Remote learning, online courses, virtual training – these are all words that are used to describe the same thing: real-time learning and development carried out over the internet with a live expert facilitator using programs designed for this very purpose.
Historically, many of our clients shied away from the idea of their people learning in this way, with the preference of getting people together in a room for a day or two with a trainer. Then the pandemic hit and, well, we all know what happened next.
Once everyone had a chance to catch their breath, online courses had to be considered as a viable option for those organisations who were willing and able to continue developing their people. We have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to learning in this way and thought it would be useful to capture and share the key benefits of remote learning that we have identified.
Our Top 8 Advantages of Online Courses
- Shorter session time
Better focus: participants are finding it far easier to keep their focus within these short, bite-sized sessions compared to a full day of learning. They are less distracted by emails and less worried about meeting deadlines as they still have time in their day to work on these.
Improved attendance: short durations and no travel times make it much easier for people to attend from the comfort of their usual working environments or their own home. We have noticed that fewer people are dropping out at the last minute, resulting in greater value for money for the organisation investing in their peoples’ development since our fees are time based rather than calculated on delegate numbers.
- Easier to create permanent change
Habit-forming: virtual courses build learning up step-by-step over a period of time, allowing new habits to be practised and enhanced. Most studies show that habits practised a number of times are more likely to create permanent change than a crash course in a topic.
Time to embed knowledge: the quantity of learning in each session doesn’t feel overwhelming, but, rather, more accessible. The time in between each session allows the opportunity for participants to let the learning sink in and this is then built upon next time without there being too big a jump in one go.
- More robust application
Learning through practice: in between the live online sessions, participants have the opportunity to independently apply their new skills to their own work environments and situations. At the next session, they have the benefit of sharing both successes achieved and challenges encountered. This not only provides further learning for the rest of their cohort, who will gain additional knowledge around application, but also reinforces their own learning, with both other learners and the expert trainer providing further guidance where appropriate. All of this makes the application of theory into practice easier and even more robust.
- Expanded networks
Opportunity to work with a wider group of people: historically, many people would only get to attend training sessions with people from their relatively close geographical area due to the cost of travel to the training location being prohibitive. With virtual learning, geography becomes irrelevant, allowing people the opportunity to expand their network, perhaps even globally, building relationships with people they wouldn’t normally come across. This benefits both the individuals and the organisation by creating greater opportunities for future collaboration on work/projects, resulting in a wider, richer input and outstanding teamwork prospects.
- Easier accessibility
All you need is wi-fi: remote courses mean that the participants don’t need to go anywhere to attend, not just saving travelling time and cost, but meaning that they can access expert trainers from their usual place of work or their home environment, as long as they have wi-fi.
- Easier for all to get involved
Many communication options: some people can feel uneasy raising their hand to make a point or ask a question during an in-person training session, however online learning opens up a variety of ways to do so, giving people the opportunity to communicate in whichever manner they feel most comfortable with.
They could choose to: raise their hand virtually, using an icon/emoji; use the chat to type their point/question to either the whole group or just the trainer individually; work in a break-out room which allows them to speak in a smaller group; say their comment/ask their question in a plenary environment which can feel less threatening in a remote session where everyone is on the screen rather than in a room.
By having more ways of getting involved in the remote session, every individual participant is likely to get even more out of the virtual training, creating a better return on investment for their employer.
- Cost savings
More value for money: there are no hotels, travel costs or food expenses for participants and/or trainers. The only investments required are the course costs and time, making online learning even better value for money.
- More tailored
Participants can drive the content/level: since online courses are made up of a number of remote learning sessions, the trainer can learn so much more about the participants, enabling them to adjust the learning content and the level it is delivered at. This makes the virtual learning even more effective.
From these points, it’s clear that online learning, remote training, virtual courses (or whatever else you might call it) has many benefits.
Take a look at our courses page to see examples of typical content that we deliver, both online and in the traditional classroom environment. Please note that these are only examples – we can combine elements of any of these courses and/or add content not included on our website. Please get in touch and let us know how we can help you.