A virtual classroom is basically the medium that makes e-learning possible. This system is designed after traditional online educational models, but with additional virtual access to all learning materials, tests, research data, assessments, and external sources, including R&D departments and corporate databases. Virtual classrooms are one of the most important tools for corporate training programs, and are often used as part of a organization’s employee engagement policies.
Most virtual classrooms also use Web 2.0 software to facilitate person to person interaction, as well as content management systems, to manage the various data which passes to and from their systems. With the help of this e-learning platform, training personnel are given access to microphones, chat rights with their fellow trainees as well as access to various learning materials available within the training system.
This flexibility ultimately translates into a more versatile training system for corporate personnel, most of whom are often short on time and resources to properly attend training programs. In other words, virtual/online classrooms offer trainees different options on how they are to be trained, which in turn allows for more personnel to undergo training on their own terms. This ultimately translates to higher rates of employee engagements among corporate organizations and helps to increase personnel participation among educational and training initiatives.
Virtual Classroom Training Benefits and Tips
Justifications for Using Virtual Classroom Training
Virtual learning environments are often subject to debate, most of which involve their viability as a training medium in comparison to other modes of online education, such as live chatting or video conferences between trainees and their instructors. The argument against the use of virtual learning platforms as mediums for online corporate training is that they cost too much money, and in most cases, offer features which are not always needed by trainees or instructors.
This argument is countered by the claim that virtual/online classrooms offer better resource integration and support for trainees and personnel, especially among very large organizations. Furthermore, online classrooms also represent the evolving nature of integrated e-learning platforms, which means that such platforms are necessary for organizations which are highly invested in employee engagement and personnel training.
In addition to these arguments, there are also other justifications on the use of virtual/online classrooms as tools for corporate and employee training. Here are several examples of them.
- They reduce the cost of training new employees
- They reduce the time required to teach a single personnel or trainee
- They assist instructors in teaching web-based lessons
- They help trainees and personnel overcome location and time constraints
- They allow for networking among various training departments and personnel
- They provide common material and resources for different types of courses
How Can a Virtual Classroom Help Improve the Efficiency of Employee Training?
Most virtual/online classrooms are optimized for power point presentations, video lessons and instructor-trainee chatting, all of which are ideal for helping trainees adapt to corporate culture. These features offer a hands-on platform wherein trainees will not only be trained to achieve new levels of competency, but are also given practical experiences in conducting their tasks.
In addition to allowing trainees to interact with their instructors and fellow personnel online, virtual/online classrooms can also be used to facilitate collaborative projects, address complaints about training policies and act as a platform for interactive discussions. The tools available in most virtual learning platforms also allow all participants to send messages, answer questions on their screen or address their instructor or presenter about their lessons. Thanks to these features, an online classroom can thus be used as an effective communication tool between trainees, instructors and managers.
A virtual/online classroom can even be used to optimize employee engagement by leveraging the internet, social media as well as various online training tools to help improve each trainee’s learning experience. In other words, virtual/online classrooms are the most suitable training platforms for organizations that wish to integrate additional online tools in their employee engagement programs.
Furthermore, aside from helping employees to undergo training, it’s also worth mentioning that online classrooms have certain benefits for instructors and managers. They can, for example:
- Assign training modules to each trainee
- Reduce the amount of time required to train each personnel
- Provide a micro-learning methodology that is suitable to the needs of each organization
- Provide information about the best practices, alternative approaches, common mistakes and various challenges involved in employee training and other educational initiatives
- Divide courses into several comprehensive training tracks for easy comprehension
- Provide information on each trainee’s historical progress with regards to his or her training
- Allows managers and trainers to monitor their personnel during the learning process
- Offers placement tests, so that each trainee begins his or her training at an appropriate level
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that most virtual learning software also include phone, email as well as tech support services, so as to ensure full access to tools and resources within the training program. So in addition, to their direct benefits and advantages, online classrooms are conducive for active participation.
Ultimately, virtual learning environments are just e-learning tools. How different organizations use such tools will be determined by their goals and policies with regards employee training and development. Some organizations, for example, use online classrooms primarily to help busy trainees undergo additional training, while others prefer to use them to make the employee training process more efficient. It is this flexibility which allows virtual/online classrooms to increase the accessibility of online training to a large group of people.
Thanks to the advancement of technology, corporate training initiatives have given a substantial boost to online education by expanding the use of virtual learning classrooms for training their personnel. This demand from corporations as well as other similar organizations is what allows online classrooms as well as other similar platforms to play a much greater role in the corporate sphere. Likewise, the increasing use of social media and other similar internet tools help to facilitate a more efficient learning environment for companies that require a more engaged workforce. In this sense, the average virtual classroom training program has a unique niche with regards to corporate e-learning, and should therefore be employed in training corporate personnel.