COVID-19 forced organizations worldwide to slam the brakes on normal processes. The coronavirus pandemic spawned massive shifts as businesses scaled back, delayed, or even cancelled vital education and training programs.
Looking forward to the immediate post-COVID phase, experts expect an upsurge in demand for rapid reskilling and upskilling as businesses explore potential new ways of working. PWC, for example, has announced that it has allocated US$3 billion to digitally upskilling its global workforce. That type of experimentation will build a foundation for a new way of working and learning that will herald richer and more productive experiences in the future.
But that future can’t be built on simplistic thinking. Companies have learned during the pandemic that they cannot simply clone the structural elements of face-to-face meetings and drop them into virtual events. “Copy and paste” simply doesn’t work when it comes to building a cutting-edge training curriculum.
Realistically, any learning program scheduled for delivery in the near future will require a strong element of digital delivery while still providing an opportunity for people to collaborate, practice, and align thinking and behavior. As a result, virtual training events will be a crucial part of the blended learning mix. It is important that training leaders learn how to produce and deliver these events correctly, so they deliver value to both learners and the organization.
Amplity Health has been facilitating live digital workshops for many years, referring to them as Virtual Learning Events (VLEs). As part of a new blended learning model, VLEs are here to stay because they have shown themselves to be efficient, effective, accessible, and acceptable:
Efficient: First, businesses have come to recognize and appreciate that VLEs reduce travel and living expenses. Furthermore, shortened formats can more easily be slotted into a normal working day without any loss of productivity. Finally, VLEs can be scaled up or down cost effectively.
Effective: VLEs are considered by many to be just as effective as face-to-face learning and certainly a great addition to traditional learning routes, especially when F2F is simply not possible. And the data bears it out. Even before the advances seen with recent interactive tools and video conferencing, Vanderbilt University’s Tuan Nguyen reported that online learning is at least as effective as traditional learning routes
Accessible: When it comes to reach, VLEs are unbeatable, and can reach out to the furthest corners of any business, no matter its geographic footprint.
Acceptable: In one study, 90% of Americans said they were confident about the quality of online learning; even before the pandemic, employees who could not travel were demanding virtual options as an add on to face-to-face programs. Virtual learning will become routine going forward.
But virtual learning events are more than just a satisfactory substitute for in-person training. The truth is, VLEs can deliver unique benefits. For instance, unlike in-person training, VLEs don’t need to cover large and complex topics in one overly long session just to accommodate a conference room booking or to minimize the team’s overnight travel requirements.
Amplity Health can develop and facilitate a full range of workshops remotely, which allows a fully interactive virtual classroom experience. We have been in the learning business for decades, and our facilitators have years of experience in building optimized experiences into every virtual learning event we run. Last year alone, 11,000 participants attended our VLEs.
The entire workshop is designed with the participant’s needs and organizational outcomes in mind. We use an easily accessible remote platform and apply the same workshop principles in a virtual environment. By using interactive content such as multimedia delivery and engaging exercises, this helps ensure there is full engagement, interaction, and enjoyment in an environment that replicates the face-to-face workshop as much as possible. We understand the theory behind individual and organizational development, which enables us to create learning interventions and journeys that engage participants and drive sustainable change.
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Digital Learning Lead
Paul has a wealth of experience in developing highly functional teams within the Pharma industry. At Amplity, Paul is responsible for harnessing the power of digital learning within our Learning and Development solutions. His passion for effective learning design ensures that both our infrastructure and team of developers deliver content that is adaptable and effective.