pdf online, and hyperlinks. Learning content must be able to cater for different learning styles – there must be multi-media, interaction, personal and simple to understand. Assessments must be easy to administer, facilitate, mark and not overwhelming for the students. Modern LMSs can really help you achieve this, while remaining compliant.
- Finally, Learning Journey/user experience; you can have the best technology and “wow” content, but if you do not think about the user experiences, and how the student will navigate through the course and engage with other students and trainers – then it will be too hard for them, and they will drop out. The user experience is one ingredient organizations do not take seriously enough.
In our years of experience, this is what makes a successful blended learning strategy to ensure you are providing the best possible way for students to achieve the learning objectives, with a fantastic experience.
Join us on October 14 as we hear from the best strategists and futurists on the future of vocational education & training. How do private RTOs ensure that their business is future-proofed?
Start by thinking forward.
Start by standing out from the pack.
Start by making smarter, more strategic decisions that help you run a robust and flexible training organisation.
At this event, Kevin Ekendahl from Audit Express, and Travis May from Fairfax Media, will look at RTO governance from a strategic point of view:
- Demand for online and blended delivery modes of learning
- Technology and systems
- Funding opportunities and options
- Strategy for growth
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