Virtual training is a highly interactive online method of training where trainers get access to training courses via an online web-based platform.
This method allows the type of training that does not require the hassle of setting up physical venues, and other logistics concerns. The best benefit of virtual training is that it transcends geographical limitations. Both instructors and learners do not need to travel to be present, to listen, and to engage with one another.
In addition, 42% of businesses claimed that virtual training saves the company’s money, and at the same time increased their revenue. They pointed out that online training boosts the employee’s performance and that every dollar that was spent for training earned $30 due to a surge in productivity. According to additional data, companies that provide technology-based learning generated 26% more income. In fact, IBM spared $200 million after changing from face-to-face training to virtual training.
Indeed, virtual training is becoming more effective and practical for both companies and employees.
How Does Virtual Training Work?
Virtual training is a replication of face to face training through the use of virtual platforms and tools (video conferencing software) like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc. Both the instructor and the students log in to the chosen platform and communicate with each other via the platform.
These virtual training sessions are usually one to three hours long, depending on the coverage or scope of the topics. There should be identified learning objectives involved to guide both the learners and the trainers.
Virtual training, especially if led by a highly proficient facilitator, is very interactive. Thus, instructors make all the difference. After the presentation by the facilitator/instructor, a lively discussion usually follows.
The instructor may then evaluate their learning through a test or activity. The learners can interact among themselves and their instructor/instructors.
Pros and Cons of Virtual Training
Choosing the virtual training method comes with advantages and disadvantages.
You can weigh which matter the most to you by going over the following pros and cons of virtual training. Some known pros of virtual training are flexibility, convenience, and cost-efficiency. On the other hand, the cons of virtual training are technology issues and information mismanagement.
There are more that you can add to the list but these are the basic ones. Let’s check every item so you can make an educated decision.
For most people, especially working adults, money is not the issue but it’s the distance and time for work.
Virtual training is very easy to schedule. It’s either you can work at your own pace, in your own time and anywhere that you can plug-in to the internet. It also allows you to skip the parts of the course that you have already mastered.
The availability of time also enables you to practice the learned skills for a longer period. Virtual training can be either synchronous or asynchronous. And travel time is not needed anymore, and even the preparation ahead of each trip.
Learners can easily access the training from almost anywhere as long as there is an internet connection especially if the virtual training is asynchronous. The flexible schedule also means that there will be no backlog of your office or housework.
The features of the virtual training application or platform allows you to monitor which learners have finished the activities.
Since virtual training is contained and made secure, learners have the liberty to polish their skillset without subverting live data, divulging delicate information or wrecking valuable equipment.
In virtual training, there are no travel, venue, and board and lodging costs for both instructor and learners. Thus, there is no additional burden added to the trainee or employer that’s why there is soar productivity. Plus, there is no idle time for the employee, the reason why productivity is not diminished
The previous study also reveals that virtual training improved the performance of their employees, and consequently escalated the company’s revenue. Indeed, it is convincing that online learning is really designed for the trainee’s performance in mind.
In addition, all these training expenditures completely disappeared. And this simply means companies were able to save. They were able to save from the cost of renting the venue, feeding the trainees and of course, in providing their employees’ training allowance
Also, companies were able to spare a dollar in maintaining and managing training materials. Although, it takes a lot of effort and time in creating such, maintaining and updating those materials would be uncomplicated and free.
Cons of Virtual Training
While virtual training has its advantages, there are also disadvantages. And if you would overlook these concerns, it would eventually take its toll on your business.
The essence of Virtual Training itself gives rise to technical issues such as security, network, and bandwidth malfunctions. You must be conscious of the technical glitches that your platform is prone to and prevent or fix them quickly when they arise. Some learners may need basic technical training before they can avail themselves of the platform apps used in virtual training. And some may need support for an internet connection or new and heavy-duty laptop, or computer.
And companies or entrepreneurs should not ignore this because it would eventually affect their employee’s productivity. Employees would eventually get frustrated and their interest will be reduced. More or less they might abandon their training programs.
Due to the hastiness of developing virtual training programs for the success of one’s company, the importance of identifying and organizing information to teach was neglected. Keep in mind that humans can be easily distracted due to the very noisy world of the internet and attention-grabbing details at home. Thus, they tend to prioritize what is valuable to them and would help them succeed in their endeavor. The main reason why organizations or educators should spend a lot of time managing the relevant and applicable information that is needed in the training.
It is crucial that the trainer will design virtual simulations that are relevant to the learners’ and their company’s needs in their daily work. If the learners find your simulations boring or irrelevant then they will not participate wholly in your virtual training. If you are going to use branded and designed training modules make sure they align with your company’s culture and brand. For example, if you are a sports team, then a retail selling course would be useless to you.
Lastly, learners in a virtual training program have greater privacy issues than trainees in a traditional learning institute. Since information on the internet is easily shared, virtual training apps must be secure to ensure data privacy and avoid information mismanagement and other relevant issues.