COVID-19 has a long-term impact on how we all do our jobs, particularly a shift toward more remote work.
But many of us have only recently become involved in virtual training. So it’s a good idea to know how it differs from traditional in-person training.
Here, we’ll take a detailed look at virtual training. We’ll run through all its critical advantages and disadvantages. Plus, we’ll also look at how you can start virtual training and onboarding yourself.
So let’s get to it and check out what virtual training is all about.
Table of Contents
The Evolution of Virtual Training
Virtual training is a product of a concept called e-learning.
The term e-learning has only been around since 1999 when it was coined during a CBT systems seminar. Other terms, such as online learning, virtual learning, and virtual training, sprang up later to better specify ways of e-learning.
Even before the internet, distance courses were available to provide students with education.
Isaac Pitman used letters to teach his students shorthand in the 1840s. This type of symbolic writing was popular among journalists, secretaries, and other people who had to take a lot of notes or write a lot. Pitman, a certified teacher, received completed assignments by mail and then sent his students new work to complete using the same approach.
Later down the line with the invention of the internet, institutions like the Open University in the United Kingdom were eager to take advantage of virtual training. Their educational system has traditionally based itself on distant learning.
The university previously distributed course materials and correspondence with tutors via mail. Then, the Open University began to offer a greater choice of interactive educational experiences and faster interaction with students via email and other means with the advent of the internet.
Virtual Training Today
So, e-learning technologies and delivery methods grew in popularity once the computer and internet were introduced in the late twentieth century.
Individuals could have computers in their homes for the first time in the 1980s. This made it easier for them to learn about specific subjects. People had access to a multitude of online knowledge and e-learning opportunities in the following decade. So, virtual learning environments began to thrive.
And with the wake of the pandemic, all of us are now exposed to some type of online interaction.
Virtual training has become the only real way we can help develop employees and trainees. This is true when there’s such uncertainty about whether employees can make it into the workplace for training and workshops.
Furthermore, even if employees are all in the workplace, it can be challenging to get so many of them into one space to teach them.
The Rise of the Virtual Training Platform
Nowadays, companies can take full advantage of advanced virtual trading platforms. Even before COVID-19, it was a popular way to educate staff.
A virtual training platform is a collection of sophisticated features. These all work together to provide a virtual learning environment for online learning and teaching.
Because virtual training is so accessible, it’s a great alternative to traditional learning. The platform’s purpose is to bring everything you need for fulfilling sessions and courses together in one place.
The best virtual training platforms today offer a user-friendly and practical option for both synchronous and asynchronous studying.
WorkBright is a solid example of a platform you can quickly get into to begin virtual training in your business or organization.
A platform like WorkBright can offer you an atmosphere conducive to a rewarding learning experience. Plus, you get a wide range of features for tutor-student interaction as well as peer-to-peer contact.
Advantages of Virtual Training
Is virtual training a good enough replacement for in-person training? And can it deliver similar or even better results?
We’ll let you decide by now, running through all of the key advantages first.
You can provide training to learners more efficiently through virtual training.
It’s easy to employ various online learning tools, such as videos, PDFs, and podcasts, as part of your training course material. Plus, you can become more efficient by expanding your courses beyond standard textbooks to include online resources.
Another benefit of online training is that it allows students to take classes from wherever they want.
Online lectures can also be recorded, preserved, and shared for later viewing. This allows learners to access the instructional materials whenever it is convenient for them. Plus, this type of training enables organizations to reach out to a more extensive network of people rather than being limited by geographical limits.
A further benefit of online learning is the cost savings.
Compared to traditional training and schooling, online education can be cheaper for both the training provider and the learners.
Virtual training reduces the costs of transportation, lunches, and the costs of running a building. Furthermore, all course materials are available online, resulting in a paperless learning environment that is more economical and environmentally friendly.
Attendance May Improve
Since learners don’t have to make considerable efforts to get to the place where you provide the training, it becomes easier for them to attend.
All learners have to do is switch on their computer at home and log into the training session. So even if someone isn’t feeling so well, they may be more likely to attempt participating in a training session. Then if they feel too bad to carry on, they can log out, switch off, and hit the hay.
Caters for Various Learning Styles
Everyone has their own unique way of learning. For instance, some like to learn through visuals, while others prefer to learn through sounds. Similarly, some people excel in a training room environment, but others enjoy working alone and don’t like big groups of people.
