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Begin with the Blend in Mind

November 10, 2011

You’ve probably experienced this situation, most of us have. You attend a great instructor-led workshop. You learn Foldersloads of useful new stuff. You meet some great people and come away inspired and fired up, full of ideas for what you’ll put into practice when you get back to work.

Then you sit down at your desk and reality rushes in. You’ve got 150 emails waiting for you, a report to write, and that b*£$!y presentation your boss needs from you ASAP. The workshop folder goes up on the shelf……..and remains there, gathering dust. You occasionally feel a pang of guilt when you glance at it. Even with your best intentions and efforts you implement little, if anything, from the workshop.

Sound familiar? I believe that what happens after a learning intervention (be it workshop, webinar, elearning course or whatever) is even more important than what happens during the intervention. We are all busy people with 1001 things on our to-do lists. We need help in putting new skills into practice.

So how might you achieve this when designing your workshop / webinar / elearning course? Firstly accept that people won’t need to implement everything you teach them. Some things will appeal more to some than others, so give them a way to help them prioritise. Next be explicit about what the things are that they might put into practice – give them a menu to choose from. Finally, give them support in putting new skills into practice. This could be implementation guides, follow-up webinars, telephone coaching, peer-to-peer support or a collaborative wiki.

This implementation support can be as lo or hi-tech as your budget and tastes allow. However you do it, I would argue it’s an essential part of any blend.

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