Key Benefits of Online Learning in a Virtual Classroom
The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink the way they do a lot of things. Training is one of those, because the idea of packing people into a classroom just hasn’t been possible. However, recent social distancing restrictions are far from the only reason organisations are adopting virtual classroom training. In fact, many have been doing it long before the world had heard of Covid-19.
From Microsoft virtual training in Australia through to professional development courses, we’re moving more and more into a virtual learning environment. So, why is this online method of training becoming so popular? For one thing, everything in business evolves. It’s the natural way of things in the digital age, so why stick with outdated, ineffective training methods when there’s a better option?
Advancements in technology have changed the training delivery landscape, and virtual classroom training is one of the key developments. Also, providing high-quality, relevant and meaningful development opportunities is a key driver for staff satisfaction. Hence, businesses are now more than ever looking for more targeted training platforms.
Let’s explore the key benefits of virtual classrooms, and find out why it’s becoming the new norm.
Online Learning is Great for Remote Workers
One of the hottest topics in the world right now is remote working. There were certainly a lot of people working from home or away from their colleagues before Covid-19, however it’s become a necessity for many people lately. Consider a company with several offices throughout the country or even the world. While they may have colleagues around them, it’s very difficult to get everybody together for training. That’s why finding smarter training solutions has been on the agenda for businesses for many years.
One of the most popular ways of delivering consistent training when teams are separated by distance is through virtual classroom training. The platform allows for people to receive the same course content, delivered consistently, regardless of their geographical location. So, if you’ve got your staff working from home, virtual training is the obvious choice.
Participants can log on at a scheduled time and all they need is a computer and internet connection. It’s convenient, user-friendly, and contact-free!
Virtual Classrooms Aren’t Like Traditional E-Learning
If you’ve ever completed mandatory e-learning modules, you’ll know they can be seriously hit and miss. Admittedly, when training and development experts design e-learning courses, it’s a lot more engaging and relevant than when businesses create their own. But it’s still a very difficult way to learn if you’re the type of person who thrives in a facilitated environment.
The beauty of virtual classrooms is they’re still facilitated. Participants can raise their hand virtually to contribute to discussion, and there’s even chat functionality. But, you still get the convenience of receiving training without leaving your desk, which was always the biggest appeal of e-learning. So, if your staff are complaining that a virtual classroom sounds like a fancy new word for e-learning, you can assure them it’s not the case. It’s a new, and much improved version of e-learning in Australia.
Some people prefer to learn by simply reading content on a screen, and e-learning has always been great for them. If you like a little more interactivity though, you can’t go past virtual classrooms, which truly are the next evolution of the online training environment.
Better Value for Money
If there’s a business out there who doesn’t like reducing their costs without sacrificing quality, we’d be extremely surprised! For that reason, virtual classrooms make a lot of sense. You don’t need to reduce the quality of your training and development packages in order to save money, because virtual learning achieves the same result.
Firstly, participants can attend virtual classrooms from the comfort of their desk. So, there’s no more travelling to a training facility and being out of action for a full day. While everybody understands the importance of training and development, it’s also quite clear that businesses need people on deck for as much time as possible.
Additionally, virtual classrooms are often found in an online library of smaller, specific courses. This means more choice, more targeted learning outcomes, and less time spent learning unnecessary things. Generic, full-day courses are often too broad, with large sections of the day not relevant for particular staff. Virtual classrooms let you pay just for what you use, what you need and what your staff will truly benefit from.
A Huge Variety of Courses
As we touched on, virtual classroom training is often accessed through a huge catalogue of courses. That means greater choice and better options for staff. When you think about training and development, it’s common to just think about what your staff need in order to increase their current performance. This is perfectly acceptable, because that’s exactly what you expect from training. However, there’s another benefit to having course variety.
Staff want their development to be meaningful, and often that means learning skills to help them advance their careers. Rather than hold them back, you can easily provide virtual classroom training on a wide variety of topics to keep everybody interested. Staff who feel valued are more engaged, more productive, and provide better service. That’s a win for everybody.
For example, if someone doesn’t get much exposure to Microsoft Excel because their job doesn’t call for it, that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in learning. With a greater variety of courses, you can open conversations with staff to determine their own training needs, and tailor your internal development programs much better.
Virtual Classrooms Mix Learning and Sustainability
Sustainability is a big issue in today’s world, and it’s extremely important for businesses to become more environmentally conscious. Not only do companies need to set a good example, but they also traditionally have a much larger carbon footprint than your average household. Think about the reams of paper required to print course guides and reference material for a full-day of training. If there’s 20 participants, you’re looking at a lot of printing. Even worse, most of that material is simply tossed out at the end of training.
In a virtual classroom environment, there’s no paper documents required. All reference material is delivered digitally before the course starts, and is made available online for participants to view whenever they need to. Photocopier and paper manufacturers may not love this improved training style, but the rest of us certainly do!
Combining the Best of Online and Classroom Training
When it comes to delivering training to staff, it’s such a difficult task to please everybody. Some of the usual complaints relate to the way face-to-face training is delivered. If people are stuck in a classroom environment with a trainer reading to them from a PowerPoint slideshow, it always falls flat. They’re left wondering why the slideshow couldn’t have just been emailed to them. Similarly, even with the best trainers, some people just don’t like being in a classroom setting.
Others have great difficulty retaining information by just reading it, so they need facilitated training in order to really benefit. You’ll know these people – they’re the ones who can’t stand e-learning, because they feel like they don’t learn anything. Virtual classrooms solve both problems.
In a virtual classroom, you’ve got the benefit of staying at your desk, which keeps those non-classroom fans happy. For the anti-e-learners, they still get interactive, engaging and well-facilitated training to participate in.
While you may never please everybody, the cost effectiveness, flexibility and variety that virtual classrooms provide is a step in the right direction. Find a reputable virtual training provider today and see what they have to offer. It might just be the training and development overhaul your company desperately needs.