5 reasons why Blended Learning is the future of professional education

You may have noticed over the last year or so, that iCRA is now offering blended courses. Let’s start with explaining what exactly it is that we are ‘blending’ these days:

  • Face-to-face learning in Wageningen, the Netherlands – You work together with peers on context-related assignments and go on field visits that both educate and inspire. Guidance and theory is provided by experienced professionals of the iCRA team and guest lecturers.
  • Digital modules (online) before and after – The digital modules consist of audio and video files, transcripts, ready-made templates, background reading and practical assignments deepening the materials dealt with in the face-to-face training.
  • Individual coaching (online) – You get personal feedback from the iCRA trainers and fellow trainees on your practical assignments as well as coaching as you apply your learnings in your own context. We help you achieve your personal learning objectives and beyond.
  • Online mastermind sessions (online) – During online group mastermind sessions, you can ask all the questions you like and discuss and reflect upon common challenges with your fellow trainees and iCRA trainer/coach.

Here are 5 reasons why we believe that Blended Learning is the future of professional education

1. Your transition from work to the course – and back – is smoother and more powerful!

The online sessions that take place before the face-to-face component, help you to familiarize yourself with main topics and theory related to the course. This allows for a smoother transition once you arrive in the Netherlands. Of course, it is also an added bonus that you get to know your trainers and fellow participants before you step in the plane!

Once you go home and are back in your own working environment, the online elements offer individual guidance and group support from your peers. This way a professional course is no longer a one-off event in which you connect with colleagues, trainers and content but a long-term adaptive learning process that has real impact.

​​”Pre-Face2Face was very valuable because it made me know the course participants before meeting them making it very easy to interact during F2F. The assignment and materials given motivated me.”

2. A blended course adapts to your specific context!

Everybody has been to courses that are incredibly interesting, but you don’t really know how the content relates to your context. Once you return home, you have no idea where you would need begin in order to successfully apply it. That is not how an iCRA blended course works. iCRA believes a course is only a success if we manage to relate to the challenges and opportunities that you face in your daily work.

Because you have more contact moments online and offline, your ICRA trainers get a better idea of the specific context you work in and the daily challenges you might face, they are able to alter course content to the needs of the group. Because of this you will receive hands-on and tailored training and coaching which you can apply directly to your work! Nothing will stand in your way to really make a change and make the impact that you’re envisioning.

“I just had an interesting   online chat with trainer Juan. Very inspiring and encouraging. Thanks to the iCRA team for this interactive opportunity. I am taking the next steps already as a convener! Lets make it happen!”

3. You don’t just get trainers; you get personal coaches!

After the course component in Wageningen, the Netherlands ends, the online components continue and allow you to stay in touch and deepen the personal relationship with the trainers.

iCRA trainers actually really become coaches They will guide and help you to apply what you have learned in a way that really works for you. An extra dimension is the online support from your peers once you’re home. You become part of the iCRA learning community and you can share experiences and ideas. This interaction will allow you to create real impact in your work and may be even get that promotion you have been aiming for!

“The online (personal) coaching was an eye opener, I got to incorporate some new motivation skills for my dairy farmers to be part of the farmer’s group- Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers in a win win situation for them.”

4. You can learn on your own time!

As  a successful (agri) professional,  leaving your work for a long amount of time is not easy. Work does not stop when you leave right? Even during training programmes you probably open your computer in the evenings to prepare presentations, guide colleagues or sit in on meetings. Let’s also not forget about the fact that you probably have a family at home that needs you! Blended learning allows us to really shorten the amount of time that you need to step out of your working and home environment.

The online components allow you to plan your time that you dedicate to an iCRA course in a way that it works for you. You need your personal coaching sessions to be in the morning or during lunch? Let’s do it! And online assignments can be done whenever you see fit.

5. You get more impact for your investment

Now does this mean you get less for what you invest? The opposite; you get more! More direct contact, more personal coaching and more impact because the expertise and support we have to offer will allow you to really apply what you are learning once you’re back at work.

Want to know more about iCRA’s blended courses? Have a look and discover what we have to offer! Scholarship opportunities made possible by NUFFIC. Visit this page to find out if you’re eligible.

And if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact our very own course logistical superstar Saskia! Saskia.vleer@icra.global.