The oldest known school is located in Canterbury, England (597 AD); although the existence of schools can be traced as far back as the ancient societies of Egypt and Greece. While the idea of schooling has been around for quite some time, recent advances in technology are drastically changing the way we practice this age-old institution. Similar to how the car made the coach and buggy obsolete, recent technological advances in Virtual Training (VT) is having a similar impact on the traditional classroom setting.
Virtual Training is defined as a method of teaching in which the instructor and the student are connected live through an online portal and thus do not need to be present in the same location in order to achieve the same goals as a traditional classroom setting. Virtual training has many different faces; eLearning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, or Online Learning, even though all can be used for Virtual Training environments. The simulated online classroom environment is designed to give the teacher and student a real-time classroom experience without having to leaving the comfort of their own home or office. This type of training is rapidly becoming popular in many industries where large-scale training programs are a necessity.
Is It Better?
- Studies have shown that Virtual Training decrease costs by up to 90%.
- 40-60% less training time required by leveraging Virtual Training.
- Employee retention rates increase by 25-60%.
- According to the Association for Talent and Development (ATD) state of the industry report, The United States alone spent $164.2 Billion on employee training in 2012.
The major advantage of Virtual Training over the traditional classroom environment is the way it enables the unrestricted flow of information across the organization. Employees no longer need to gather in one place to receive proper training and the instructor now benefits from the convenience of delivering their lecture from anywhere in the world. The result is that students now gain access to the best and brightest teachers and teachers can now deliver their lecture to more students than could ever possibly fit in a single physical classroom.
74% of companies currently use Learning management systems (LMS) and Virtual classroom/ webcasting/ video broadcasting
The technology surrounding Virtual Training is constantly evolving and becoming more advanced, the opportunities provided by Virtual Training will continue to dramatically increase over the coming years. One interesting notion is that people can choose their own instructors. Similar to how one chooses a personalized voice for their GPS navigation system, students can choose their own instructor avatars. Want to learn economics from Kim Kardashian? No problem. Similarly, students can change their virtual classroom environment to someplace more relaxing. Want to study on a relaxing beach with Kim Kardashian? No problem ?
With virtual classrooms, any environment can be simulated. Who would you like to teach your virtual training class? Where would you want the class setting to be?
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eLearning is changing. And, we will see new models, new technologies and designs emerge. So, let’s drop the “e” – or at least give it a new and wider definition.