Blendid Training - TWB's Corporate Training Services for distributed workforce

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Blended Training - TWB's Corporate
Training services for distributed workforces
Blended Learning is the combination of multiple
approaches to learning. This kind of learning can
be achieved through the use of 'blended' virtual and
physical resources. To put this more precisely, the
typical example of this would be a combination of
technology-based materials and face-to-face
sessions used together to deliver instruction.

Blended Learning is the kind of learning where an
instructor combines two methods of delivery of
instruction. However, this term most often applies
to the use of technology on instruction. In this case,
a good example of such learning would be to give a
well-structured introductory lesson in the
classroom, and then to provide follow-up materials
o pa
nlin ge
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In researchers Heinze A and C Procter words, a
definition of Blended Learning is:

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The rapid growth of science and technology has
The Current Scenario
affected al facets of human life. Even education or
learning approaches are not immune to the influence
Blended learning today is fast becoming the most
of technology. This is evident in the emergence and
preferred instruction delivery method both in corporate
increasing use of the Internet, bringing about a new
and non-corporate worlds.
paradigm shift in learning approaches as wel . A
confluence of traditional face-to-face learning,
In today's scenario with prevalence of high technology,
technology-based learning (CBT and WBT), and ever-
blended learning often refers specifical y to the
evolving educational theories has resulted in the
provision or use of resources that combine e-learning
phenomenon cal ed `Blended Learning'.
(electronic) or m-learning (mobile) with al the other
educational resources. According to some, the key
What is blended learning?
blended-learning arrangements could also involve e-
mentoring or e-tutoring. These arrangements tend to
Blended learning is not a new discovery in
combine an e-learning component with some form of
pedagogical techniques. Rather, it is an innovative
human intervention, although the involvement of an e-
way of approaching learning that combines the best in
mentor or an e-tutor does not necessarily be in the
multiple methods: predominantly traditional classroom
context of e-learning.
method and technology-based learning.
Blended learning is a combination of multiple
Why blended learning?
approaches that complement each other, and promote
effective learning. This method of learning effectively
Today, we live in a world control ed by technology.
blends traditional face-to-face classroom training
There are slews of social networking sites, mobile
(physical resources), e-learning (virtual), and self-
devices, instant messengers, online forums that help
paced learning methods so that the learner benefits
busy working individuals socialize and network with
holistical y. An example of such learning can be a
others. Therefore, today, there is a virtual side to the
training session where a wel -structured introductory
social interaction. As a result, even the way people
lesson is presented in the classroom, and then fol ow-
choose to learn has changed drastical y. There are
up materials are provided online.
various trends that necessitate the need for blended
approach to learning. Some of them can be
In researcher Heinze, A and C Procter's words:
summarized in the fol owing way:
"Blended learning is learning that is facilitated by the
Preference for active, participatory, self-paced,
effective combination of different modes of delivery,
experiential learning: Instructor-to-learner model
models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded
has been replaced by active leaner-centered
on transparent communication amongst al parties
training/learning approach. This offers more value
involved with a course."
in today's sophisticated world, where the quality of
the employees determine the success of an
Some authors mention such form of learning as `hybrid
learning' (this seems to be more common in Northern
Increasing use of technology: Classrooms are no
American sources) or `mixed learning'. However, al
longer the only place where learning takes place.
these concepts broadly refer to the integration (the
Lack of time: Learning can be non-sequential.
`blending') of e-learning tools and techniques.
Virtualized social interaction: Today, the way
people interact and network has adopted the forms
of instant messaging, forum discussions, SMS,
Web sites, blogging etc. These positive trends also
have influenced the way people learn and train,
which cannot be neglected.
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Blended learning vs other learning techniques
In order to understand what blended learning/training is and the benefits it offers, it is important to differentiate
between various kinds of learning, namely face-to-face learning and e-learning, and their disadvantages.
