Virtual Classroom: 5 Advantages to Moving Your Training Program Online

Virtual Classroom: 5 Advantages to Moving Your Training Program Online

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It’s tough to beat the experience and effectiveness of live, in-person training. As a trainer, you have a captive audience you can fully engage by making eye contact, reading body language and making conversation.

But as great as training in a physical classroom, lab or lecture room can be, it’s a dying method. The Internet and globalization have fueled an explosion of reach companies can use to touch people all over the world for recruiting, sales and in house training. For trainers, this means one of two things: You either spend the year travelling from point to point and still not meet demand, or you evolve.

While evolution is often a painful learning process, it doesn’t need to be for training. The same Internet that helped push the globalization of companies also provides the platform for training these globally dispersed employees and customers. And, when you select the right online training program to fit your needs, you’ll likely find that there are five advantages that make online training better for your company and better for you.

ADVANTAGE ONE: REDUCE TRAVEL COSTS

No matter how you try to pull it off, training a dispersed workforce or customer base in person is expensive.Whether you travel to them, they travel to you or you hire third-parties to administer the training, the expenses will sky rocket. Rather than pay for travel, accommodations and meeting space, training programs can save massive amounts of money by simply gathering in an online classroom.

ADVANTAGE TWO: SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE TRAINING

When some people think of online training, they imagine a cold, recorded presentation with a few takeaway printouts. But online training has advanced well beyond that. A quality online training program gives trainers the ability to participate live with their audience, encouraging participation through chat, polls, question and answer sessions and other interactive elements.

ADVANTAGE THREE: RECORDED TRAINING SESSIONS

Once you get the hang of training online, you’ll start having sessions that go so well you want to keep them. There are any number of reasons to hold on to a great training session: For trainers to learn about successful online training techniques, for learners to go back and reference after a training session or even as a substitute training session in case a trainer is not able to make it to a live training session. Just be sure to use an online training product that comes with recording.

ADVANTAGE FOUR: MOBILITY

According to the IDC, nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce (and one-third of the worldwide workforce) will become mobile in some fashion – whether it be full-time or for a few hours a week.With so many people working outside the office, or workshifting, it becomes increasingly difficult to gather people together in one room.

We’ve already discussed how that affects costs, but traditional classroom training will also suffer from an increasing lack of participation in this environment. But with online training, participants only need an Internet connection to fully participate in training sessions. Workers from different locations can all participate in the same session, saving countless training hours and increasing reach exponentially. Then there’s the ability of the trainer to hold these training sessions from anywhere, giving trainers ultimate flexibility to get their job done no matter where they are.

ADVANTAGE FIVE: REFRESH YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS

Whether training online or in-person, there are new techniques proven to capture the learner’s attention and pique their ability to retain information. However, trainers that have helmed a moderately successful in-person training program have likely not taken the time to learn these techniques. But, since engaging the learner is more vital than ever when training online, trainers will need to keep up with the latest training techniques.

The New Learner (an online community where users can read and submit current articles and learn corporate trends in technology, businesses practices, and an array of other topics) online trainers should follow these guidelines:

>>Simplify content.
>>Use a large, bold simple font like Arial.
>>Have no more than six-to-eight lines of text per page.
>>Make no more than four-to-five training points per page.
>>Use plain background that contrast well with the text.
>>Avoid complex animations when possible.
>>To increase attentiveness and interactivity even more, forego text slides in favor of images that convey emotion. Use analogies and metaphors.

GOTOTRAINING MAKES ONLINE TRAINING EASY

Moving your training program online doesn’t need to be difficult, but it can be if you don’t choose the right solution. GoToTraining® is the easiest, most comprehensive online training tool available: It includes vital features like real-time screen sharing, recording and storage, online course catalog, built-in VoIP and phone conferencing and much more. It’s also user-friendly – there’s no IT or product training required. And GoToTraining is cost-effective with a flat monthly rate that allows you to hold unlimited training sessions with up to 200 attendees each.

You can try GoToTraining free for 30 days. Go to www.gototraining.com to learn more.

This article was based from the white paper: Taking Traditional Training Online from the Classroom to theWeb by Tom Bunzel. Tom recently wrote: “Tools of Engagement: Presenting and Training in a World of Social Media.”

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