By Paola Pascual on Mar 16, 2022 1:28:43 PM
Identifying the needs of your organization is a fundamental step in the implementation of any learning program. However, that’s only the beginning. Once you’ve carried out the training needs assessment, your L&D team then needs to figure out the best solution for your organization.
Many companies are realizing that some of their international employees are either underperforming or not bringing enough ideas to the table. Oftentimes, the solution is to offer them professional English training. Offering business English training is not only an effective strategy to boost productivity. It also opens the door to new markets, allows your organization to access top-level candidates, and cultivates a more inclusive culture, among other benefits.
It is common to have questions and uncertainties while looking for the best language-learning solution for your organization. You want to make sure that both employees and executives see real benefits, that the participants are engaged and enjoy the training, and that the investment will pay off. If you are considering remote learning, here are some helpful insights that may help you make a decision.
What is remote learning?
Before diving into the nuts and bolts of remote learning, let’s define the term first. Remote learning refers to the type of learning that occurs when the learner and the instructor are in separate physical locations. It can happen in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, and the information is passed on through technology tools, such as video conferencing, telephone, email, discussion boards, or e-learning platforms.
In remote learning, also referred to as Remote Instructor-Led Training (RILT), online learning, virtual training, e-training, or distance learning, among others, many instructors attempt to recreate in-person environments over the virtual classroom. However, as more learning happens in virtual settings, more effective strategies and devices are developed. Consequently, the goal of virtual learning is not so much about emulating face-to-face lessons anymore, but about becoming a more advantageous alternative.
What is necessary for a successful remote training program?
Online training can be as effective as in-person training -if not more. It’s not only a temporary safe alternative during pandemic times, but a powerful format that is here to stay. However, it’s also important to remember that moving to the virtual sphere won’t fix unbroken methods on its own. In this section, you will find an overview of the most important elements that make up a successful online training program.
The program should be tailored to individual needs.
When we care, we remember and learn more. If you think about the teachers and courses that have made an impact on your life, I’m sure they made you feel something. We don’t care about memorizing information, we care about the affective significance (what it means for us).
In successful remote learning programs, the participants get to choose what they learn and how. The contents are tailored to their specific needs, and the resources and materials are selected based on the user’s learning style (video, audio, articles, interactive exercises, live discussions, etc.). Online courses generally allow students to also learn at their own pace, so they can move through course materials and topics as quickly or as slowly as they decide. This way, it is the training that adapts to the person and not the other way around.
Tip: When looking for the right virtual training for your teams, make sure the approach is always user-centered, where the participants are listened to and the programs are tailored to their specific needs.
The program should offer flexibility.
The magic of online learning is that is allows students to integrate the lessons into their everyday work lives. Flexible scheduling allows users to better manage their learning opportunities around their existing workload and helps htem conduct their learning at the time they’re most likely to succeed.
At Talaera, we work closely with learners and communicate with them constantly. This allows us to spot issues early on, change teachers if their schedules don’t match, and adapt the methodology as they go to make sure each user is getting exactly what they need at all times.
Tip: If you are looking for training for your global teams, look for vendors with instructors available in different time zones.
3. Convenient, powerful technology
The technology should be convenient, powerful, and user friendly.
In online training, technology is the environment, the means, and the tool. It is the virtual classroom itself. It is where the learning takes place, both synchronously and asynchronously, so it should allow learners to seamlessly move around and make the most of it. The platform where the e-training is taking place should be highly intuitive and easy to use. The technology should offer –at the very least– all the capabilities that you would have face-to-face. With advanced learning platforms, the learning experience can be considerably expanded by having everything a learner needs in one place.
An effective, all-encompassing learning platform includes helpful in-session features, consolidates all the information necessary for the learning, facilitates role-play, makes it easier for learners to join schedule and take sessions, and helps managers both organize and handle all the training logistics, as well as measure engagement.
At Talaera, we understand the importance of convenient, powerful technology and our goal is to keep improving our platform every day. In-session features include the classic video, audio, and chat functionality, as well as a speech-to-text tool that allows students to read what their teacher is saying and translate it into their native language in real time. This feature makes learning more accessible to lower level students. It also includes integrated dictionaries, so that if the learner is not familiar with a word, they can just double click on it to find the definition, pronunciation, and translation into their language.