Face-to-face learning
Face-to-face learning refers to traditional instructor-led
Today, as technology evolves and businesses expand,
training that takes place within a classroom. It involves
employees often do not possess the required skil s to
an active learning process that takes the form of
keep up with the fast-paced development. This gap
classroom discussions/debates, making formal
between the desired and actual skil sets can have an
presentations, delivering lectures. Motivating the
adverse effect on the employee productivity,
learners to read and research on their own, write,
performance, and business results. Continuous
discuss, or be engaged in solving problems are also
learning programs, without separating learning events
part of this kind of active learning. Other forms of face-
with work activities seems to be the key to bridge this
to-face learning can include visual-based instruction.
gap successful y.
Today, there is a shift from one-way knowledge
E-learning refers to a method of transferring
transmission to student-centered learning, which
knowledge supported by multimedia content and
focuses on encouraging students to assume such
delivering it synchronously and/or asynchronously over
higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and
an electronic network. It is not considered to be a
evaluation. The usage of such techniques in the
replacement for an instructor-led or classroom training,
classroom has a powerful impact upon students'
but acts as a supplement to reinforce crucial
learning. Another way of face-to-face learning is using
knowledge. Thus, it helps in overcoming physical and
the cooperative learning techniques. This method
logistic limitations of traditional training methodologies.
proves to be useful in case of more complex projects,
where many trainers are working on a project that
E-learning is the unifying term to describe the fields of
demands learners to work in groups of three or more.
online learning, Web-based training, and technology-
The term `cooperative learning' also suggests learners
delivered instruction/CBT.
coming together and working in groups, contributing to
the col ective learning activity.
Though the face-to-face learning approach has many
Computer-based Training (CBT) and
visible advantages such as social interaction, verbal
Web-based Training (WBT)
and non-verbal communication, permanency of
content, group activities, etc., in today's technological y
sophisticated world, it is not the only effective method
Computer-based Training (CBT) is an instructional
of learning.
mode whereby the learners gain knowledge by using
computer. Through computer-aided interactive
techniques, learners can complete special training
programs related to their occupation. CBT services are
especial y effective for training people to use computer
Dependency on spoken words/verbal
applications. With the help of CBT, users can also
study for formal qualifications, accreditations, and
Absence of one-on-one attention/instruction
continued professional development. Advantages of
Inability to cater to individual learning styles of
CBT are: available anywhere any time, one-time
expenditure for learning, convenient method to train
new staff.
Inability to retain the attention span of learners
Time-bound learning sessions
Web-based training (WBT) is also a kind of training
High cost of training
that is similar to CBT, but it is delivered over the
Need for physical presence of students and
scheduled classes
Development cost, requirement for self-motivation and
discipline, absence of human instructor to answer
questions, generic training materials are the most
common disadvantages of CBT and WBT.
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Blended learning vs other learning techniques
Though, traditional y, e-learning solutions have been more popular among the IT/telecom and banking sectors, many
pharmaceutical companies are presently adopting similar packages, especial y for sales representative training,
assessment, and performance support.
Observing the current situation, on an average, an Indian pharmaceutical company has hundreds, sometimes,
thousands of on-field sales representatives. In such a case, managing classroom training for a large number of
learners is not feasible. Moreover, 60-70 percent of the training budget would be depleted in managing logistics for a
large number spread over as large a geographical area as India, rendering it a very expensive exercise.
In comparison, the limitation of classroom training is that it is time-bound and can be conducted only at a designated
time. This implies that a learner is required to wait for the scheduling of the class. The waiting period could affect the
productivity adversely.
As a result, e-training is becoming increasingly popular in the present situation and has been replacing the demand
for the traditional classroom training. E-learning is often considered to be a source of repetitive training that offers
quick and on-time delivery of training for the learners. It ensures consistency, lowers the training logistics and
administration overheads, and is readily available anytime, anywhere.
