B2B training, which is short for business-to-business training, is a popular and convenient type of training that enables entire companies to train their teams all at once by using an external training provider. In the era of the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, everything moved online, both jobs and studying, and therefore, training too.
The two most common types of remote training are online (on-demand), and virtual, instructor-led classes. A third type is the blended course, which is a unique type of carefully tailored training. Blended learning has been around for a while now, but it is still not common.
One important question arises in the middle of this topic: what is the most effective way of learning?
According to recent research conducted by Medical Device HQ, a company that specializes in providing medical device training in risk management and design control, a vast majority of people claimed that they learned more, or a lot more during their blended course compared to a 2-day classroom course.
MDHQ offers online and blended courses. Their blended learning courses consist of a pre-recorded online course the participants can take at their own pace and according to their schedule, and the live virtual Zoom sessions facilitated by the subject matter experts. In the period from June to December of 2020, Medical Device HQ delivered close to 50 blended courses, with around four hundred participants. The participants did a pre-course assessment quiz, then attended the online course, and took a final exam qualifying them for a one-day live virtual class on Zoom.
Figure 1 Jobs and training moved online during the pandemic
With a large part of the adult population experiencing fear and anxiety amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19, it is not hard to realize why people would have a strong preference towards online or virtual instructor-led training. Of those who had an opinion, an astounding number of 80,3% preferred the blended (online + live virtual) course above other types of courses after the pandemic as well.
The main reasons behind the course-taking preferences, as stated by the surveyed participants, were that they found the blended courses more engaging and interactive. Several common points that the majority stated were:
- particularly enjoyed the theory being done first, then the practical part
- could take the recorded online course at their own pace
- appreciated the atmosphere where they got to work practically, hands-on, in the workshops
- had the space for asking questions thanks to fewer participants on the live virtual class
What makes blended learning so effective?
The participants of the survey were asked how much they had learned on the blended course compared to a traditional 2-day classroom course. Out of all the people who took the blended courses on design control and risk management, a total of 85% thought they had learned more, or a lot more compared to a 2-day classroom course.
Figure 2 Blended vs. traditional courses
The data showed that taking the blended course has proved to be more effective as opposed to traditional course-taking. The numbers speak for themselves – 57% of the people stated they think they learned more on the blended course, 28% said they learned a lot more, whereas 14% think they learned the same, and a total of 1% stated they learned less than in a traditional classroom course.
Since it is a regulatory requirement to evaluate the effectiveness of training actions taken in the medical device industry, the online format provided a good way of showing the effectiveness of the training by measuring results on a quiz before attending the training and after attending.
The participant went from 53% on the pre-course assessment that was made up of 12 random questions from question banks, to 96% on the final exam with 45 questions from a question bank.
Due to the aforementioned statistics, it is possible to assume that blended courses are the future of B2B learning, for several reasons. Namely, because blended learning is efficient and time-saving, but also because it has proved to be more effective in terms of the quality of learning.