When the pandemic is over and organizations have regained their footing, they are likely to prioritize their spends on essential operations. Spends on training, however, are likely to remain, simply because now that we all will be living in a new world, employees will require re-calibrations around the “new normal.” But organizations will seek smarter ways to get things done – ways that are more cost-permissive and effective. Moving forward, it is going to be harder for them to commit critical resources toward the development of elaborate training programs. Organizations will also behave conservatively when it comes to financial approvals for the development of e-learning modules as we have traditionally known them. Does that spell doom? No, because technology is going to be the game changer.
One such game changer is the rejuvenated Virtual Classrooms (VC) platform. Almost every tech company is building virtual classroom programs of their own. Existing virtual classroom solutions are being upgraded to include newer functionalities and safety features. All upgrades are geared toward delivering a learning experience that is interactive and synchronous. These platforms will rule the roost, because in times of social distancing, they are all about bringing people together.
So corporate trainers, just like teachers in the academic world, are getting a big push from their organizations to facilitate training via these virtual classroom programs. There are several VC providers to choose from – the big names, such as Adobe Connect, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, are the popular ones. But some of the upcoming solutions offer flexibility and cutting-edge technology. Consider these: real time interactions, mood boards, doodle boards, HD video/audio, polls, breakout rooms, high number of participants, and LMS integrations; the list keeps evolving.
What does this mean for the traditional e-learning development companies? Adapt or get left behind. These companies are typically experienced in developing instructor-led training (ILT), so it’s just a matter of digitizing these solutions. In other words, it could be “the usual fare with seasonal flavors.”
Here are some tips:
The cost advantage is clear for virtual classroom solutions. PPT decks are faster to turn around – they may already exist, requiring only curation; the visuals can be less customized; and most of all, there is no need for a development technology. So approvals for such projects could be easier to come by. Finally, fact be told, the best trainings are delivered in person, in a traditional, synchronous way, which in this case will be assisted by technology.
– By Debabrata Paul, Vice President – Learning Design at MPS Interactive Systems