Benefits of Virtual Learning
For Corporates
For Employees
The fol owing are the benefits of Virtual Learning for
The fol owing are the benefits of Virtual Learning for
corporate customers:
Involves a fraction of the cost of traditional training
Access to interactive, self-paced, multimedia training,
anytime, and anywhere - at work, home or while
Provides `anytime anywhere training' and
performance support to a geographical y dispersed
Access to multimedia enabled Web-based
work force
performance support system
Offers interactive, self-paced courses on various
Self-paced training and performance support to
access the required topics at any given time
Helps in creating a custom catalogue that specifical y
Choice to play entire chapters, or utilize the search
meets the needs of employees
function to answer a specific question
Charges only for training content
Buttons to pause, rewind and fast forward through
Enables easy planning, budgeting, and paying for
training expenditures
Engaging and robust Web-based self-paced classes
Eliminates hardware investment, development time,
Learning while performing, resulting in increased
and additional staff requirements
Reduces the need and the cost of classroom training
Pre- and post-assessment exams for most of the
Al ows users to learn faster, as wel as, increase
comprehension and retention rates by up to 100
Immediate feedback to al users with the topics they
percent as opposed to standard training methods
need additional training on
Enables employees to learn as they perform, rather
Less than 10 percent of the cost of the best
than removing them from the work place
instructor-led training options
Offers pre- and post-assessment exams for each
Provides detailed reports with insight into individual
Despite the benefits listed above, e-learning has many
progress and test scores
disadvantages, rendering it ineffective to a certain
Offers managers a centralized resource for
distributing and tracking their employees' skil s
Need for ready access to a computer and Internet
Increases employees' productivity
Need for computer literacy/knowledge of learning
Offers quick implementation and easy rol -out
Lack of instructor-student interaction
Unavailability of the instructor when needed
Reduced/lack of social and cultural interaction
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Blended Learning
Though e-learning has many benefits, it can never completely substitute the traditional way of learning, say most
experts. What is seen as one of the biggest shortcomings of e-learning is that one misses the personal link/contact
that one would otherwise share with a mentor. It is here that blended learning comes into the picture. E-learning,
when blended appropriately with classroom training, can be a powerful holistic mode of instruction delivery. Al the
technologies used in e-learning can be used in blended learning as wel , making a unique comprehensive approach
to learning.
Technologies used in blended learning
Blended Learning: A means of enhancing
business growth

Blended learning is increasingly being accepted by the
Online Interaction Means: E-mail, Web sites,
corporate world to catalyze business and
blogs, wikis, e-portfolios, instant messaging (IM),
organizational growth, which is highly dependent on
short message service (SMS), discussion boards,
the quality of human capital deployed. Industries and
web 2.0 communities and podcasts
organizations are using the blended approach to
Web resources: Search engines like Google,
enhance the learning and development experience
Online courseware, electronic databases, digital
aimed at improving revenue, reducing costs and
libraries, and online publications
enhancing quality of human capital. Blended learning
addresses the needs of most corporate learning and
Installed Technologies
development programs, al owing pace and space for
Multimedia Presentation software/hardware such
various delivery methods required by different sets of
as videocassette recorder, DVD player
learners. With a perfect amalgamation of media and
delivery as per the requirements within a particular
Interaction Technologies: Videoconferencing, Web
cameras, and application-sharing suites
program, enhanced results can be achieved.
Mobile Technologies/ Classroom Peripherals
It is often observed that learning experiences are
Laptops, cel phones, PDAs, Tablet PCs, iPods,
categorized into steps in a blended learning model and
digital cameras, Wi-Fi finders, USB drives, and
the learner's progression from one step to another
GPS systems
keeps on building upon the previous learning
experiences. Thus, a ladder is formed, which learners
Classroom response system, col aborative
software, computer aided assessment, educational
climb rung after rung and blossom into a tree of
animation, games, screencasts, simulations, virtual
col aboration from the sapling of education.
