In modern times, the classroom is no longer confined to the four walls of a brick-and-mortar building. More and more courses, including virtual employee training courses, are being taught online by virtual instructors, where students have an opportunity to learn without geographic limitations. When done correctly, virtual education allows students to learn the exact same material that is taught in face-to-face courses; however, students are required to be more self-disciplined. The role of the virtual instructor becomes one of guidance and facilitation rather than “sage on the stage” instruction.
Even though virtual training is more popular than ever, some might remain skeptical about its effectiveness. Some common concerns about the virtual classroom replacing face-to-face interaction are how instructors and employers can ensure that their virtual class will be successful. In addition, some may wonder how can we break down barriers associated with working in a virtual setting and empower your employees to succeed. These are logical questions to ask. Read on to learn how online training platforms like ReadyTech’s can actually work in your favor and train your employees to succeed much better than in a face-to-face classroom.
Online Training Empowers Voice
Any teacher across the globe will tell you that some students are just more engaged than others. For example, some students sit quietly in the back of the classroom and barely participate, while others carry their laptops around with them to take notes and ask questions during every lecture.
Although this difference is common among students who attend classes online or face-to-face, trainers are finding that student engagement can be more easily measured with online classes. For example, one of the most important factors in online education is seeing how often students complete their coursework. This type of assessment not only helps virtual instructors measure the overall success rate of their class but also allows them to see which students are struggling and which are excelling.
With this information, an instructor can help students who are having trouble and give recognition to those who come out on top. Virtual instructors do not need to wait until the training ends in order to see how well their students learned the material. They can monitor student progress at any time, even in real time, and use that feedback to make changes to their course as well as provide just-in-time remediation.
Online Training Empowers Connection
It may seem contradictory to suggest that a virtual platform, which allows for separation, actually does a better job at connecting others, but it is true. Online classes provide a forum for virtual instructors to connect with students and learn about their interests in a more focused manner. Discussion boards allow for direct replies and a more intimate communication experience.
In addition, virtual online platforms cater to those who might not feel comfortable speaking up in class that is face-to-face. The idea of having open conversation also means less disengaged students because it invites everyone to participate. And if a student does not understand the coursework or needs help understanding a topic, all they have to do is ask their instructor in the virtual class forum.
Online Training Empowers Inquiry
Virtual instructors can help students stay engaged and on-track by asking them questions about their goals, revealing the purpose behind course lessons, and encouraging student participation in discussion forums. On a similar note, virtual instructors can play a role in empowering students by encouraging more communication and asking thought-provoking questions during discussion forums. Most online courses involve assessment through exams or papers, but student participation is low because many students are more familiar with memorizing material rather than demonstrating their knowledge of concepts. Virtual instructors can help foster dialogue in discussion forums by asking open-ended questions that encourage critical thinking about course topics. For example, an instructor can ask students "What will you doing differently when you finish this course to apply what you learned?" This question motivated students to reflect on their actions and made them more proactive in their learning.
Online Training Empowers Accountability
One of the best ways online coursework empowers students is by giving them responsibility for their own learning. Successful virtual instructors learn how to transfer some of the control of the course, including grading exams and assignments. The role of the instructor becomes more supportive than controlling, fostering an environment where students feel like they are on a team. As with any sports team or club, everyone has to pull their own weight and work together if they want to win. Virtual students learn this philosophy in order to be successful at learning online.
Online Training Empowers Collaboration
When done correctly, the virtual course becomes more of a cooperative learning environment where students help each other learn. Successful virtual instructors create systems that make this easy for everyone to do. Virtual assistants are another great way to empower students by making them feel like they have an extra support system. These are often other students who sign up to help others. When students aren’t getting help from their instructor or classmates, self-motivation drops, and engagement plummets. Unfortunately, this strong correlation is no surprise. And it’s not just the students who are struggling—the instructors are finding online teaching difficult, too.
Online Training Empowers Equality
Because online training requires trainers to facilitate learning rather than spit out information, virtual instructors treat their students as peers, rather than “at-risk” learners. It can be challenging to engage students when they have more responsibility for their learning, but it also will help them feel more ownership and ultimately, higher levels of success.
Online courses are also inherently egalitarian in their teaching approach, and they can and will meet any student where they are in their skillset, no matter their age, intellect, or resources. They allow an instructor to see the entire classroom at once and monitor student progress. In addition, online training allows students to see and interact with the instructor and their peers clearly and equally.
Online Training Empowers Resource Use
Online classes typically have more resources at hand for the student to utilize, and typically it is presenting in a more organized and succinct manner. Face to face courses can seem a little disjointed. You have a paper syllabus, textbooks, online assignment platforms, and maybe another platform for research and tutoring. This makes it difficult for a student to stay organized, and they might even forget they have valuable resources at their fingertips.
Online courses put all of the course information in one place, and students log in weekly, sometimes every single day, to view it. There is no mistake what resources are available, and they are usually accessible with one simple click of the mouse.
Online Training Empowers Increased, Quality Feedback
Many people like to learn but wish to receive more feedback from their teachers or trainers. Online training is a solution that combines technology and teacher proximity, allowing for more quality feedback not possible otherwise. Online training empowers feedback through individualized coaching from experienced professionals to real-time correction, allowing learners to improve in a way best suited for them.
Imagine you are taking an online class and the teacher is responding to your posts on a discussion board. You post a thought, and the next thing you know, there's a dialogue going between the two of you. This type of written conversation in a classroom setting - student talking/writing, teacher replying with constructive feedback in a timely manner - allows for fast-paced interactive learning in a safe environment. Online training has been shown to empower instructors when it comes to giving students immediate feedback because they can go back into their classrooms' digital archives at any time, reread what was said before and be sure not to miss any important points. Online feedback can be customized to each student, and students can go back to it as often as they need to for review purposes. Online training also lets students see where they might have gone wrong immediately after posting something instead of having to wait days or weeks before finding out that their writing was unclear or their pronunciation off-key.
The Answer is Clear
Online education is on the rise now more than ever. As technology advances and becomes more accessible, so does distance learning - including online employee training, which allows for things like online assessment, instant feedback and even digital libraries. Online training enables trainers to respond quickly not only with developmentally appropriate comments but also with easy-to-understand rubrics linked directly classroom goals. Online training has become more of an art since the early days of emailing feedback. Online training is more than just throwing sentences back and forth; it's about engaging students in ways that make them feel safe and challenged at the same time.
We Can Help
ReadyTech’s remote training software provides different ways that students can interact with trainers and peers which encourages participation and active learning.
ReadyTech provides companies and employees with a hosted training solution that offers hands-on, virtual training software to aid employees in practicing job skills. Companies that invest in employee training benefit from reduced attrition rates and hiring costs, better productivity, more knowledgeable employees, and a competitive hiring environment.
ReadyTech provides you with all the software you need for your virtual classroom, and we offer a full-service setup process as well as 24/7 live support. Contact us today.