Virtual Learning and Development

September 10, 2020 : News, General Team Building, Team Development

Maximillion have been running a wide range of facilitated development programmes for many years, and have adapted our approach to ensure the principles and objectives behind learning and development remain in the virtual environment.

In light of this, Maximillion Lead Facilitator Mike Tierney shares some fresh reflections on the benefits of virtual instructor-led training, based on his experiences of designing and delivering development workshops and training to remote teams in recent weeks.

Bringing the Classroom to the Learner – A Case for Virtual Instructor-Led Training

Home and remote working was on the rise before the pandemic and it looks set to continue as part of the “new normal.” The organisational requirement to support and develop people is now more important than ever. Keeping people connected and developing the skills and behaviours required to thrive in the new business landscape are of strategic importance.  How can this problem be solved in the immediate and long-term future?  While E-learning and webinars are elements of a blended approach, we feel that the richest learning that results in real change occurs face to face.  Current social distancing restrictions and the longer-term trend towards increased home working shouldn’t cause despair though. Our recent experience tells us that bringing the classroom to the learner is not only possible, it can be an effective part of a sustainable and successful learning strategy.  After you have read this article we want you to consider how virtual instructor led training (ViLT) could be used to enhance the skills of your people, and speak to us about how we can help.

Yes but is it really a replacement for face to face training?

The feedback we have received from participants in our ViLT sessions is completely aligned with the data collected by Training.  The developments in technology of learning platforms allow a skilled facilitator to recreate the full spectrum of classroom interactions allowing for full participation, and make the sessions effective and fun.  Specific functionality varies across the platforms but the following features are typically available on most of the technologies that we have experienced directly (Adobe Connect, Zoom, WebEx, Teams, plus Maximillion’s Mobile Adventures app and suite of Virtual Events.)

  • Video and Audio interaction
  • Emoticons
  • Q&A
  • Content Sharing
  • Whiteboards
  • Gamification of development workshop and training session content
  • Centralised and 1:1 chat
  • Breakout Rooms
  • File Sharing
  • Polling
  • Screen Sharing and Annotation
  • App-based virtual teambuilding elements

This wide variety of interactive techniques allows for activities such as small group work, team discussion, role play, brainstorming and collaboration to happen seamlessly.  With well-designed content and skilfully facilitated interaction these ViLT sessions are as engaging, if not more engaging, than classroom delivered training.  This lends itself to training in both behavioural and technical skills.

Maximillion L&D in Practice

Check out our GP Trainee Virtual Facilitation Case Study for more in- depth detail around how we put this all into practice in a series of virtual sessions.

We have a range of tools and products at our disposal to help bring together and develop your people across virtual, physical and a hybrid blend of the two worlds . Building the right approach for your team is key in fostering trust, supportiveness and collaboration.

We’ve developed an at-a glance matrix of our products and their suitability in developing your team, each of which incorporates engaging experiential approaches that link with the workplace context. We have split these into specific outcomes across the Team Building and Enhancing Behaviours spectrum. Download Link available below.

  • Team Connection – Strengthening and bonding teams
  • Team Competition – Perfect if you want there to be an added competitive edge
  • Team Development (General) – Interactive; Contributing to team success; Communication; Collaboration; Support; Diversity and inclusion.
  • Team Development (Specific) – Needs identified; Maximising strengths; Addressing development areas and performance gaps.

What’s in it for you?

The benefits to the organisation and learners are multiple. The costs of training are significantly reduced.  There are of course no venue costs or travel costs. Disruption to BAU is minimal as each session lasts no more than 90 minutes and for training made up of multiple sessions normally no more than 2 sessions per day. The sessions can normally be recorded so this allows learners to revisit content and organisations to ‘inspect quality’. Lower costs and maintained richness of learning mean a far higher return on your investment.  What’s not to love?

Get in touch with Maximillion’s L&D team on 0131 333 0066 or to find out how we can help you bring the virtual classroom to your learners.

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