The way employees are being trained has undergone a phenomenal change in the recent years. In a classroom training program, a subject matter experts or training managers are in control. They prepare PowerPoint presentations which might have all the relevant images and videos. They use it as a tool which guides them when they are sharing their knowledge and experience. Participants are free to interrupt them and clarify their doubts, they can share their own individual experiences with their peers and contribute to the knowledge exchange creating an overall enriching experience for everyone. In short, there is lot of people to people interactions, discussions and exchange of ideas and knowledge which is the crux of any adult training sessions.
There is now an effort to re-create the same magic through virtual learning environments. Workplace learning is being transformed to include new learning technologies in a manner that can provide continual learning options to individuals long after a classroom training program. Learning management systems are evolving to be more customizable and adaptable to suit learner needs. Here are some trends that are being seen in the corporate training environment.
Re-Usable Learning Modules:
Learning is delivered in byte sized format making it easy for learners to access and retain information. The training can be customized and tailor-made to suit individuals from different divisions within the organization. A product training course for sales people may consist of product features, benefits and value addition to customers. The same product training courses for service engineers or customer services executives may have basic assembling and troubleshooting modules in addition to the rest.
Discussion Forums, Chats and Wikis:
The advantages that a classroom environment provides is peer to peer interaction. This interaction is replicated in the form of discussion forums, chats and wikis in a learning management system.
The eLearning modules uploaded to the learning management system can be accessed using not just the desktops but through mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablet PCs. This provides flexibility to learners to access learning anytime, anywhere.
Tracking and Evaluation of Training:
Training managers and L&D managers find it easy to track course attendance and completion with a click of the mouse. It also helps them evaluate the effectiveness of the courses and overall training strategy. Based on the reports, it is now possible to realign the training programs and take corrective measures.
Corporate Training Universities:
Learning management systems are being transformed into more comprehensive corporate training universities. Courses and training programs are offered to employees with certification and awards. Organizations today are also hosting separate training universities exclusively for customers, channel partners and distributors.
Thanks to the rapid changes that take place in an organization, it is not possible to meet all the training requirements through traditional classroom training. However, one way to re-create the magic of classroom training is by introducing virtual training environment that are carefully designed and developed by professionals who understand and address organization’s business needs.
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I believe that (the) educational process has two sides – one psychological and one sociological. . . Profound differences in theory are never gratuitous or invented. They grow out of conflicting elements in a genuine problem. – John Dewey, In Dworkin, M. (1959) Dewey on Education
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