We have experienced some misconceptions of what is virtual training (VILT) and what it can deliver. They may arise from a poor previous experience or mismanaged expectations. Let’s explore 5 key common misconceptions of VILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training).
“You have to be in a room with people, face-to-face to connect properly”.
“Our employees don’t enjoy learning in virtual classrooms”.
“The technology will get in the way of learning / won’t work properly”
“Participant’s won’t engage. They will zone out and check email/Facebook/eBay….”
“It is not as effective as Face-to-Face (F2F) training”
Misconception #1: “You have to be in a room with people, face-to-face to connect properly”.
In this age of Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Instagram etc. more than ever we are connecting online with others. We are already meeting with colleagues virtually, discussing projects and plans so shouldn’t we train together online as well?
Skilled VILT facilitators really connect with learners during a workshop and encourage them to connect with each other too. (And if you use webcams, you can also see each other anyway! 😊). Today people are online and connected more than ever before – training shouldn’t be excluded from this.
Misconception #2: “Our employees don’t enjoy learning in virtual classrooms”.
Do your colleagues really understand what VILT is and the benefits it offers? (This article might help).
People easily confuse the term ‘virtual training’ with e-learning or webinars. These are three distinct ways of learning that are often collectively described as virtual training.
Due to ‘suffering’ a previous poorly run webinar or uninteresting e-learning module learners can easily become negative to all virtual training.
When joining a skilfully run, professionally prepared VILT workshop, outcomes improve dramatically. We often receive feedback from those joining us for the first time such as; “That was way better than I was expecting!” or “What a cool way of learning” and “I’m looking forward to my next session” or “Loved it!”. This reinforces our belief that employees will want to achieve more from their L&D via VILT once they have experienced it.
As ‘nice’ as a trip to HQ/hotel/conference centre might be for F2F workshops, VILT learners really appreciate the absence of travel and the convenience of going online to achieve their learning.
Misconception #3: “The technology will get in the way of learning / won’t work properly”
Sometimes learners are sceptical of VILT because of using technology. Perhaps previously they have had negative experience with virtual platforms or audio conferencing. Having delivered VILT workshops for over 9 years we have experienced tech platforms improving both in spec and stability. Today, workforces are more familiar than ever with tech and virtual environments which is why we believe detractors look to the past rather than the reality of today. Granted, the tech won’t always run perfectly, but in our experience, it works fine 99% of the time.
If your VILT trainers are confident and skilled in using the tech, then VILT workshops will run smoothly. Finally, for VILT to deliver, choosing the right virtual platform is critical to enhance interaction and learner experience.
Misconception #4: “Participant’s won’t engage. They will zone out and check email/Facebook/eBay….”
This misconception is manifested when the VILT workshop is facilitated by trainers who don’t skilfully navigate and interact with the virtual environment. Designing and delivering VILT requires additional skills to those of traditional F2F workshops. Upskilling from F2F to VILT professionally is vital for online success.
Read our here to read our guide on 5 ways to convince your learners to learn with virtual training (VILT).
Placing F2F trainers into VILT environments without upskilling means risking having participants who physically dial in to the workshop… and then mentally check out. Get it right and they become involved and absorbed at every moment so that there is no time for their mind (or fingers!) to wander – the time flies as they interact, learn and enjoy the workshop.
Misconception #5: “It is not as effective as Face-to-Face training”
Today, many organisations use VILT as a key approach to their learning delivery. Research shows that learning transfer via VILT equals if not outperforms F2F training.
Many F2F workshops are a day long and this can tempt designers and trainers to overload them with information, models, case studies and so on to make the ‘most’ of the time in the room.
Modern thinking regarding learning errs towards more concise, focused sessions, often referred to as ‘bite-size’ learning.
VILT is delivered in this way, usually 1-3 hours per workshop. This means that longer training programmes can be segmented within VILT. This enables learners to digest focused content which is then more likely to be transferred.
So, VILT programmes facilitate a bitesize approach encouraging learners to try out ideas, implement actions and embed their learning between workshops. This then allows participants to learn and then apply, regularly.
Many organisations are now enjoying the benefits of virtual training (VILT) by delivering blended learning including VILT and F2F workshops.
Are you getting started with virtual training (VILT)? Are you converting F2F to virtual training (VILT)? Read our guide on introducing virtual training (VILT) into your organisation.
Have you heard of any other misconceptions about VILT?
We would love to hear about it. Leave a comment at the end of this blog to share. 😊
Click here if you would like to access out other guides to help you in making the move in getting started with Virtual Training (VILT), or click below to download our eBook.
We love designing and delivering interactive virtual training and we want to work with you to make your venture into the virtual world straight forward and enjoyable in a way that delivers the results you want to achieve.