Businesses around the world constantly face adversity and obstacles that must be overcome. Only those that display versatility will be able to navigate the various obstacles that litter the path to success. If it’s not a global crisis, then it’s a disruptive technology or politics blocking the way. This is why virtual training is needed.
In today’s business world, one of the most versatile maneuvers a business can make is to go virtual with as many processes as possible. This allows the flexibility to meet the demands of whatever new game-changing obstacle might show itself.
Virtual training is one of the key components of building a flexible business model. Learning will always be essential for employees so by transitioning to a virtual training platform, you are creating a business model that is adaptable to the obstacles presented to us in the 21st century. Here are the steps required to make that transition.
#1: Transform the Content of the Training Program
When transitioning to virtual training, some companies try to abandon their old learning objectives to define new ones. Even worse is that some companies simply take their learning content and post it online. That’s a mistake. Your current learning library must be transformed with a virtual classroom in mind. Traditional classroom learning material doesn’t translate well in a virtual environment.
In order to create an effective virtual classroom, you must transform this content in a specific way. The most common mistake that we see is companies increasing focus on platforms like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Teams without actually transforming the content. These are all amazing platforms for virtual learning but if the library isn’t tailor-made to fit these platforms, it will fall short.
In simpler terms, you can’t force people to sit behind their computer as if they were in a classroom and expect them to learn anything. The learning experience must be engaging.
#2: Create a Virtual Training Learning Path That Engages Learners
Use a learning path to ensure the learner stays on the right course during the learning experience. It also helps the course designer create content that engages the learner while moving flawlessly from one module to the next.
Start by noting the learning goals and then plot the courses to support this in a logical sequence. Consider each module, course or learning assets a milestone that the learner should reach before moving onto the next. Create a deadline for each milestone so that the learner has a way to stay on track.
Finally, each of these milestones must have some form of accountability system in place to ensure that the learner has gained the appropriate knowledge before they can move on to the next.
#3: Create the Right Modules for Each Learning Objective
One of the greatest benefits of transitioning to a virtual classroom is that you have many different delivery methods from which to choose. However, it’s essential that you choose one that creates the best learning experience.
Interactive modules tend to work better in a business environment because they give the learner a chance to use certain skills during the lesson. But there might be topics where a video presentation would also suffice, like a sexual harassment in the workplace style video.
If you choose to incorporate videos, then use micro videos so that the learner can focus on a single learning objective and isn’t stuck watching long videos with objectives that are less relevant for them.
#4: Integrate Group Collaboration Activities for Virtual Training
One of the common misconceptions about virtual learning is that there’s no platform to collaborate with fellow colleagues. This is far from the truth. There’s no need for this important component to be left out of the virtual classroom.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools specifically designed for virtual collaboration. Chat rooms, breakout rooms and social enterprise networks are a great starting point where learners can connect to discuss specific lessons. Another option is to create a social media group that allows learners to share their opinions.
#5: Design Pathways for Feedback in Virtual Training
Everyone expects some form of facilitator even in a virtual learning environment so make sure you provide a way for them to communicate with a facilitator. This is especially important if they have questions or concerns with the course material. It also helps them feel as though there is a solid support system in place.
Decide the form this pathway will take. Having learners fill out a brief survey after specific milestones is one option. Another is to have the facilitator host a live chat at the end of the course where learners can share their opinions.
#6: Train Leaders Within the Organization
Making the transition from traditional to virtual training requires a different skillset so be sure leaders within the company are prepared. Ensure they have the skills necessary to design the right courses. It’s essential that your leaders don’t simply take in-person training videos and post them online. One must transform this material.
In some cases, it might be beneficial to bring in a third party to oversee the transition to a virtual classroom.
#7: Post Resources for Learners so they Can Succeed
It’s important that you provide resources to learners in a virtual learning environment so they have the best chance of success. Include links to reference sites where they can dive deeper into specific topics. This is a great choice for content that’s not critical to the learning experience but can benefit the learner.
Create a list of optional material and present it at specific points during the course. This content should only serve to provide additional knowledge. Never present vital information in this manner.
#8: Determine a Way to Assess the Progress of Learners
Facilitators need a way to gauge the progress of learners during the course so be sure this is included. Find ways to check progress of learners. There are several ways to do this and some methods are as follows:
- Have them complete a quiz at the end of each module or milestone before moving to the next.
- Have a live session at the end of the course to gauge their progress.
Assessments provide learners with a way to pinpoint any struggles they might have with the content. It also gives your company a way to hold them accountable.
Transitioning to a Virtual Classroom
Transform your in-person material to a virtual learning environment and start reaping the benefits. As a result, your business model will be more flexible and resistant to anything that the world throws at it!