When I was in college, we didn't have the technology to help us with learning. So if you wanted to learn about a new topic, it meant reading textbooks or attending lectures and seminars.
And sometimes, even then, teachers would get stuck on an idea or lecture for too long without covering everything that needed to be covered for students to understand what they were being taught. Today, though? We have so many more options for getting information out there—and one of those options is virtual training.
What is virtual training?
Virtual training is a form of distance learning that allows you to take courses and participate in group discussions just like you would at a physical location. The difference is, instead of being located in one physical space where everyone sees each other, virtual training allows participants to log into the same environment from their computers or mobile devices (such as phones or tablets). This means that even though participants may be from different places around the world, they can still interact with each other as if they were sitting together in a classroom.
Why go virtual for training sessions?
Virtual training is the best option for your company if you want to:
- Maximize accessibility and inclusivity. The virtual classroom is accessible to all employees, even those with limited mobility or who can't make it to the office often. It also helps connect remote teams across time zones, especially if you have employees from different countries.
- Reinforce digital transformation efforts. Virtual training reinforces your organization's commitment to digital transformation initiatives like BYOD and flexible work arrangements. It shows employees that their employers are trying to make this shift as seamless as possible for them inside and outside the office walls.
- Save time and money by not having to travel for meetings or spend money on physical space rentals (in situations where those are required). This will allow you more time with your family while also saving money that would otherwise be spent on travel costs or leasing new offices to accommodate additional staff members who need access when they're out of town."
It can be synchronous or asynchronous.
Virtual training can be either synchronous or asynchronous.
Synchronous online training is where you and your trainer are in the same room, separated by a computer. This type of virtual training is the most common as it combines the best aspects of face-to-face interactions with the convenience of distance learning. It's also easier to schedule than other types of virtual training, which makes synchronous a great option for many people!
If you want a feel for what synchronous can be like, imagine yourself sitting at home or working with your laptop open and using Skype or Google Hangouts to talk with your trainer about whatever topic he or she is covering in class. It's like being face-to-face, except there's no physical separation between you—you're just looking at each other from different locations!
Asynchronous training is when the trainee receives the training materials and can access them at any time. The trainer and trainee communicate through email, chat, or other communication tools.
The number of courses in our virtual library is growing every day! Enroll in one of these courses today for personal development or as an employee incentive program.
It's more accessible and inclusive.
Virtual training is a great way to reach people who cannot reach a physical location, such as those living in areas that aren't as well-served by public transit or need specialized equipment.
Virtual training also provides an opportunity for people with disabilities who can't attend in-person classes due to restrictions on their mobility.
There are more opportunities to be interactive.
For example, there are more opportunities to be interactive by using polling and quizzes. You can even use live chat if you want your participants to be able to ask questions directly from their computers or smartphones. Live chat is beneficial if you don't have time for a live session of the class due to time constraints or other factors. With virtual training, you'll have greater flexibility in presenting information and interacting with participants throughout the program.
Reinforces digital transformation
Virtual training is a big part of the future of work.
In today's ever-changing workplace, learning new skills is becoming increasingly important. Your employees need to be able to learn on their own time, or else they won't stay motivated—and if you don't have enough people in your company with current skills, you might not be able to stay competitive. Virtual training allows employees to learn from the comfort of home, so they don't have to worry about missing out on anything at work during those long commutes or sitting in traffic jams.
It saves you time and money.
- It will save you a lot of time. You can reach more people, and the students don't have to travel as far.
- It also saves money by cutting travel costs and equipment rental fees.
Five best practices for online training
Virtual training is becoming a more popular and cost-effective way to train employees. However, it's still important to implement the right measures to ensure your virtual training program is successful. Here are five best practices for online training:
Promote peer learning
The second strategy for virtual training is to promote peer learning. Peer learning is when you encourage your employees to learn from each other. It can be done in person or online, but it often happens through a virtual training session that uses video conferencing software. The benefits of peer-to-peer learning include the following:
- Improved efficiency – Employees share knowledge, so they don't need as much time with you or other managers
- Reduced costs – You don't have to pay someone else to do the training
Use visuals and learning aids to supplement training
Visuals are an incredibly powerful way to supplement a training program. You can use images, videos, and graphics to explain concepts in more detail or show how tools or equipment work. You can also use visuals to illustrate the importance of a topic by showing what happens when it's not done correctly.
Have the proper equipment and backup plans for if anything goes wrong
- Have a backup plan.
- Make sure you have the proper equipment.
- Have a plan for if something goes wrong.
Switch up group sizes and dynamics to boost engagement
- Use a variety of group sizes and dynamics to keep people engaged.
- Also, use a variety of group sizes and dynamics to involve people.
- Use a variety of group sizes and dynamics to get people engaged.
Always ask for feedback.
One of the best ways to get feedback is to ask for it. Here are some of the different types of feedback you can elicit from participants:
- Survey or assessment tool - After each session, use a survey or assessment tool. A good rule of thumb is that if you have more than five questions on your survey, you should split your course into modules and offer a shorter version (5-10 minutes) as part of each module.
- At the end of each module -, Another way is at the end of each module, where they can provide detailed information about what they liked and didn't like about how things were presented and what could be improved upon moving forward. This information will help inform future iterations and ensure consistency across all courses within your catalog!
- After each lesson - Additionally, you may want to ask participants if there was anything specific about any lessons that stood out for them or did not meet their needs (or expectations). Feedback on these points will help guide future iterations toward meeting everyone's needs better!
Whether you're considering virtual training for the first time or looking to make the most of what you already have, there are plenty of ways to get started. And as technology advances, it will only become more accessible and streamlined. So do yourself a favor; before long, you could enjoy all the benefits of virtual training!