Technology has transformed every aspect of our lives, including the way we learn. No longer is it necessary for people to gather in a physical space for learning or training. Virtual learning provides an exciting, efficient, and economical alternative to traditional learning. For businesses and all types of organizations, this offers a great opportunity to deliver training faster and more effectively than ever before. What are the benefits of virtual delivery?
- Engaging. With people increasingly spending time online, it’s often easier to hold their attention in a virtual environment.
- Flexible. Training can be tailored to any purpose or industry. Tech companies can train people on how to use new software. The hospitality industry can train employees on how to interact with clients. Financial companies can create virtual compliance training.
- Interactive. In many ways, it’s actually easier for participants to engage with each other and with instructors in a virtual environment than in live sessions. For larger groups, you can set up smaller specialized online rooms where people can chat and ask questions.
- Economical. With traditional training, either instructors or employees have to travel. Virtual training saves you the time and expense of having to move people around.
- Easy access. Virtual training sessions can easily be recorded and stored online, making it simple for participants to access and review the information whenever they need to.
Here are the top 7 ways to get the most out of virtual training.
1. Be Clear About Your Objectives
In order to reap the benefits of virtual classroom delivery, it’s important to identify your goals. This is the case for any type of training, of course, whether traditional or virtual. However, some people become so enamored by the technology that they forget that is is a tool. While you can create a virtual training program for just about any purpose, it is still up to you to pinpoint your objectives. Make your goals as specific as possible, such as “Increase sales by 25%” or “Achieve 95% success in compliance training.” When you outline clear performance goals, you can measure the effectiveness of the training and, when necessary, make improvements.
2. Conduct Many Tests and Rehearsals
Before actually training people on your learning management system, be sure to go through plenty of test runs. You want to be sure that the technology is working smoothly and that the material is appropriate. Test the training on knowledgeable subjects who are already very familiar with it. For example, if you’re planning a virtual learning course to enable employees to obtain compliance training certification, run the material by experts who can ascertain if everything is covered and that the information is delivered in an efficient and user-friendly manner. Your trial audience may give you valuable pointers on how to make the training more effective.
3. Provide Thorough Training on Using the Technology
In order for participants to get the most out of virtual training, it’s essential that they’re comfortable using the technology. No matter how user-friendly your setup might be, there is always a learning curve. People will start out with different skill sets when it comes to using such systems. Whether people will be accessing the training from home or at work, make sure they get a tutorial on using the system before the training begins. They should also have access to support personnel, either in person or online, where they can ask questions on how everything works.
4. Encourage Engagement
It’s essential to understand the importance of training delivery dynamics. The more people interact with the training, the more they’ll get out of it. That’s why it’s vital to design training in a way that maximizes interaction. There are several ways to do this, including testing, gamification, online chatting and Q & A, and video role-playing (which is covered in more detail below). Ask questions that encourage responses, such as “What are some of the most common objections a customer might raise?” Presenters can also “call on” specific people in the audience, the virtual version of teachers calling on kids in the classroom to make sure they’re paying attention.
5. Leverage the Power of Video Role-Play
Video role-playing exercises illustrate the advantages of virtual classroom system training. Whether you’re teaching sales techniques, providing compliance training, or covering potential harassment scenarios, this type of video training allows people to act out likely scenarios in a virtual environment. Video training is effective for delivering all types of information. Role-playing, however, takes it to the next level. For certain training, it’s not enough for people to passively absorb information. They need to participate in order to solidify the knowledge and work through common problems.
With video role-playing, you can cover the same information and situations as you could in live training. The advantage, of course, is that you can deliver the training from any location. As new requirements arise, you can update the training and provide employees access to it without the need for anyone to travel.
6. Create Customized Training
One of the keys to succeeding with virtual training is to make sure the material is well targeted to the audience. If people have different levels of knowledge or experience, there is no reason for everyone to access the exact same training. Advanced learning management systems make it easy to create specialized training. For example, you might give everyone the same introduction but then create separate virtual classrooms for people with different needs. Creating these customized learning plans keeps learners engaged and ensures that you are utilizing their time wisely.
7. Solicit Detailed Feedback
One way to measure the effectiveness of virtual training is from measurable results. Have sales improved? Did employees successfully complete compliance training? Another way is to solicit thorough feedback from participants. Ask people what they liked and didn’t like about the training and for suggestions on making improvements. This type of feedback isn’t always 100% reliable, of course. People may say that the material wasn’t presented clearly while, in truth, it might just be difficult for some people to learn. However, by accumulating responses and comparing them to measurable results, you can get helpful tips on how to improve future training.
Knowledge Anywhere lets you redefine the training experience with a variety of cloud-based training solutions, including Learning Management Systems and virtual reality training. Contact us today to find out how Knowledge Anywhere can create an effective, customized training program for your company.
Learn how you put education at the center of your organization with these great articles and resources.