As time has gone on and the pandemic has not resolved, it has become apparent that virtual learning is here to stay. This applies to professional training in business just as much as it does to schools.
If your company is grappling with how much to invest in the e-learning concept, here are a few reasons to steer into the skid — along with some tips to help you do so.
Why Virtual Learning Is Here to Stay
Virtual learning can feel cumbersome and awkward at first. This can make it tempting to adopt a “waiting it out” approach as you look forward to everything going back to in-person training.
But the truth is, even if the pandemic were to end tomorrow, virtual learning is likely here to stay. Here are a few reasons why:
- Working from home works: When asked, many employees said they were just as productive working from home, with 30 percent even claiming they were more productive and engaged. Of course, every situation is different, and the effectiveness of remote work is both circumstantial and conditional. However, for the most part, the work from home model is working for the modern, internet-happy workforce.
- Remote operations widen the talent pool: It’s no secret that operating in the cloud opens you up to a larger talent pool. You’re able to recruit talent that may not have been willing to relocate. In addition, if you’re equipped for virtual learning, you’re also able to onboard new hires online without any trouble.
- Virtual learning offers greater opportunities: Remote work can be great for your talent pool, and the same concept applies to your teachers, as well. If you’re with a larger company, you may want to bring in a third-party instructor to help with training and seminars. When you have the option to teach in a remote setting, you can access a larger pool of teaching candidates to help with your courses.
No matter how you look at it, virtual learning is going to be sticking around for the long haul. The specific form that it takes may vary, but the ability to onboard, teach new skills, and engage in professional development will be dependent on virtual learning for a long time to come.
The question is, how can a company keep up with this shift in the professional learning landscape?
How to Embrace Virtual Remote Learning in Your Company
Virtual learning isn’t a direct copy of its in-person equivalent. There are many aspects of virtual learning that must be taken into account if it’s going to be effective.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for the future of virtual learning.
1. Make Your Content Clean
The tools you use to create content are always changing. However, one thing that doesn’t change is the expectations of your staff. If an employee has to sit through a training that is incoherent, disjointed, or confusing, they’re going to check out.
Make sure to create all of your content with a clear, succinct plan in place. Take into consideration elementary factors such as your image and sound quality. Solutions like the Dolby.io Communications API can filter out keyboard typing and other distractions while keeping the speaker’s voice intelligible. Using such audio enhancement capabilities will ensure that attendees stay focused on the presenter and not auditory annoyances.
Tools that also support network resilience can maintain high-quality audio even when network issues are a concern. This is a great way to keep your presentations clean and easy to understand.
2. Don’t Stick to Tradition
If you’re adapting an in-person lesson plan to an online format, it’s tempting to assume that the content and structure will automatically translate. But the truth is, the ebb and flow of a virtual learning atmosphere is different.
It’s important to make plans to adapt to this change in environment. Rather than sticking to traditional learning formats, look for the best ways to adjust your presentation to make it more effective.
For example, virtual event software company Cvent recommends a maximum of 90 minutes per virtual training session. They even suggest keeping it to 75 minutes or less if possible. Along with shorter meetings, look for ways to facilitate meaningful interactions between your employees, such as through a social media group or Slack channel.
3. Always Set Clear Learning Objectives
Finally, always focus on communicating essential information — without the fluff. This is a balance that can be challenging to find in an online format.
Mckinsey Accelerate recommends setting priorities for essential learning objectives. Once these have been created, focus all of your energy on selecting the precise content that will meet these criteria.
Remember, in an online format you won’t have the same back and forth interactions that you can generate in a physical classroom. So avoid the fluff and unnecessary information. Instead, focus on the lessons that will help you reach your learning objectives.
There are many reasons to assume that virtual learning isn’t going away any time soon. With the world shifting away from in-person training, companies must make an effort to keep up with the change. By embracing effective e-learning standards — such as creating clean content, setting clear learning objectives, and adapting to an online format — you can position your business to get the most out of virtual learning in the months and years ahead.