Virtual Training offers a variety of options and resources. And, you can customize an online learning system in various ways. It’s the most effective technique to create the ideal learning environment for each learner.
Disadvantages of Virtual Training
So we’ve looked at some very favorable aspects of virtual training that you might not have been aware of until now.
Next, let’s look at the potential downsides that you can expect from conducting virtual training courses.
Learners May Find It Hard to Focus
One of the most challenging aspects of online learning for many people is the inability to focus on a screen for lengthy periods.
Trainees are more likely to be quickly distracted by social media or other websites while they learn online. As a result, training providers must keep their online lessons concise, engaging, and interactive to ensure trainees are focused on the topic.
There are, however, applications that can block sites of your choosing for a certain amount of time. Training providers can suggest that trainees use such a tool to help their learners stay more focused in training.
Connection and Technical Issues
Internet access is another major issue with online programs. While internet coverage has increased dramatically in recent years, maintaining a stable connection with adequate speed remains challenging in smaller cities and villages.
There can be a loss of continuity in learning for trainees if they do not have adequate internet access. So, it may be that as a training provider, you need to provide full internet access to staff members. You may also need to give your learners laptops with a system that’s capable of running your training software.
It Could Make People Feel Isolated
Being in the company of their peers can teach trainees a lot. However, there are few physical encounters when you participate in online training. People often feel alone as a result of this.
In this case, a training provider must allow for alternative communication channels between everyone involved in the training course.
This can include:
- online messaging
- video conferencing
These tactics can allow for face-to-face engagement and the alleviation of isolation.
Trainers Need to Learn How to Teach Online
Training providers must have a basic understanding of how to use digital modes of learning to teach online. However, this is not always the case. Trainers may have only a rudimentary understanding of technology. They don’t always have the resources and tools they need to offer online classes.
To overcome this, organizations should provide their trainers with the most up-to-date technical training to efficiently conduct their online classes.
Also, choosing a simple to use training platform can help trainers get to grips with virtual training much quicker.
Too Much Screen Time
One of the most serious problems and downsides of online training is the rise in screen time. Organizations should be concerned about the health risks of their trainees looking at a screen for long periods.
Trainees may acquire terrible posture and other physical problems resulting from sitting crouched in front of a screen for long periods.
Therefore, giving trainees plenty of breaks from the computer to replenish their minds and bodies is a good idea.
If you are thinking about choosing a virtual training software, you may as well look for one that also lets you do virtual onboarding easily.
Let’s take a little look into how you can conduct virtual onboarding in this COVID-19 landscape.
So here are a few tips to go by when looking to virtual onboard.
Keep Your Goals
Understand that you’re now bound to video conversations, pre-recorded webinars, interactive training sessions, and professional communication platforms like WorkBright.
Nonetheless, the purpose of virtual onboarding is the same as it was when you had the opportunity to sit across from new hires.
When communicating with new hires, you should:
- Make sure they understand your company’s mission and principles.
- Make them feel included and welcomed.
- Connect them with their supervisors and coworkers.
- Provide them with the tools and training they need to succeed.
It’s all about embracing the technology and finding ways to maintain strong communication when it comes to online onboarding.
Take a New Hire Perspective
Try to anticipate the demands of new hires.
They’ll probably need more than a pencil to check the box while they’re working remotely. Plus, not meeting people face to face and managing new technologies can be worrying for any recruits.
Therefore, by running through your new employee onboarding process yourself, you can see what elements make simple sense. And, you’ll be able to determine which parts of your strategy are wasteful, time-consuming, and confusing.
Make the Onboarding Process Longer
Prior to the epidemic, most organizations’ onboarding processes lasted only 30 days, despite many believing that it should take closer to 90 days.
HR managers should now give new workers more time to adjust to remote work. Why? You might be able to complete the pre-recorded training and paperwork in the same amount of time. But, integrating remote recruits into the business culture will take extra time.
Making remote hires a part of your culture will be more difficult but just as crucial as it has always been. You’ll want to immerse them in your values, mission, and workplace connection even if your physical culture doesn’t surround them.
Virtual Train and Onboard the Right Way
By now, you should realize the importance of getting your virtual training and onboarding planned well. Plus, there are several considerations to embrace along the way, making your training process run smoothly.
We hope you find the advice in this article helpful. And, good luck in your virtual training journey! For other informative pieces, please check out some of our other blog posts.