Elearning to support your soft skills training

Talking about instructional design, we said that it is important to know the potential of elearning to be able to integrate it in a training process, and this seems to be particularly true when soft skills are involved. When can you use digital training to support your face-to-face lessons and with what purpose? Keep on reading to find out. 

 

BLENDED TRAINING FOR SOFT SKILLS TRAINING 

Blended training consists in the use of traditional and digital means and strategies within the same learning process. As we stated in a previous article, this is the preferable method for soft skills training since it seems to perfectly comply with both the need of self-paced learning and human interaction most effective in this field. 

It is indeed very important to understand that in-class training and elearning cannot replace each other, neither for soft or hard skills: they cover different aspects of the learning process and need to be introduced at the right moment in order to achieve the best results

 

THE USE OF ELEARNING: WHEN AND WHY

In relation to in-class soft skills training, elearning can come in handy in three main moments – before, during and after -, of course with different purposes

  • PRE IN-CLASS TRAINING

Before sitting in the classroom, it is important to ensure that all students share a common knowledge and glossary, to facilitate the trainer job. For this purpose, elearning can be useful to cover the preliminary theoretical part needed to tackle the core aspects of the course. At the same time, it allows students to self-assess their knowledge prior to the in-class lessons, using specifically designed self-evaluation tests and, if needed, accessing content to fill their gap

When elearning is used for this purpose, though, it is fundamental to let students aware that it is a mandatory prerequisite for in-class lessons. In this respect, the remote monitoring feature of LMS can help trainers to check if all learners have actually accessed the content and, at the same time, to gain an insight into the overall level of knowledge of the class before actually meeting the students. 

  • IN-CLASS TRAINING

In-class training is meant to reinforce topics in which students appear to have more doubts and difficulties, as well as to cover the practical part that can be hard to explain through elearning, especially when talking about soft skills. This is the moment to exploit human interaction to share all those information coming from real life and day by day experience, allowing students to ask questions and participate in the lesson. 

Together with face-to-face training, elearning can be useful to implement references, namely a collection of documents and external resources to back up what has been discussed in class. This could help to create a more adaptive approach and allow each student to customise the learning process according to his needs

At the same time, elearning can support the creation of a community: LMS social features like forums or group exercises could help students to feel more engaged and to work as a team to reach specific goals, simulating real life scenarios. In any case, it is crucial to always ensure the use of reliable sources and coherency throughout the course, involving students in activities that are parts of the overall training program

Finally, elearning can be also use for mid-unit tests, in order to motivate students and monitor their progress at the end of each modules and before the final assessment, which will verify if all learning objectives have been met. 

  • POST IN-CLASS TRAINING

After the completion of the course, all materials and content used in the pre and in-class phases should be available to students for reference and refresh training purposes. With soft skills, in fact, recurrent training is crucial not to lose touch with what has been said during the lessons, therefore elearning can help restoring that knowledge every once in a while and keep it always fresh in the memory

 

Now you should understand more clearly what place elearning holds within a blended training process targeting soft skills and how the choice of one mean or another is strictly related to the specific goals you aim to achieve. How can you set the learning objectives for your training program? Find out in the next article! 

 

 

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