Is Virtual Training Really Working?
As an established training provider, we are not alone in leading by example when it comes to new teaching techniques and technology. We’ve always evolved to remain engaged with our client’s requirements and expectations. Having said that, how could we have foreseen a global lock down and the resulting appetite for virtual training?
Let’s quickly establish the vital differences between online and virtual training…
Online learning also referred to as e-learning (electronic learning), is the acquisition of knowledge which takes place through electronic technologies and media. Typically, e-learning is conducted on the Internet where students can access their learning materials online, at any place and any time.
We offer hundreds of Staff E-Learning Courses that have been in demand over the past six months, with furloughed staff and individuals looking to improve their skills while away from work. Whilst we fully support this way of learning, virtual training means something entirely different;
Virtual learning refers to training done in a virtual or simulated environment, or when the learner and the instructor are in separate locations. Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) using meeting software such as Zoom are designed to simulate the traditional classroom. It offers an interactive learning experience that is enhanced through utilising technology.
So, how are we engaging with our delegates?
Using the excellent features found within Zoom, we can honestly say that virtual training can be as successful as any face to face training. Essentially the reason for this is communication. Yes, some people may lose connection from their wi-fi at home or get dragged off on a work call, but that is still less disruptive than in a room full of people. Plus in this format, the possibilities for engaging your delegates are only limited by your imagination.
We encourage connection and discussion throughout our sessions using some of the following functions:
- Breakout rooms
- Planned and pre-delivered activities packs
- Chat and feedback
- Polling questions and quizzes
Poll questions are a brilliant way to gage understanding, promote participation and evaluate the session. The most recent feedback we have received from of our virtual CMI Leadership & Management Training sessions, is that it was great that all learners had an equal opportunity to share thoughts and ideas in a more structured ‘take your turn’ process. Virtual Training also allows ‘quieter’ delegates a voice in a structured environment that, when in a classroom setting, they might be less brave. This in itself is a huge reason behind the success of virtual training and long may it continue!