Talaera Platform - In-session Features
It also becomes an excellent learning environment between sessions. Teachers can assign interactive activities to their students and provide individual feedback. Learners can read news articles, work on their grammar, or improve business communication skills. And managers can easily keep track of allocated sessions, employee engagement, and progress.
TIP: Look at all the capabilities that will make a difference for your team. Find out whether they would like to be able to learn from their phones, have practice activities between sessions, access an all-encompassing platform to easily keep track of their progress… Understand their needs and preferences and set priorities. Then, look for solutions that are able to successfully cover them.
4. Effective teaching & real-life resources
Instructors should identify interests to leverage affective significance.
When considering virtual versus in-person teaching, it’s important to remember that effective training is better than ineffective training. Cutting-edge technology is important, but technology on itself is not enough. There needs to be a desire to truly support employees and help them improve their skills, and focus less on content dumping.
Oftentimes, education gets in the way of learning, as Nick Shacketon-Jones eloquently puts it in his book How People Learn. We’ve all been in courses where the instructor would just dump content or where the materials vaguely reflected the reality. Instructional designers who have not been in touch with how things actually work (look at a professor teaching entrepreneurship without ever having started a company) and outdated content are some ways to keep learners pointlessly busy instead of helping them improve their skills.
The wonderful thing about online learning is that it is not location dependent, so you can get access to excellent teachers located in all corners of the world. Suddenly, your employees have worldwide experts right at their fingertips, instead of being limited to the instructors located in their area.
5. Interaction & collaboration
The training should encourage collaboration and offer plenty of interaction opportunities.
Working from home can feel lonely sometimes. However, far from exacerbating the isolating effects of remote work, virtual learning can be an interesting way to mitigate them. Look at the training needs and identify outcomes that would be improved by collaboration. Look for a learning program that encourages collaboration (such as workshops or group courses) or design a learning plan that uses team-based learning goals.
Learning apps and virtual courses tend to lack interaction –especially human interaction. This deficit can be alleviated by integrating omre active learning events, such as live discussions, videocalls, role-playing, problem-solving, or Zoom polls.
Tip: Many skills necessary for the workplace, such as debating, speaking up in meetings, or negotiating, require more than one person to take place. Make the most of these situations! Instead of teaching individuals in isolation, bring them together in a single virtual classroom and encourage collaboration.
6. Easy learning management
The training should be simple enough to manage.
A program that is rolled out within an organization is only as good as how well it is managed. If you are in charge of an employee learning program, keeping track of the different sessions can become a real burden. Especially if the system you’re using to manage it is not designed for it. Look for a platform (a generic LMS or a custom built tool) that allows you to easily handle all the logistics and gives you a clear picture of how things are going.
Compared to in-person training, the advantage of virtual courses is that you don’t need to report what’s happening offline. The system records exactly what happens, in real time.
With the Talaera Platform, managers get access to a convenient Team Dashboard. From there, they can onboard new team members, see how many programs they purchased and to whom they allocated them, observe how many sessions have been booked, missed, and completed and what teams are working on, and download instant reports.
Talaera Team Dashboard - Team Manager Oversight
What are the advantages of remote learning?
The effectiveness of a remote learning program –or e-training– will be based on a number of factors. If the elements mentioned above are thoughtfully considered and effectively applied, the advantages of e-training versus in-person training can be enormous. Let’s look at 9 solid reasons to say yes to remote learning.
- 1. Offer more flexible options that adapt to different lifestyles
- 2. Cultivate inclusion by offering training to all your global employees
- 3. Enhance capabilities and leverage cutting-edge technology to adapt the training to different learning styles
- 4. Ensure more effective learning by providing tailored training
- 5. Easily manage training from one place
- 6. Keep employees motivated and engaged by using real-life resources and matching them with a teacher they connect with
- 7. Create an all-encompassing learning environment, where everything happens on one platform
- 8. Get higher ROI with remote training –you’ll be able to save on materials, office supplies, facilities, and teacher transportation costs.
- 9. Virtual training is a safer option during difficult situations, such as a pandemic or geopolitical crisis.
Business English Training for Global Teams
Help your teams communicate better in a gobal business environment with remote learning. At Talaera, we work hand-in-hand with managers to assess and identify skills gaps and to create personalized programs just for them. Contact us and we will help you find the right program for your teams. Explore our programs.
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