Coaching is also moving towards blended training. Integrating coaching courses and eLearning activities is not only possible, but it is also extremely fruitful. Alternation, within skills development plans, including coaching sessions and distance learning moments, favour the continuity of a course: the user is faced with a single route, dotted with milestones (discussion and agreement moments in the presence of a coach) and intermediate activities (e.g. online training courses) that are linked together create a clear path towards the goal of professional development. On-line tools, if properly used, provide real support for coaching programmes on both a planning and management level, to the benefit of increasingly stringent time and flexibility requirements. Through a shared space on a platform and specific tools, the coach and coachee can, for example, share notes and work patterns in real time on a remote basis. Some further examples of integration.
- Reminder from the platform: the online environment sends the coach and the coachee an automatic reminder of the sessions schedule.
- Check point on video chats: intermediate check points of the coaching path can be carried out via remote synchronous interaction tools.
- An agreed action plan: the action plan can be viewed and modified by the coachee, in terms of timescales and activities, at any time.
Of course, this evolution of coaching towards a blended approach requires all the players involved in the process, especially the coach and coachee, to acquire a minimum standard of digital skills, a necessary prerequisite for using easy and effective new tools and to fully grasp the opportunities and benefits. This topic was discussed in posterLab no. 15: “coaching and eLearning for the development of leadership skills”. Alessandra Scapati