Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the way we thought about training was undergoing a major shift. The days of taking a whole day out of the workplace to attend off-site training are seemingly behind us, with organisations needing more flexible and work-friendly training options. However, with recent issues leading us to more remote working and blended workplaces, the need for flexibility in training has never been greater.
It’s certainly an adjustment for both trainers and participants, but moving towards virtual study is inevitable. As we accelerate towards more virtual organisations, it’s crucial that businesses start harnessing the power of virtual learning now rather than later. Not convinced? To help get you on the front foot, here’s some of the reasons why virtual classrooms are a better option in today’s world.
What is Virtual Learning?
Virtual learning is the practice of attending training courses online, rather than face-to-face. It can take many forms, including self-paced e-learning or full virtual classrooms. The beauty of online learning is there are plenty of options, allowing people to address learning needs in the way that best suits them.
What is virtual teaching though? Well, it’s just the other side of the coin. Trainers are now using virtual technology to run their classes. It’s a bit of an adjustment, but if you have onsite trainers, they can even participate in ‘Train the Virtual Trainer’ courses to help them adapt to the new technology.
Virtual classrooms are simply a technology that allows students to listen to and interact with a trainer in a virtual way. Participants can still speak, ask questions, and view relevant course content at the touch of a button. So, while some may miss that face-to-face environment, there are certainly a lot of benefits to virtual learning.
Perfect for those who are time-poor
Have you ever heard the collective groans going around the office when you tell everybody they’re booked for a whole day training session off-site? It’s not because people don’t like learning, it’s just that they worry about the impact it has on their work. We’re all time-poor, and organisations are expected to do more with less. That’s why organising virtual sessions in Australia is such an effective way to manage your training needs.
With such a myriad of flexible training options available, staff can now attend classes while remaining at their desk. They can log in to a virtual classroom, get the course done, and be straight back to work. Courses are also usually broken up into smaller sessions too, usually around 90 minutes, meaning no more full days away from the office.
Virtual learning develops skills faster
Teams can develop skills more quickly with virtual learning. One of the big upsides is staff being able to do courses on their own time. With less regimented training schedules, people can log on and do the courses they need when it best suits them. Then, they can get straight back to work and start putting their learnings into practice. Ultimately, this means faster development.
In addition, with a whole catalogue of useful virtual sessions available, staff can even revisit them again if they’d like extra consolidation. So, rather than waiting weeks to use their new skills, forgetting most of what they learn, your team members can brush up on the course content whenever they want.
Attend virtual sessions in Australia as many times as you want
There are certain training courses out there that give immediate, long-lasting results. Technical training, for example, a course in Microsoft Excel formulas. If a participant is able to start using those skills immediately and regularly, it’s likely they won’t forget them in a hurry. But what about other types of capabilities, for example, communicating with influence?
Courses that are more focussed on soft-skills or professional development can sometimes be forgotten, especially if people aren’t given the chance to use those skills regularly. That’s where refresher courses come in, however it’s not always easy to determine who needs a refresher and who doesn’t. Staff usually resent going to refresher courses if they’re perfectly comfortable with the content already.
With virtual learning, you can schedule only the relevant staff for refresher training. If you have a package from a training provider that allows you to book courses more than once, you can manage training and development far more effectively. It also solves the problem of rescheduling staff who may have missed a session due to illness.
Developing a learning culture
Because virtual learning is quick, engaging and relevant, staff become more interested in attending. Especially if they can do it from the comfort of their own desk at a convenient time. This in itself helps to foster a good culture around learning, however virtual learning can go a lot further than that.
Through a virtual learning training provider in Australia, you can access a huge catalogue of courses. So, if you haven’t previously put a big emphasis on learning and development, virtual learning makes it easy. You can start scheduling training far more regularly, and in a more tailored way to specific staff needs. When training becomes a regular part of a monthly performance cycle, for example, the culture around learning will grow.
Virtual learning is far more cost-effective
Virtual learning is better value. That’s a no-brainer. Even if we took away the fact that virtual learning courses are cheaper, think about all the added cost benefits. Firstly, staff don’t have to go off-site, wasting time travelling to and from a training venue. Secondly, full-day training sessions can have a significant impact on daily operations, and that’s not a concern with virtual learning.
It’s also more cost-effective in terms of people’s needs. Often, businesses make the mistake of sending all staff to the same training courses, because it’s just easier. But that’s not cost-effective if half the attendees don’t get any real benefit from it. With shorter virtual learning courses, you can tailor your training program to individuals and deliver far more value.
Improved health and safety
Naturally at the moment, the idea of sitting in a crowded training room just isn’t an option. Social distancing requirements make it difficult and unsafe to do so. But what about when all restrictions are eased and life goes back to normal? Well, you’d have to ask the question as to why we would return to that sort of training environment.
It can certainly be beneficial for some types of training, however there will always be an element of risk. Even if we get on top of Covid-19, viral diseases will always be present in society. Do you really want half your workforce attending a training session, being locked in a room with someone who has the flu? Quite simply, virtual learning at your own desk is a lot healthier and safer for everyone.
Easy access to a huge variety of courses
While there are plenty of traditional training courses out there for people to attend, it’s not always easy for businesses to access them. For example, you may only have a few people in your organisation who would benefit from a particular type of training. Normally, that would mean waiting for a classroom session to become available and booking them in.
With virtual learning, however, you can access such a huge range of regular virtual classroom sessions, that you can slot people into them whenever it works best for you. Also, because courses are usually shorter in length, participants can log in and attend with less impact on daily work. That means accessibility is far improved when compared to traditional longer courses in a classroom.
Virtual learning is being adopted in schools, workplaces, and even just for individuals keen to learn new skills. It’s the way of the future, and getting on board now gives you the best chance of being prepared. As you can see, the benefits are far-reaching, with value for both staff members and organisations alike. Are you ready to harness the power of virtual learning?