By 2022, the Virtual Classroom industry (eLearning) is expected to be valued at more than $275.10 billion USD (Reuters, 2017). Schools and organizations are heavily investing, however, some of these organizations report that online learning takes the fun out of teaching and that it does not provide the same results as classrooms delivered in person. Although virtual classrooms do cut down travel, productivity and time expenses, organizations tend to barebone their online training programs to cut costs in the short-term yielding poor results, as discussed in a previous blog post. In further developing a solid foundation, here are a few areas to explore in developing best practices for the virtual classroom experience which include design for scrap learning, accessibility to engagement and sharing results.
Lest We Forget
It’s Friday afternoon and you have just attended an information session on using the new HR system (fun stuff!) at your office. You enjoy your weekend and come Monday morning you sit at your computer to use the new HR system and learning from Friday’s tutorial are stale. An experience of frustration, a waste of energy and resources impacts the employee, trainer and organization. The process of learning that is delivered but not applied back on the job is called “scrap learning.”. According to CEB Global in their white paper titled Confronting Scrap Learning, “for the average organization, 45% of learning investments are scrap learning” To address this impact try out the following:
- Move to delivering online training: One of the advantages of online training is it cuts out the travel time so users can practice learning right away. In addition, online videos can be sent to participants.
- Break down information into components and include material where users discover and experience the learning for themselves (i.e. Let participants try riding a bike instead of explaining how to ride the bike). You can do this by using breakout rooms, providing question polls, doing exercises like calling on participants to explain the information in their own words.
- Create a short follow-up class to answer any questions or concerns.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself!
With a webinar, you have one host presenting to a number of people and since you can’t see your audience, it is extremely difficult to adapt the content. In addition, the experience of talking and not knowing if someone is listening is one of disconnection. Long before we had language, we had evolved a unique more primitive form of social intelligence that gave us an adaptive advantage. In a real classroom, it’s easy to trigger an interaction. We raise our hand or call out to ask a question. A presenter can read body language and facial expressions and gage if listeners are digesting the material.
Sharing is Caring
One of the key solutions for solving for ongoing effectiveness in your meeting rooms is providing results or measures to participants in your meeting rooms. This may seem strange especially for those working in a corporation, however, these statistics provide a reflection on the impact of the sessions. As we begin to benchmark results and participants can see how they have engaged compared to their peers, motivation increased thus improving the performance of your meeting rooms.
As experts in the virtual classroom experience industry, we have seen lots of initiatives that work and even more that fail. It’s always impressive to see organizations and universities willing to explore initiatives and find those solutions that work best for them. Whether you are a corporate learning and development professional who find themselves exploring new technologies, methods and processes for learning or one that has been using the same technology since 2000, and we invite you to join our upcoming Virtual Classroom Experience next month.