As a result, many organizations have graduated from
the basic information exchange level to the level of
expertise - keeping in line with the scheduled time
Blended learning is seen as a comprehensive method
frames and fixed costs with the help of blended
to impart learning through information, interaction, and
learning techniques.
col aboration elements. This can be best achieved
through the use of the technologies mentioned above
plus wel -designed classroom training. It not only
reduces the cost by reducing al non-productive
Elements of Blended Learning
activities such as commuting and employing
instructors, but also creates reusable content, and
accommodates individual learning styles, and
There are various models of blended learning, each
promotes self-paced learning. However, the classroom
comprising the fol owing elements (mentioned below)
sessions prove to be helpful in developing
in varied proportions depending upon the
interpersonal skil s through face-to-face
organization's requirements. Blended learning can be
classified into:
To summarize, blended learning is a method natural y
Learning through information
available for distance learning and flexible learning,
Learning through interaction
but can also be used in conjunction with face-to-face
Learning through col aboration
Learning through classroom experiences
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Blended Learning
Dimensions of Blended Learning
Benefits of Blended Learning
Classroom and online learning: Blended learning
Blended learning is highly effective for large
powerful y combines both instructor-led classroom
organizations with people performing similar tasks in
training and online training (the Internet and
different locations and facilities. It enables people to
intranet), thereby blurring the disadvantages that
spend classroom, simulator, and On-the-Job Training
exist in both instruction delivery modes.
(OJT) time on advanced tasks. It also al ows training
Self-paced and collaborative learning: Blended
people in core qualifications and skil s used by al
learning creates room for both solitary learning and
members performing similar jobs, and then receive
col aborative learning, thus al owing the learners to
location or task-specific training for unique tasks at any
accommodate their own style of learning at their
defined location. This learning method appears to be a
own pace, without compromising social interaction
natural strategy to address language problems both at
local and global levels.
Structured and unstructured: It effectively
combines both structured training (wel -designed
To sum up, the biggest business benefits of blended
course plans) and unstructured factors like
learning are:
discussions, hal way conversations, emails etc.
Ready-made content and custom content:
Scale: One can rol out a new initiative or program
Blended learning consists of regular wel -defined
to global audiences and reach a large number of
readymade content as wel as custom made
people than ever possible before.
content. Blended learning encourages students to
Speed: If training needs to be delivered to staff
research and create their own learning materials,
within a short period, a large number of staff
under the guidance of an instructor.
members can be reached simultaneously.
Learn, practice, and perform: Blended learning
Throughput: If a training problem is bottlenecked,
mixes learning, practice, and performance, the vital
the block can be eliminated and training throughput
aspects of learning, to help learners integrate
can be improved by orders of magnitude.
practice into the learning process and assess the
learning through performance metrics. Blended
Complexity: Many training chal enges are just too
learning does not replace traditional method of
complex for a single web-based course or
learning. Rather, it complements traditional learning
PowerPoint based webinars. If the material is
by providing the learner with opportunities to
complex and an organization's business need
explore and practice.
demands that people internalize and change their
behavior, using multiple media wil get much higher
In short, complementarities between multiple learning
completion and results.
techniques, autonomous learning style of learners,
Cost: By thinking about every problem as a
efficient access to wide range of resources, and
`blending' chal enge, one can select the lowest cost
effective interaction are four critical dimensions of
media that solves the problem.
blended learning.

