We are writing this post to share some ways that we are seeing our customers benefit from our virtual learning solutions!
The training department in many software companies is an important but often times draining role. We have found that many of our customers have had challenges meeting the demands of their customers and partners around training, often times if falls to the side. With the costs associated with travel and the limited access to subject matter experts it can be difficult to offer consistent and continuous learning. Difficult to deliver training that is meaningful, repeatable, and enjoyable.
We have found that working with our customers many are turning their training and readiness department into a profit center! By us working together to adopt virtual learning activities they are enhancing and replacing their existing training and readiness activities.
Here are some of the ways this is working for our customers:
Replace Existing Learning Activities
We see customers actually replacing their existing classroom based learning activities with virtual. By moving training online customers are able to have an incredibly high turn around on training. In the morning an instructor can be training participants from the East Coast, in the afternoon they can service the West Coast and at Night they work with Western Europe. Now we understand that there are only so many hours in the day but this is just to demonstrate the opportunities. By removing the travel you can have high touch and interactive training happening whenever a subject matter expert is online. Also by moving training online it allows participants the ability to learn when they want and often how they want.
Enhance Existing Learning Activities
We know the debate rages on as to which modality of training is best. We don’t argue that face-to-face training offers many benefits. Being able to read the room, identify body language, see the whites of their eyes and of course approach a student’s desk. Face to face training also brings some challenges such as logistics like getting everyone to the same location, group think where people are not getting the most out of the training because they don’t want to sound stupid, and finally getting the necessary hardware or software available and provisioned for each location. When we use a blended approach which includes a mix of in person and virtual to enhance training we get the best of both worlds. When we blend classroom based training with and follow up virtual training it sets the rapport between the instructor and student. A blend also offers a huge amount of flexibility and time savings by removing most of the travel. We also see group think decrease as in virtual environment people are often more willing to voice questions and get what’s important to them. We leverage virtual hands on labs it makes provisioning nonexistent. Hands on labs are always ready, no passing around install disks or ghosting machines.
Automated Registration and scheduling
Leveraging the learning activity management system and built-in scheduling and registration saves our customers so much time, energy and money. Scheduling and running events can be a job in itself. Often times you have to coordinate with multiple systems to complete the registration and if required purchase process. Before Grokworx we see people using one place for event management, another for user management and yet another again for courseware management. This doesn’t even include setting up and managing the web conferencing, delivery of student materials and provisioning of any hardware/software required. With the virtual solution everything is included in one platform. You have the complete event management and registration built into a custom branded Learning Activity Management System. Invitation emails, coupons, class setup, ecommerce and much more are all included. Aside from the event components the complete virtual classroom is also included to save even more time and money. The virtual classroom includes audio/video conferencing, student materials, assessments, and of course our custom hands on lab manager. By taking away this huge administrative function we see that our customers have more time to support and help their learners but also saving considerable money and frustration trying to integrate various different systems.
Offering mentoring is one way that we have seen the largest impact to our customers. This impact can be seen in the satisfaction of the students and the actual knowledge transfer as well as removing travel. We feel that this is going to be the greatest revenue generator for our customers. When an instructor is not engaged in an ILT style class they can be available for mentoring duties. This allows the Expert and a Student to collaborate via voice and video and actually work on the same virtual machine. Students get guidance and advice suited to their individual needs or project, our customer sees an increase in revenue by offering mentoring credits or coupons as part of an implementation project and makes the best use of the instructors time and availability.
Set up and tear down and updates
A virtual hands on lab can be used in a virtual classroom or in a physical classroom. This means that we don’t have to setup and tear down and environment at a customer’s office or training center. We can always be assured that the hardware is available and configured properly. If we have an error or issues a training image can be updated in a single location in seconds. An incredible amount of time is spend in traditional training either configuring or troubleshooting hardware/software for technical training. With a virtual solution that includes a hands on labs publishing system, we are seeing that the content available to learners is always up to date. If it is a security patch, a new version, or an error identified it is easy to make the change and publish. This process can happen within seconds if needed. It is always important to know that learners have access to the latest and greatest without the need to troubleshoot or correct errors in installation or configuration.
Compliance and Certification
Often times when we work with learners we are not getting a true indication of knowledge transfer. At Grokworx we see our customers leveraging our virtual curriculum together with hands on labs to build and deliver a guided learning path. This learning path makes use of prerequisites, assessments and a logical order to drive certification or compliance.
Project based training
Knowledge workers have come a long ways when it comes to understanding technology. In many environments we see people have many of the skills and knowledge to support their roles. When we look at technical training most people have a great grasp of the basics or even advanced skills in various technologies. This is why it is important to use their time most efficiently by not forcing them to cover the basics. Often, in technical training, we see a huge amount of time spend on introductory topics. By using a project based training approach you can identify the learning that is needed and deliver a more targeted learning approach with bite size chunks. This is not available with classroom based training but also keeps the participant interested, reduces the time spent on basics and allows the learner to have a hand in their education.
These are some to the trends that we are seeing with our customers using our virtual learning infrastructure and solutions. By adopting our virtual platform and leveraging our experience it offers a huge amount of flexibility on how learners learn, when they learn, and what they learn. It also offers organizations the ability to get the most out of their subject matter experts and administration teams. If you want to know more or want to see our virtual solution in action please drop us a line.
Special Thanks to http://www.on24.com for this great Infographic of Virtual Learning Trends