Virtual Workshops and Alternative Approaches
We have discovered that the term “virtual training” means different things to different people. Part of our mission at The Virtual Training Team is to clarify what virtual training is, and how effective it can be.
For us, when we talk about virtual workshops we are referring to virtual instructor-led training (or VILT) where learners log on to a virtual platform with a live coach and experience a live workshop - just like a F2F workshop but with everyone logging in from different places at the same time.
However, there are other ways of incorporating virtual learning into our learning and development.
Here are Few Suggestions for virtual learning and development
The Flipped Virtual Workshop
Often referred to as the flipped classroom, this is where your learners consume most of the content prior to the workshop and then get practical in using this content during the workshop itself. For example you might ask them to do some reading, watch a video, complete some eLearning. The idea is that you then use the virtual workshop as an opportunity to expand on this, explore, discuss, practice and consider the application.
We recently ran a flipped virtual workshop on the topic of Career Conversations. The participants watched a video and read some online guides on the process for running career conversations for their organisation. They then came together in a virtual workshop to practice having the conversations and dealing with challenging reactions.
Virtual Coach - F2F Group
One of the benefits of virtual training is that learners don’t have to travel for workshops. The same goes for the coach/trainer too. Sometimes though, the participants are co-located but the subject matter expert trainer is based somewhere else. In this instance, you can get your learners altogether in a room and have the virtual coach log in to run the workshop virtually.
A recent example was a team in Mumbai that wanted to attend a Time Management workshop. They came together in a room whilst our virtual coach connected via video conferencing to run the workshop. The participants were able to get on their feet, write on whiteboards, work on posters together as in any F2F workshop. The result? A participant mentioned in their feedback that it felt like the virtual coach was physically in the room with them.
These work particularly well as part of a blended learning approach combining F2F workshops with virtual (albeit they can work just as well on pure virtual programmes). The approach is that learners come together, with a virtual coach, in-between F2F modules to nudge their learning and enhance learning transfer.
We ran a talent programme where the participants would come together every two months for a day long F2F workshop. We would then meet with them in between on a virtual workshop where they would share what they had applied and what they still intended to apply. We would take the opportunity to layer the learning further by practicing scenarios and discussing challenging situations. It works really well to keep the momentum of the programme going and boosting learning transfer throughout.
There are many ways of building virtual workshops into your L&D offer by focussing on what your learners need and using technology skilfully and creatively. Whether it’s Virtual Coach, Flipped Virtual or Nudge workshop, each offers a revolutionised learning experience, one that’s inspired to aid both development and growth.
Interested in knowing which kind of a workshop will best suit your organisational needs?