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TWB's Blended Learning Approach
TWB enjoys the status of a pioneer in putting blended
Our blended learning approach provides appropriate
learning into effective use and training corporate
solutions for the ubiquitous problems of speed, scale
employees/individuals with great success. TWB's
and impact linked with most e-learning models. In
blended learning approach considers the key factors
conclusion, TWB's use of wel -designed blended
and issues in delivering instruction.
learning programs as a method to fulfil an
organization's learning needs has been a great
Effective combination of learning methods:
Figuring out how blended learning can be more
effective is very important. At times, this can be a great
chal enge as wel . Though the concept of blended
"The concept of Blended Learning has arrived and
learning sounds very simple (face-to-face learning + e-
is here to stay. However, if it is to add value to our
learning), failure to gauge the complexity in designing
understanding of effective training and learning, the
the training (with a wel -balanced combination of both)
term needs to be considered in a broader context. It
can cause failure. In this area, TWB's expertise cannot
is not simply about delivery and technology. If the
be neglected.
term `blended learning' is to have longevity in our
trainer vocabulary, we must extend its use beyond
technology. It must be as much about varying

Learning gaps: According to some, classroom
learning methodology as it is about training
training is ineffective because instructors, more often,
delivery. We must understand more about what
need to deliver training to mainly two categories of
motivates learners, what support they need and how
learners at the same time: wel -informed and least-
these supportive interventions can take place in
informed. If the students in classroom training are on
practice. Only with this understanding can we get
the same level as far as the baseline knowledge is
the `blend' right."
concerned, the training becomes effective and
productive. TWB's blended learning approach gives a
Martyn Sloman, in his book `The Changing
provision to cater to students, whose baseline
World of the Trainer'
knowledge is not at par with the rest, through means
such as online, instant messaging, e-mails etc.,
thereby helping them raise their knowledge level.
Individual learning styles: With the availability of the
new package of tools, TWB's instructors and students
are able to blend more elements into both classroom
and self-paced exercises, thereby effectively catering
By utilizing TWB's training programs characterized by
to individual learning styles. TWB reaches out to
the blended learning approach, an organization can
learners with a more diverse set of learning options,
draw the fol owing benefits:
which help them raise the level of their knowledge and
skil s.
Reduced costs
Business continuity
Follow-up: Another important factor to be considered
in blended learning is the fol ow-up. In most cases, this
Effective holistic learning through classroom cum e-
is the most neglected aspects of learning, especial y in
learning methods
adult learning. The objective of the fol ow-up is to
Extended training covering al distributed workforce
determine the retention level of the knowledge and
at various locations
skil s taught. TWB has devised its own unique means
Increased productivity because of the quality
to ensure that fol ow-up is practiced to help learners
retain their acquired knowledge.
TWB's training department fol ows up with students by
sending out exercises through emails after the
classroom training is over. To date, this is known as
one of the best ways to ensure learning and retention.
We blend various components including courses,
content portions, IM pings, blogs feedback, and many
other things, to provide maximum benefits to learners.
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Case Studies
Case Study 1: A Large Leading Software Company
A large software company takes the decision to move their technical documentation effort from the US to India. The
team in India had the option of hiring and creating a new team or forming a new team from the existing employees.
The Writers Block (TWB) is engaged with this software company to search for members with the right talent within
the company, who could then be inducted into the technical documentation sector by way of evaluation tests. A
technical support team of 20 members, identified as having the base skil s, is created. The team was provided with
continuous training in best practices by TWB.
As a result, this team starts taking over from the US team in 2 months. Ultimately the team doubles the size within
next 3 months.
Case Study 2: A Multinational Multi-Brand Company
The internal market analytics team of a multinational company is engaged in serving its subsidiaries. Such research
and analysis is typical y for the middle management staff members who determine the key market factors, create
decisions points, and put forward these as reports to senior management. However, the multinational wants to
change this scenario and wants this internal team to serve the company at a global level. This change means that
the local middle management 'cushion' is not present anywhere before the analysis is presented to the customer.
TWB provides the exact solution and helps the multinational company formulate a training program for the research
team. This step ensures that the research team is able to present its results as research reports to its customers
worldwide in a useful way.
This training, based on blended learning approach, is created for teams of 20-25 members for over 300 employees
spread al over India. The key objective of this wel -defined blended learning approach through TWB intervention is
to ensure that the existing work is not disrupted. With a long term personalized intervention, there is a surety that
each member gets personalized attention.
