What to Do Before Buying an LMS for Blended Learning

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This is a guest post by Jordan Barrish of Capterra. Plan to Offer Blended Learning? Here’s What You NEED to Do Before Buying an LMS If you are in the process of purchasing a Learning Management System, one requirement that may arise is the need for classroom training to supplement online offerings–also known as blended learning.  Blended learning is the method in which a student is taught using a combination of face to face classroom training and computer-accessed instruction.  Proponents of blended methods believe that it works because it combines the best elements of instructor knowledge and technological tools. A number of LMS vendors provide support for blending learning models.  LMS solutions play a key role in many aspects of blended learning, including managing instructors, tracking in-class scheduling, and other training activities.  Blended learning provides the ability to easily customize instruction and obtain and track important data. So, What Are Your First Steps? Before implementing an LMS or a blended learning model, lay out your need for blended learning and your objectives for its success.  Think seriously about certain pain points that your trainers face on a daily basis.
  • What is difficult for them?
  • What do they waste time in the classroom doing?
  • How do they measure if training is effective for their learners?
Then, you must think through the pros and cons of blended learning for your organization.
  • How easy would it be to deliver all content through technology vs. the classroom?
  • Based on your trainer’s pain points, what’s the major need blended learning might address?
  • What specifically is different about your organization that makes it critical to provide a combination of both online and in-person training?
To think through those last two, here is some information about the benefits of blended learning: Still not sold? Benefits to Blended Learning
  • Blended learning is perfect for organizations that must have hands-on instruction in an ongoing manner.
  • Classroom training sets a foundation for learners while technology allows them to master the more advanced content and skills.
  • Teachers can focus on the most important things during classroom time.
  • Students get the benefit of peer interaction with the objectivity of online measures for progress.
Luckily many LMS providers have started to thrive in blended learning environments.  Finding the right match is all about leveraging your current needs with a solution that fits. Blended learning can be a valuable asset for your training procedures.  Addressing these needs while searching for an LMS solution can go a long way in finding the perfect match.   Jordan Barrish is a Market Analyst for Capterra. She researches and writes about trends in a variety of software verticals, with a particular focus on learning management software.
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog