In recent years, employee training has become more of a necessity than something that is an added perk.
The increasingly competitive business environment has forced businesses to produce better results while cutting down costs and upskilling existing resources is the most viable way to do that.
On the other hand, even modern employees take the availability of professional upskilling opportunities at an organisation when they weigh job opportunities.
Thankfully, by the time employees and organisations understood the importance of employee training, technology had already made the undertaking far more affordable than before. As a result, even small businesses were able to adapt.
However, there was one aspect of training employees where the big players, with enormous training budgets, (seemingly) had an upper hand. Bigger companies could successfully reap the benefits of blended training because they had the infrastructure and the budgets required to deliver a holistic training experience.
Blended training, a method that combines self-paced training with instructor led sessions, has been known to produce great results.
Smaller businesses, with bootstrapped budgets, were deprived of such results.
There were some businesses that had found a way around, by providing instructor led sessions virtually, with the help of a video conferencing software.
Now that businesses around the globe, regardless of their size, have been forced to move their operations on the web, the field is leveled again.
Almost all businesses have been forced to switch from instructor led training to virtual instructor led training.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about virtual instructor led training to be able to implement it to your employee training initiatives.
Let us begin by understand what VILT exactly is, and why it is the best alternative for in-classroom training:
Why Is VILT The Worthy Alternative?
When it comes to instructor led training, there are three possible virtual alternatives to the traditional method.
Podcasts: Finding their origins to the era of radio, web podcasts have been popular for many years. While this audio-only medium can be used for delivering instruction, it cannot replicate the environment of a classroom.
For starters, a podcast is a one way communication channel. This eliminates the chance of the student/learner participating in the training. Moreover, podcasts lack the very necessary visual element of traditional classroom sessions.
Webinars: Another widely popular way of communicating, and providing instruction, hosting a webinar is a little similar to a classroom training session.
With the chat box feature, the participants can participate in the training and ask questions. Besides that, webinars are also mostly a one way channel of communication.
Video Conferencing Based VILT: An instructor led session delivered with the help of a web conferencing software is perhaps as close as you can get to classroom training in a virtual environment.
A web conferencing software allows smooth communication between the instructors and the learners. Moreover, modern video conferencing tools come loaded with features that are designed to help instructors deliver impactful online training experiences.
Now that we know why VILT works, let’s look at how you can pick the ideal tool for your virtual instruction needs.
How To Pick The Best Web Conferencing Tool
The market is filled to the brim with different web conferencing tools. However, not all of them have been designed with VILT in mind. When picking a video conferencing tool for delivering VILT, look for the following features:
Explaining how certain processes work can be difficult in a virtual setting. This is especially true if the process you are trying to explain involves multiple steps.
Screencasting is a great tool when it comes to explaining how virtual products and processes work. By sharing your screen with the learners, you can conduct innovative live demos. While you conduct the process on their screens, pair it with your real time audio narration for best results.
Built-In Recording Capabilities
One of the biggest challenges with traditional classroom style training was the availability of all the learners. In the corporate landscape, unforeseen circumstances and tasks can sometimes prevent a learner from attending a training session.
As a result, the learner may miss out on important lessons, with only descriptions of their peers left to guide them.
This challenge can be effectively overcome with the recording capabilities of a video conferencing tool. The instructor has to simply hit the record button before they begin the training session.
After the session, with a little bit of editing, the recorded video can be shared with learners that missed the training.
Such recordings can also be shared with other participants to help them revise the information shared during the training session. In fact, with proper editing and planning, a collection such videos can be turned into a complete course for future learners.
Messaging capabilities are one of the most crucial features of a video conferencing tool, with respect to training scenarios.
With a messaging tool, students can post their questions to the instructor without interrupting the training session.
THis way, you can address all the questions one by one at a designated time. The collection of questions in the chat box will ensure you never miss a question and all queries of the learners are addressed during the training session.
No classroom is complete without a whiteboard. WHile it is a great idea to keep a physical whiteboard handy when you conduct training, you can also utilise a virtual whiteboard for explaining complex concepts.
The visibility of the physical whiteboard may or may not be discernible for learners, depending on the size of the screen of the device they are using for participating in the training. HOwever, a virtual whiteboard will be optimised for performance on their screen, making it the ideal option for explaining creative and complex concepts.
Virtual instructor led training has emerged as a boon for those who care about a continuous learning culture at their organization. While the method of instruction is a fitting replacement for traditional classroom training, in order to successfully deliver VILT, you will require the right video conferencing tool. We hope that the information shared in this article will enable you to make the right decision and pick the right tool for your needs.