Updated: May 24
In this article, you will learn how blended learning can help you to continue your education in a targeted and guided manner despite a lack of time, and how that benefits your entire team and the company.
5 reasons for blended learning:
Thanks to online days, you plan yourself when and where you work on the individual tasks.
In the classroom, you meet new people from your field and network.
You expand your repertoire of working techniques.
You work on your own case.
You can bring your knowledge back to the company.
Anna is a project manager in an international service company and experiences time and again that cross-departmental projects are hard to implement. She cannot manage to get the decision-makers from all departments on the same call - after all, everyone is always busy. Although she tries hard and the team leaders can also participate via Skype, she does not seem to be making any progress with her project. She is frustrated and fears that she will not be able to achieve her goals. Eventually, she decides to take a course in project and risk management to learn how to better handle these and other situations.
Only, Anna does not have time either. She is already behind schedule on her project and resources are tight. How is she supposed to travel to the course location and take time out of her day job for several days? And wouldn't it be a bit unfair to her colleagues?
The solution: a course in blended learning format
Anna decides to attend the 5-day course "Best Practice in Project and Risk Management according to PMI" at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). This way Anna has the best of both worlds: On three days she is on site in the classroom and gets to know the instructor and her course group personally. Theory, practical exercises based on case studies, exchange with like-minded people and the planning of an own project are in the main focus. Some knots are loosening, she can now apply the theory/practice transfer to her own project and immediately put what she learned into practice. This way, she will no longer waste valuable time with inefficient meetings and will help her company to save resources, which will also increase the motivation of all project participants.
In the classroom sessions, Anna can network with professionals from other companies with similar problems. Anna will also have valuable points of contact after the course to exchange ideas about specific situations or project plans. An online day takes place between each of the attendance days. Anna receives the assignments via the online learning platform Moodle. She can work on the assignments from home or from the office, as it suits her. Travel to the course location is not required.
Highest flexibility and long-term benefits
The online days can be structured flexibly. Anna receives an individual task tailored to her problem. For example, she should prepare a written project charter for her project together with her project sponsor and have the sponsor sign it. The project charter clarifies all important questions that are crucial for a successful implementation. Depending on how many meetings Anna needs to have to resolve these items, this could take several weeks. The course is therefore designed to last seven to eight weeks. This leaves her enough time to work on her own project. Reflection and "lessons learned" are an integral part of the teaching/learning arrangement. The course group serves as a resonance group for Anna, meaning that she receives new input and feedback not only from the instructor, but also from all the other course participants.
For the next project, Anna knows exactly what she needs to pay attention to in order to be successful. Her colleagues will benefit from her know-how.
Is Anna supported in her blended learning?
The online tasks are accompanied. The instructor supports the learners in their process and provides various tools. In the classroom learning tandems are formed, which are in close exchange and support each other. An exchange forum in Moodle and a virtual office hour give course participants the opportunity to exchange information with each other and with the instructor.
What can Anna take away from the course?
Anna benefits in several ways: She is taken seriously with her own situation and receives concrete suggestions on how to deal with it. At the same time, she can test these in practice and continuously improve them according to the Deming Cycle. If there are still unanswered questions or further help is needed after completing the course, one-on-one coaching with the instructor may be helpful. Coaching can be conducted in the lecturer's office.
Anna can organize herself. This gives her the freedom to integrate the tasks into her daily work routine.
She now knows new professional colleagues whom she can approach in the future if she wants to exchange ideas on a topic.
She tries out new methods and work techniques and continues to use them.
She is making progress in her own project and knows what to look for in new projects.
She can pass on her new knowledge to team colleagues. The whole company benefits.
Register for the course: Best Practice in Project and Risk Management according to PMI. Or would you like to have a course developed for your company? Contact us for a needs analysis.