As you might imagine, the calendars of professional speakers and trainers around the country have basically “dried up” the past few months as conferences have been cancelled and classroom training has been postponed for the health and safety of everyone involved. Many of my colleagues are devastated not to have the opportunity to be on a big stage with large audiences. Many miss the hustle-and-bustle of daily travel and sleeping in hotels. From the participants viewpoint, many have missed out on seeing friends and colleagues they only see at conferences and the opportunity to learn from industry and subject-matter experts in person.
However, for me, none of that applies.
Although I love facilitating my in-person workshops and enjoy the face-to-face contact with participants, I also know that virtual (meaning live training via technology) and online (recorded, often self-paced) learning, when done right, has all the same benefits of in-person training . . . and then some! I know this because I’ve been doing not only virtual training but creating and facilitating online courses for almost 10 years now. And I’m not the only one who thinks virtual learning is a great alternative to old-school classroom training.
After implementing a virtual learning program at IBM, the company found employees learned five times more material in online learning courses using multimedia content than in traditional face to face courses
A Brandon-Hall study found that virtual learning usually requires 40%-60% less employee time than learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been trying to convince clients of these and the other benefits of virtual learning, but many were not ready to let go of the traditional approach. However, the Covid-19 crisis has forced people to jump into the virtual world with both feet and I’m finding that many of them like it and don’t want to go back.
Here are just a few more benefits of virtual learning over traditional classroom learning for you to consider the next time you seek training for yourself or your staff:
No travel time
No parking fees
No airline tickets to buy
No hotel rooms, meals, and mileage to reimburse (or pay if you’re paying for yourself)
No germs (except your own)
The ability to record training and review again and again
The ability for each participant (for online training) to proceed at his or her own pace
The same ability (with the right technology and facilitator) for a rich, interactive experience for participants including video, participant polling, small group discussions, etc.
Better ability to assess student learning than most classroom training
FLEXIBILITY! Learning can occur around the world, around the clock, at the learner’s (or organization’s) convenience
It’s a great bonding opportunity that allows learners to have an experience together even when they’re geographically apart
It’s cost effective – not only do you save travel-related costs, but most online programs are priced per individual person, which is usually a lot less than the cost of bringing an expert in to train a group
More freedom to offer training to your staff that EACH of them needs rather than putting everyone through the same training
If you’re like me and you prefer virtual learning, comment and share your reasons!
For more information about Amy’s virtual and online training options as well as course information, visit her website at www.AmyCastro.com.
I couldn’t agree more! I have been taking virtual classes for 911 recertification for years and love it. For all of the reasons that you mentioned above as well as a few that have motivated me. Sometimes questions are asked by other students that are helpful, and sometimes are not. When this happens, the rhythm of the lesson gets interrupted. Having said that, I am less apt to ask a question in a person to person setting for fear of appearing “stupid”. (The old addage of “there is no stupid question” doesn’t work for me). I can learn at my own pace and ask questions to the instructor privately. I can pause for a moment, return later and start again if life gets in the way.