Online learning about PPE

What is blended learning? Blended learning is a combination of off-line (face-to-face, traditional learning) and online learning that complements each other.

Today, many public safety agencies are facing budget cuts, staffing shortages and COVID-19 restrictions while needing to continue providing the same level of service AND finding valid methods of conducting training. Public safety professionals must work through the additional challenges of shift coverage, territory/zone coverage and out-of-service/overtime personnel costs.

Blended learning offers a good solution for these challenges. When properly applied, learners continue to meet the tenets of learning, but at a reduced cost and frequently more successful comprehension rate. By using online pre-training courses, learners come prepared to more quickly grasp and retain concepts, as well as meet the skill or knowledge competencies.

Let’s compare a traditional vs. blended learning example.

Traditional Training

  • Bring in personnel for a group classroom session.
  • When appropriate, follow up with a hands-on session.
  • Classroom sessions often include disruptive breaks, interruptions and longer training time.
  • Instructors must address different paces of learning.
  • Hand-on training includes a lot of downtime for participants waiting to conduct their skill test.
  • The Training Officer or Supervisor may require another hour or more to document the training.

In this example, the total training time, which includes out-of-service and possibly overtime cost, is likely to be 4-8 hours, which may hinder agencies from conducting regular training due to the disruptive and costly impact.

Blended Learning

  • Assign pre-built or agency-created courses for personnel to take individually.
  • Individuals can consume the training session at their own pace, in a setting that they can control.
  • The online learning replaces the classroom session and the agency experiences little to no disruption in territory/zone coverage or overtime costs.
  • Follow the online training with a hands-on session, if applicable, using the Vector LMS (TargetSolutions) Events Manager to schedule cycles of skill training to prevent idle downtime.
  • Learners move through the hands-on training quicker with the pre-knowledge they acquired from the online training.
  • Training staff uses automated tools to document correct, concise and complete records with Activities and Evaluations+.

In the blended learning example, the total training time is likely to be 2-4 hours, a 50% reduction in overall time and cost. The blended example includes the benefits of improved knowledge retention and acquisition, as a learning pace that is matched to each individual.

NET RESULT = lower total training cost, improved documentation, and better training outcomes.

“Since physical training gatherings require more time and expense than online training, Show Low Police Department was able to save physical training expenses and use their training budget to purchase the Vector Learning Management System (LMS).” Read more here.