Case Study 3: A Large KPO Provider
The said company is one of the largest KPO providers in India and continues to be aggressively engaged in
providing KPO services like Analytics. The BPO part of the business also involves serving some customers for the
KPO services. The company wants to make use of the available manpower, provided they are found suitable and
wants to move them into analytics. The objective is that the analytics team should be able to carry out the analysis
required and present the output to the customers as research reports with clear decision points.
Under the solution provided, team members are evaluated by the KPO provider team for research, analysis and
domain skil s, and by TWB for communication capability. The employees who are suitable are promoted to the
analytics team. TWB, together with the KPO provider, devises a month's training program for this team. TWB, using
a blended learning approach, conducts a four-day essential classroom training and a four-weeks TWB Online
training that runs paral el to the training by the KPO. This is fol owed by another three days of classroom training.
TWB helps the KPO provider create a suitable transformation with the most effective intervention for its team. The
team starts taking on responsibilities within a month. Such blended training solution is being laid out for over 500
employees across four locations.
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TWB Services
TWB is India's leader in technical communication outsourcing and education. TWB offers a complete suite of services that allows
our customers to effectively publish their technical knowledge with their people and processes. TWB's customers range from
Global 500 - including Cisco, Accenture, McAfee, LG, Samsung, Citrix, SAP, Siemens, AOL, Intel; Indian technology majors -
including Infosys, Wipro; Global defense majors - Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, DRDO, HAL; and exciting technology startups.
TWB's expertise in technical communication ranges from IT Products and Outsourcing, ITES, Banking, Financial, Aerospace,
Defense, Ship Building to Hi-tech Manufacturing, and Discrete and Process Manufacturing.
TWB's services include:
Technical Marketing
Technical Product
Documentation Quality
Administrator's Guide
Copy Editing and Proof Reading
API Document
Cheat sheets
Managing Writing
Configuration Guide
Solution Briefs/Solution Brochures
Editing Services
Functional Specifications Document
Presentations - Products/Corporate
Layout and Design
Installation Manual
Creating SLAs
Brochures and marketing collateral
Interface Document
Web content
Interactive Electronic Technical Manual
Business Documentation
Audio and video scripts
Maintenance Manual
Press releases
Business Proposals
Online Help
Direct mail
Legal Disclaimers
Operation Manual
Newsletter design copy
Policy Manuals
Product Demo
Sales catalogues
Style Guide Design
Product Specifications Document
Sales sheets
Template Design
Product Overview Document
Quick Reference Guide
Business Communication
Release Notes
Content Management
Short Reports
Requirement Analysis Document
Single Sourcing
SDK Document
File Version Control
Case Studies
Troubleshooting Manual
Document Naming Conventions
Lab Reports
User Manual
Consistent Document Formatting
Open Source Documentation
Data Transformation
Progress/Interim Reports
Programmers Guides
Writing for Electronic Media
Functional Specifications Document
Use Cases
Web site Development
Online Help /Context Sensitive Help
Web 2.0 development
Troubleshooting Guides
Graphic Designing
Web content

Info graphics
Web applications
Qualitative Analytics for
2D & 3D animation
Decision Support
Translation and Localization
Line drawings and illustrations
Economic Business Research
Process Documentation
Industry Analysis
Software Translation Services
Market Opportunity Analysis
Document Translation Services
Standard Operating Procedures
Competitive Business Analysis
Localization (L10N) Testing
ISO Documentation
Company & Prospect Profiling
Internationalization (I18N) Testing
CMM Documentation
Reporting Solutions
Assessment of Unmet Market Needs
Records Management
Deployment and Support
Status and Potential of Technologies
Document Management Solutions
Benchmarking of Strategies Vs
Record Management Storage and
Installation and Configuration Guides
Operations Manual
Sales Force Effectiveness
Market Assessments
Competitive Intelligence
Opinion Leadership
Emerging Markets - evaluation and
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