3 Reasons to Be Excited about Virtual Learning Programs

Phoebe McKinney

For many organizations, the pandemic has accelerated plans to transition long-standing learning programs from a predominantly instructor-led model to entirely virtual delivery. For those clinging to fond memories of the classroom – and the debatable perks of air travel, economy lodging, and boxed lunches – here are some of the exciting upsides to a virtual learning program.

Let’s start with the obvious, it’s scalable. Even better, it’s uniquely effective.

With virtual delivery, we no longer need to coordinate and pay for facilitators and learners to travel to and from their learning programs. This saves everyone significant time and money and it positions us to invite greater participation moving forward. How many more learners can join the program now that specific dates or geography or travel budget are no longer a barrier?  What new segments of our learner population can we now reach?

Virtual delivery also allows us to scale our efforts to move from one-off learning events to continuous learning experiences that foster tangible behavior change and ultimately deliver better return on investment. Most virtual learning programs are a cycle of short segments of on-demand or virtual instructor-led content, followed by self-study or group discussion, and then on-the-job practice. By embedding learning in the flow of work, learners take in a reasonable amount of information, immediately test it, and then go back for more. This design increases the likelihood that learning will actually be used long-term.

Virtual learning is dynamic and resilient.

Pivot may be the new buzz word, but the ability to rapidly respond to changes in the environment, is no passing trend. Learning programs that adapt in real-time to new demands from the business are more likely to survive budget cuts or organizational re-structure because they are viewed as a strategic investment rather than a cost. As compared to overhauling a classroom-only deployment, virtual learning programs can be readily modified by revising, adding to or even resequencing content and live-online sessions. Just think, no hotel attrition to negotiate, no flights to re-book and, in most cases, no need to get out of your pajamas to make the shift and hardly skip a beat.

Frankly, virtual learning programs are just cool.

As more learners decide where and when to work, they are increasingly comfortable with, if not expectant of, equally flexible learning and development offerings. Virtual learning programs can accommodate busy lifestyles and allow for unique opportunities that may not be possible in the classroom alone.

Because virtual learning programs are accessible from anywhere, they can encompass a broader audience and learners enjoy and benefit from networking with peers and leaders from across their organization, country or region, even the globe. 

As learning leaders, virtual design removes the limitations of time and physical space. We can leverage the newest technology and tools and incorporate a blend of e-learning, readings, podcasts, discussion boards, and virtual events to pique curiosity, appeal to different learning styles, and offer the learner ample choice. 

If your organization plans to transition to or develop a new virtual learning program, we can help. Your FranklinCovey client partner and implementation specialist can partner with you to maximize the All Access Pass and share best practices from their many clients.  Let’s connect soon for virtual coffee.

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