What is Virtual Training (VILT) and is it right for you?
“Hi, I’m Becky and I am due to attend a virtual workshop on Innovation.
Grabbing a coffee, I find a quiet place to sit with my laptop. I open my invite and click to connect and see that I have entered a virtual classroom. There are some other participants too, who have webcams on and are talking with each other. I put on my headset and click to connect my webcam and audio.
Instantly the smiling face of Ingrid appears – she is our virtual coach. Ingrid warmly welcomes me with “Hi Becky, welcome to your virtual workshop on Innovation! Say hi to your colleagues who are here too.”
We have a hello chat and I meet both new and old colleagues from around the world.
It is easy to forget that we are in the same virtual room together, yet we are thousands of miles apart.
Soon we are placed in smaller breakout groups, brainstorming and recording ideas on a whiteboard. We download a Playbook (course materials) full of hints and tips with space for me to type my notes. We are laughing and learning together, and the time is flying by.
As we gather back together, we share our ideas with further insight added by Ingrid. We are using visual emphasis tools like emoticons, highlighters and pointers which enhance the flow of communication rather than replace it. Ingrid is skilled at including us, encouraging lots of discussion between us all and guiding us through the key learning points.
The workshop comes to a conclusion. We have shared our actions and saved our playbooks to take away. The time has flown. Having felt fully involved and engaged throughout the whole workshop it never crossed my mind to check email or Facebook 😊!
Most importantly, I learned a lot. I’ve gained ideas from Ingrid and my colleagues and I have clear plans and actions to help my team innovate more. I’ve caught up with colleagues who I haven’t seen for a while and met new ones from other countries with interesting perspectives and ideas.
I’m looking forward to my next virtual workshop!”
So, what exactly is Virtual Training (VILT)?
Virtual training, or VILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training) takes the fundamentals of face-to-face (F2F) training and replicates the experience online and live.
- The instructor and participants log into a chosen Virtual Training (VILT) platform (such as WebEx or Adobe Connect) from different locations.
- The workshop is run live with all learners participating at the same time.
- Virtual workshops are interactive. Everyone joins in on discussions, shares experience, practises conversations and asks questions. They may choose to use a webcam. Quality VILT workshops should be a conversation and not a presentation.
- Virtual workshops are usually bite-size, 60-180 minutes.
- Groups of up to12 participants are typical for a VILT workshop.
- VILT can be combined with F2F training and other approaches, like e-learning or webinars, to create a blended learning programme.
Is VILT Right for You?
According to The Association of Talent Development’s (ATD) 2017 industry report, 64% of organisations are already using VILT with a further 22% indicating that they intend to soon. The report also states that currently, 14% of all instructor-led training is delivered virtually and this is expected to rise.
The ATD report also found that the two most common reasons that organisations were making the move to use more VILT was to save on travel costs and to reach geographically dispersed employees.
Perhaps you are starting to identify that it is worth getting started with virtual training (VILT) in order to add value to your training delivery portfolio. Click here to read more on the benefits of virtual training (VILT).
Here are a some key factors that influence organisations to move some of their training to VILT:
The organisation has made a commitment to:
- Get more for less budget - the average cost of training is reduced dramatically.
- Build inclusivity – learning for everyone, wherever they are.
- Improve wellbeing – reduce travel time and time away from home for learners and trainers.
- Go more digital – use better the technology you already have.
- Reduce carbon footprint – save the planet!
They have a workforce which is:
- Geographically dispersed.
- Becoming more flexible, remote, mobile.
- Needing to become more digital in approach.
- Is already digitally focused and want their development via digital platforms.
There is a need for scaling and consistency so that:
- Employees in different locations have access to the same opportunities.
- Content and messages are delivered consistently.
- Training is delivered to everyone, everywhere to the same quality.
- Programmes can be scaled quickly with minimal use of resource.
If any of these apply to your organisation we recommend you consider the benefits of VILT.
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