Virtual Training in 2019 And What the Future Holds
Virtual training is interactive, coach-led training that is run live on a platform such as Webex. This approach to training has been growing in popularity and usage over the past few years. Companies and colleagues alike enjoy the significant benefits of this approach to training. Colleagues can login from any location, learn together, be creative, and then immediately apply the learning after the workshop concludes. Subject areas that can applied to this learning approach vary enormously - just think what can be done in a physical classroom can be done virtually. Let’s consider the
Future of Virtual Training
Reducing Time Frame: Learning and Developing
Virtual Training workshops generally vary from 1 to 3 hours in length. Dependant on programme type and outcome requirements, learners can join for a series of bite-sized workshops for management development or deep dive into singular negotiation skills session. Virtual sessions require skilled development different in approach to a face to face learning approach. Development time is similar to other trainings, although for ‘new to virtual’ trainers and training designers, it may take time to get up to speed.
The Cost-benefit Analysis at User End
The tech platforms used for virtual training have been developing for the last 10 years and there is currently a surge of newly developed tools and options made available. More organisations are turning to virtual training and many find that they already have an available platform in companies such as Microsoft Teams, so they encounter no extra cost in implementation. Using the technology you already have feels like a real win!
Overcoming the Technological Barrier
The challenges learners have in engaging properly with a virtual workshop are minimal - they need decent internet connection and a quiet area to work in. Some learners just join from their desk using headphones to cut out distractions. Virtual workshops need to be designed and delivered to create maximum participation and interaction so the experience and skills of the virtual designer and trainer are key to success here. Just lifting materials and PowerPoint from a classroom environment and placing it online won’t lead to successful transfer of learning in the virtual world. Different approaches are necessary to get quality outcomes.
Frequent Changes in the Popular VR Platforms
The best-performing VR platforms have been changing year on year. New platforms are being developed and introduced into the VR/AR market. According to a Statista report, the AR/VR market size will expand drastically from $12 billion US dollars in 2018 to $192 billion US dollars in 2022. And the reason is simple; society is starting to adapt to virtual worlds such as AR/VR. As society moves to virtual worlds ever more rapidly then learners will more than likely follow to do the same. Learners are going to understand the advantages of doing some or all of their training virtually and be demanding of employers to provide it.
Increasing User Adoption
More organisations than ever are encouraging their employees to embrace some virtual training in their development cycle. However, some coaches and trainers are hesitant to move their delivery online - sometimes they make a first attempt and don’t achieve the planned results which dampens enthusiasm and their willingness to try again. The better approach is a step by step guided process of train the trainer/designers in how to build their virtual workshops so that they can be delivered in an interactive way that engages learners and creates positive learning transfer. This may begin with convincing the Executive team to invest in the move to virtual training and finish with encouraging colleagues to embrace a virtual workshop as part of their ongoing learning.
Seeing a short video showing how a virtual workshop runs can help to enthuse as can a live demo session. Many who look at a video or demo first have their “aha” moment as their fear of tech or just not quite knowing what to expect is dissipated.
In a Nutshell
Adopting virtual workshops is an attractive prospect for many companies today especially as home working is rising rapidly and with the background of constant pressure on use of resources. Virtual training reduces the need for travel, contributes to work life balance, is inclusive and reduces the use of carbon through travel.