Are you considering getting started with virtual training (VILT) and incorporating Virtual Instructor-Led Training into your organisation’s L&D offering? VILT classrooms are an online alternative to face-to-face (F2F) classrooms. With VILT, participants all log in from different locations, along with their trainer, to learn, share ideas and practice skills together at the same time using a virtual platform.
Perhaps you are convinced of the benefits of virtual training (VILT) and have already found success in convincing the Exec of virtual training (VILT)? Is it now the time to convince your L&D team?
These are the people that will make it happen on the ground, but if they still have concerns about the effectiveness of VILT, then there is still work to be done.
"Hi, I’m Annie a Management Development Trainer in an international bank and I love my job! The best aspect of my role is the people. I get to work with some amazing colleagues at our offices around Europe. I enjoy the travel element of my job too and my friends often ask, “Where are you jetting off to next Annie?”
I’m a little concerned about the future though and the way my role will be changing. We have been informed that we need to move some of our face-to-face training across to VILT – virtual training. Becoming more digital and reducing travel costs are now priorities.
The last 5 years of F2F delivery have been great and I am not sure the VILT approach will work as well.
I will have to convert some of my Management Modules into VILT workshops and have to deliver them virtually, using a tech platform. I am not a techie person at all! I work my way around PowerPoint and Excel, but to run a virtual workshop technically whilst delivering the training seems a challenge too far! I’m worried that I will have to spend so much time running the tech side of things that I won’t be able to focus on my learners.
It’s a big shift moving from the excitement of days away, hotels, networking and meeting new colleagues, to training from home or the office on a computer.
I’m not sure how I’ll be able to connect with people the same way. I get a real buzz from being with people in a training room. I’m energetic and passionate and this is often mentioned in my feedback comments.
I know VILT is supposed to be interactive, yet I want to see people’s reactions. Virtually, I might get those tumbleweed moments where I tell a funny story or ask a question and get nothing back from the group. Gosh – how de-energising will that be for me and my participants? What if the tech lets me down?
I do appreciate that we need to embrace more technology in our L&D offering. I’m just worried that I won’t be good at it. I’m concerned that I won’t master the tech, participants will be checking emails and not paying attention, the feedback scores will go down and my work will be questioned."
Annie’s commentary reflects the common and very real concerns F2F trainers have who are needing to make the move to delivering in VILT environments.
It is understandable that Annie would be concerned. She is worried that she will be less visible, less successful and will have to learn new skills when moving to training via VILT.
If you have people like Annie in your L&D team they will need your help to move them towards delivering VILT successfully.
In our experience of working with L&D teams getting started with virtual training (VILT), there are 4 stages of response that colleagues transition through before becoming fully committed.
Here, we detail how to acknowledge and understand each stage, so we can help our L&D colleagues move towards embracing a VILT future.
The aim is to recognize and move through each stage successfully rather than leap immediately from the beginning to the end. Change needs to be understood and undertaken with both planning and skill.
Change and transition can be very unsettling, and it can encourage individuals to question their capabilities, worth and future. Asking your L&D team to adopt a VILT approach is a significant change! By you demonstrating understanding, patience and providing a pathway for success, your team will more likely embrace VILT in the same way you do.
Change challenges each one of us in multiple ways. Download our infographic here to see how you can move your trainers from being content with the current way, through the stages of discontent and exploration to find commitment in embracing VILT.