Traditional training sessions have taken a back-seat in the current crisis, while virtual labs are turning out to be a saviour for organizations and learners alike.
While many thought the unprecedented crisis would hinder learning and development, the momentum from innovative technology has proven otherwise. It has brought hope, stability, and momentum to organizations. Virtual training tools have enabled individuals to add to their skill index, development paths, and career goals. These tools have also provided instructors and organizations with the right balance of safety, context, fun learning, and enrichment in their training interventions.
The popularity and participation levels of virtual classes are turning out to be higher than on-site training.
Virtual vs. Physical
A global survey by Mercer shows companies are enabling managers to effectively lead virtual teams in the face of expanding work-from-home measures. About 32 percent are redeploying existing virtual team training, and 8 percent are partnering with a provider to deploy new virtual working content.
Here are a few ways to make virtual lab environments a fun experience:
- Real-time collaboration with instructors: Virtual labs allow productive environments ready for collaboration. Instead of one-sided delivery, the sessions are two-way activities. The learner is an active element in the session rather than a mute recipient. In fact, they even take part in the design and pace of the session through features such as instant feedback and over-the shoulder visibility. The learner works collaboratively with the instructor to make the program personalized, contextual, impactful, and simple. Real-time collaboration enriches these virtual classes and actively contributing and steering the session makes it a fun learning experience.
- Achieve many goals at once: Training sessions on virtual labs accomplish many goals at once.
- Easy deployment of lessons
- Affordability because of cloud technologies
- Easily upscale or downscale the number of participants
- Enhance retention in learners
- Enhanced learning experience: Even the best instructors pre-COVID struggled to create a meaningful training environment. Now, virtual labs help instructors with tools for creating an enhanced learning experience for students. They make it possible to design an enjoyable learning experience while imparting all the concepts, skills, and nuances.
Virtual vs. Online
A virtual lab is the perfect training choice when we look at a few shortcomings that online classes still face:
- Security issues (data and compliance)
- Privacy concerns
- Network snags
- Personalized design for a given training problem
- Resistance to change
- Implementation problems
- Hidden costs
- Maintenance and support
- Overall lifecycle ROI
Despite the emergence of good technology alternatives, companies are concerned with the overall productivity of their workforce as they work virtually. This parallels the overall outlook of the industry as over 70 percent of businesses are also concerned with productivity in the workplace (Mercer Global Covid-19 Business Impact Survey). Additionally, about 17 percent are worried about the VPN/Network infrastructure.
Thus, it becomes essential to choose the right virtual lab solution that delivers high-performance without compromising security, data confidentiality, deployment ease, and overall cost expectations. The best solution makes training simple for instructors and learners to master any new skill, market need, software, or application without delay or confusion.
Look around. Choose wisely. Train well.