Learnings for Adults Management Motivation
Virtual learning: new ways to live life. Say YES!.
May 25, 2021
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As you know, the concept of traditional education has changed dramatically since the onset of the global pandemic. There is little awareness of people towards virtual learning a decade ago. Furthermore, before the pandemic, many learning and development professionals believed that their programs would only be effective if trained in a traditional classroom environment and openly resisted transitioning to live online sessions.
Now, it is a common belief that even after social distancing guidelines are relaxed, the technology-bearing generations will continue to embrace more digital resources such as virtual learning or another sort of online learning.

Virtual classrooms boost up the modern technologies used in the workplace. They work as a global asset available to anyone on their computers or phones.

There is a common myth that employees working in some fields gain nothing from virtual learning. So the efforts of trainers would be useless. Learning and development is a systematic process that is to enhances the employee’s skills. Nowadays, employees consider virtual learning more valuable than previous generations of workers. The corporate training efforts help grow their professional skills. Employees also learn interaction and communication skills from people from different parts of the world.

Virtual learning is the essence of the future:
Virtual learning is the way to the future. Trainers who embrace virtual learning design and delivery strive to be more advanced. There is a lot of development required to be highly skilled in designing and delivering virtual programs. These training efforts are organized to change the mindset of learners, have them apply new skills, retain and apply new knowledge to better meet the vision of their organization and their personal, professional goals.

The challenge begins when the traditional training is changed to Virtual Instructor Lead Training (vILT). Trainers, facilitators, and presenters should consider many factors of how to make virtual learning work best for learners. Some of the reasons are mentioned here.

1. TRANSITION TO TRADITIONAL CLASSROOMS:
Due to a vast category of challenges, traditional classrooms have now shifted towards Virtual Classrooms. But is it beneficial for the trainers too?

At first glance, virtual training may not seem attractive to inexperienced trainers. Many participants also observed nervousness of the trainer during online sessions, which perhaps wasn’t evident during traditional classroom training. In many cases, trainers report that they had good collaboration and engagement in conventional training, but this is lacking in virtual classrooms.

Redesigning an entire traditional classroom training to fit the virtual environment isn’t usually necessary. Simply looking at the learning program through a different lens and working through what can be retained, what needs to be tweaked, and what needs to be added to create a highly functioning virtual program is all that is necessary.

2. EQUITY IN TRAINING SUPPORTED BY VIRTUAL LEARNING
According to a UNICEF survey, in Africa, inequity in education is more considerable than anywhere else in the world.

Education is necessary for women across the world and is a significant focus for many global organizations. Virtual classroom trainers offer an equal opportunity and motivation regardless of race, age, ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, gender, learning location, or any other type of discrimination. You can provide everyone with a way to change their living, learning, career, and opportunities without any prejudice. This might be impossible otherwise in developing countries. As in these classrooms, there is no restriction of place and time, so this can be a standard alternative.

3. FLEXIBILITY
A primary reason that why trainers and learners prefer virtual learning is its flexible schedules. Learners can join from anywhere in the world. Many learners are willing to attend virtual courses outside of traditional working hours as the benefit of attendance. The opportunity for career advancement and learning outweighs the inconvenience of joining the program during the early mornings or evenings.

4. VARIETY
Virtual training has an endless amount of subject matter often not accessible by all corporate learners. Many traditional classroom programs are restricted by particular roles. Virtual learning curriculums are often more open to different roles in the organization. Learners can join their topic of choice, which enhances the variety of learners on a program. The different perspectives each participant brings both from an experience point-of-view and if the program is offered globally, from a cultural point-of-view, provides a richer learning experience than traditional classroom training.

5. CAREER OPPORTUNITY
For professional learning and development teams, the opportunity to transition from traditional classroom to virtual classroom has added a new ‘string to their bow.’ In career terms, organizations are now hiring virtually, and the ability, skills, and knowledge required to design, deliver and facilitate virtual learning is a sought-after skill set.

6. ACCESSIBILITY
Working towards an accessible Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is now written into the learning strategy of most organizations. VLEs consider the usability and appropriateness of learning scenarios, programs, and curriculums for all types of learners, including special needs employees. Virtual learning dovetails into the constant evolution of assistive technologies helping users with disabilities to have a complete set of exciting and motivating learning programs for their career advancement.

7. TIME-SAVING
Academics and learning professionals alike have studied employees’ perception of ‘making time’ or ‘spending time’ in formal versus informal learning environments. The architecture of a virtual learning program is by its very design an efficient timesaver compared to the design of a traditional classroom training program. Using ID9 Intelligent Design’s virtual learning design blueprint, learning professionals can reduce traditional training time by 50%. When traditional and virtual training outcomes are compared, using this method, virtual outwins and outperforms traditional on almost every occasion.

8. MINI VIRTUAL CLASSROOMS VS. LARGE GROUP EFFECTIVENESS
Virtual Classrooms are sometimes smaller than traditional classrooms, but likewise, virtual training offers the ability to train much larger groups. In mini-virtual classrooms, learners are broken down into tiny groups for breakout activities and group discussion. For trainers, they can pay more attention to each individual learner and work on your audience’s considerable skills and experience levels. In large groups, consistency of the training message is guaranteed. Follow-up workshops and other discussion forums can be implemented to allow deep-dive learning and activities that motivate them to apply their new knowledge.

9. VIRTUAL LEARNING DESIGN SYSTEM IS A MUST-HAVE
The instructor should follow the learning design system to achieve the desired outcome. This system is a platform that accelerates the instructional design process. It creates high-quality training. Virtual learning design incorporates several disciplines and would help in learning the participants regarding the subject matter.

About author

Dr Shailesh Thaker

Dr. Shailesh Thaker is a world-renowned management thinker and trainer on organizational behavior and development. He is the CLO of Knowledge Plus Inc., a highly reputed training firm based in Ahmedabad, India, helping organizations to achieve international benchmarks in management practices.

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