2021

Does Virtual Learning Work for Every?

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The coronavirus pandemic forced offices to shut down and employees to work from home for over a year. All business owners were forced to take measures for a smooth transition into a work-from-home model. However, this transition was not at all smooth. There was widespread chaos and disruption in day-to-day business activities. A critical area that suffered significantly during the pandemic has been learning and development. The focus of business owners and employees became keeping the company alive instead of learning new skills and indulging in training activities.

How has this changed 15 months on from the announcement of the pandemic?

Research has proven that 68% of employees say training and development is the company’s most important policy. Before the pandemic, companies held regular on-site and off-site training sessions for all of their employees. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, it brought an end to almost all such activities. Now that things have settled down, the continuity of corporate learning can be ensured through virtual learning. But the question is, does virtual learning work for every learner? In this blog, we will discuss the issue of virtual learning and how it is beneficial for some people and a nuisance for others.

How Virtual Learning is the Best Solution?

Flexible Timings

In online training programs that are not live, employees are not bound by the 9 to 5 office timings to learn. They can learn in their free time and can also learn at their own pace. If any employee finds it hard to keep up with the trainer in an online training session, they can always ask the trainer or training coordinator to record the session.

Greater Mobility

Also, online training and development also offers excellent mobility. The only restriction for attending live training programs is to be in a place that has a stable internet connection and a distraction free environment. Learners can also use almost any device to connect to the training session, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Less costly

Online learning reduces the need for buying hard copies of the learning material. All the material can be easily shared via email, document sharing or through a learning management system.

Accessibility

Almost anything can be found online in today’s world. Besides the actual training material, your employees can easily obtain further reading material and courses online. The greater accessibility that online learning and development has provided helps employers fulfill their training goals much faster.

Consistency and Accuracy

Two more benefits of online training and development are that these programs are more consistent and accurate. It does not matter how many employees you have; the online training programs will deliver the exact same content to everyone. Furthermore, unlike printed material, online material can be revised with up-to-date and accurate information very easily.

Constructive Criticism and Feedback

Employees can get their results almost immediately after completing an online eLearning course. Various analytic software can also interpret these results and tell the learner where they stand in terms of knowledge, and compare them to other learners taking the same course. Online training programs also make it easier for the company to issue digital certificates to the employees, which they can then use as proof that they’ve completed the training.

Ability for shorter sessions

The biggest bonus of conducting virtual training sessions is the ability to spread the learning over a period of time.  This removes the ‘event based’ learning program to a ‘process based’ personal learning pathway, therefore allowing employees to learn in smaller chunks, apply what they’ve learned and return to the virtual classroom for the next part.  Learning Application rates skyrocket with Virtual Training, if, and only if, the learning design is written in a specific way to accommodate virtual learning experience design.

Real-time Analytics

With online learning and development activities, it becomes much easier to track your progress and to gauge the effectiveness of the training programs. To enhance your learning experience, we suggest using an AI-driven analytics platform such as ID9 IMPACT.

Or is it the Best Solution?

Sadly, we cannot say that virtual learning works for everyone. There still are people who prefer the traditional way of learning, in a physical classroom surrounded by their peers. Here are a few reasons why virtual learning may not be the best solution after all:

Technology and Connectivity

For the successful completion of a virtual training, a learner needs steady access to a device and technology. Unfortunately, not every technology is reliable, or available in certain parts of the world. So, for learners who do not have access to technology that can facilitate seamless communication, virtual learning may not be the best option. Furthermore, computer literacy also plays a crucial part. If learners are not familiar with search engines and basic procedures such as email, online meeting platforms, or online collaboration tools, then virtual learning won’t be successful at all.

Learner Qualities

Virtual learning by way of self-directed eLearning works for learners with specific qualities. Only if the learners are well-organized and self-motivated can they complete a self-directed eLearning course on their own. For mature and independent learners, virtual learning by way of self-directed eLearning may be a good idea. However, for people who are not motivated enough, virtual learning by way of self-directed eLearning can prove to be a disaster. They may end up learning absolutely nothing at the end of the course. Furthermore, learners must possess a high degree of time management skills in order to keep up with the pace of any course. Providing a Virtual Instructor Led virtual program is far superior than a self-directed eLearning program.

Learning Styles

Learners have unique learning styles. For example, kinesthetic learning or tactile learning is a learning style in which individuals carry out physical activities rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations. If a learner possesses the kinesthetic style of learning, it is up to the learning designer to ensure that kinesthetic activities are built into the learning design for the virtual environment.

The Bottom Line

In this blog, you learned some people easily adapt to the virtual environment while some don’t. This way of learning does not work for every individual. Nevertheless, virtual learning is a need of the time. To improve your training programs, enhance the learning experience of your employees, we suggest using a proven learning design system that is built to accommodate and maximize virtual learning.   ID9 Intelligent Design.   

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