The cost of going blended?

by Viv on July 16, 2008

Many organisations that currently offer face to face training to clients have wrestled with the problem of what to do about blended learning and how it fits their commercial model. At the ELN Showcase, Claire Little of SHL cut through the pontificating and gave some practical insights into how SHL had gone about making its certificate programmes in chartered psychology into a blended offering, cutting a 3 day face to face workshop down to 2 days + online learning.

There are several risks that a training organisation will feel wary of when it comes to blending:

  • Will our current staff stay on board?
  • Will our customers who are used to paying for face to face training, demand lower prices for blended/ e-learning?
  • Can we deliver the technology change?
  • Can we deliver the cultural change required to make it successful?
  • And if we currently have a highly profitable face to face business, why would we want to go through the risk and pain of changing it?

The most powerful insight that I took away was that SHL had spent time well by analysing what customers valued – was it the programme, or the outputs from the programme? In this case it was the certicate that customers valued most. Whilst customers got less face to face training time, they did receive a more convenient and flexible on-line element. SHL used the same price point for the blended programme as the face to face.

All in all, a more user-friendly programme and more profit for the company.

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