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The Virtual Classroom: Solving Learning Challenges in a COVID-19 World

There’s no question that the global landscape for many industries has dramatically changed since the onset of COVID-19. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine a solitary business or institution that has not had to make significant adjustments to common operations because of this global pandemic.

During this time, perhaps no portion (or function) of society has garnered more attention than the educational community. From local elementary schools to public universities to international businesses, learning processes for people of all ages have had to evolve.

Sometimes, a forced change can bring about growth and opportunity where it had been previously overlooked, and in the case of the coronavirus, teachers and students around the world are being compelled to implement what many businesses and corporations have long been practicing: virtual learning and web-based training. The classroom has been converted—or moved—to a very different space: your preferred technological device.

The Strengths of eLearning

Web-based Learning is Continuous: Regardless of an organization’s mission or purpose, achieving goals and completing assignments is impossible without adequate training of staff or team. Whether preparing new employees for the challenges they will undertake for the first time or communicating essential policy changes to veterans, the exchange of ideas is central to any organization’s success and cannot be stalled by an unprecedented world event that restricts physical interaction.

Any breakdown in the transmission of ideas or knowledge threatens to create a static, uncertain, and unfulfilling environment. The onset of stagnation can be crippling to the workflow and to the general attitude of everyone involved.

This is why virtual instructor-led training, an idea that has been around for more than 20 years, has grown so much in the past twelve months. VILT establishes a learning atmosphere without walls which solves numerous problems related to

  • Spacing concerns

  • Setting limitations

  • Numbers of attendees

Consider that since the advent of Six Degrees in the late 90’s—widely accepted to be the world’s first social media platform—people have been daily “gathering” and sharing their lives in a virtual space. What VILT offers, though, is far more than a message board upon which to post an opinion or share photos and videos.

In addition to these popularized peer-to peer (p2p) features, in a VILT format a qualified and experienced instructor engages learners through a wide range of applications and multimedia tools, creating a vigorous and interactive learning environment without limits of physical space or even, in some cases, time.

Web-Based Learning is Customizable: Organizations are as diverse as the people who populate them and the missions they undertake, and, although we inherently know this, many companies still employ a “one-size-fits-all” approach to training. It’s essential to consider not only the message or the information you intend to pass along, but also the types of learners with whom you’re working.

Applying a customized learning solution enhances success. Educational psychologists assert that there are various styles of learning that allow people to better grasp concepts, yet addressing each of these modalities in a classroom can be daunting. Ironically, online learning offers opportunities that can be difficult to achieve in a physical setting.

Numerous online programs and tools that take into account people’s preferred learning techniques are available. Today, virtual instructors have access to and have become experts in leveraging interactive and intuitive learning programs such as:

  • Camtasia

  • Moodle

  • Vyond (GoAnimate)

  • Prezi

Furthermore, project-based learning has become a popular approach to nurture both creativity and collaboration among participants. Unique learning strategies such as gamification and design thinking are perfectly suited for virtual learning scenarios.

Web-Based Learning is Concentrated: While instructor-led training is an extremely effective approach, part of the value in eLearning can be found in its succinct and focused pedagogy. Many corporations relish the opportunity and the flexibility to develop individualized modules which offer precise training sessions for their employees.

Not every job in an organization is identical, and not every employee will be asked to perform the same task. Human resources training notwithstanding, operations in businesses often require specialized skills or knowledge. By utilizing concepts like microlearning, an organization can easily target objectives and develop a scope and sequence that streamlines curriculum for its personnel.

Internet-based microlearning is a cost-effective way to arrange lessons by using a stair-stepping or progressive approach. This method can make complex topics or systems easier to grasp and can encourage accountability and reward initiative.

Web-Based Learning is Cutting-Edge:

The most successful institutions and companies in the world empower their employees through effective training and vision-casting. While the coronavirus has rendered the classroom impractical, this current situation does not have to reduce the learning opportunities for employees and team members.

The experts at Northlake Professional Group understand this better than anyone and have spent over 15 years in meaningful partnerships with a variety of organizations, helping them accomplish their goals by stimulating learning.

Now, in a world constrained by a pandemic, the webinar strategies they’ve been executing long before COVID-19 arrived are more important than ever.

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1 Comment

Thanks for the interesting article. Our company is constantly improving the software to facilitate the work of the personnel department.

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