In this article, we will learn about the advantages of e-Learning, also known as “Virtual Classroom” to our company when it comes to training our HR, our sales force or transmitting knowledge to those who will be responsible for selling and / or install our products, avoiding the need to organize and solve transfers that consume time and money.
What is a virtual classroom”?
According to Wikipedia:
The e-learning platform, virtual classroom or Learning Management System (LMS) is a virtual learning space aimed at facilitating the distance training experience, both for companies and for educational institutions.
That is to say: an elearning is a website, where each student enters and finds different courses in which he can sign up and then follow at his own pace, from home, without having to travel to a training center or to the company.
How does it work?
The courses that are taught consist of lessons organized within units, just as in “traditional” education.
Each of these lessons can contain texts, explanatory videos, diagrams, graphs and everything we deem necessary to transmit knowledge effectively.
Usually, at the end of each unit and at the end of each course, an exam is included to verify the knowledge acquired. These are usually “multiple-choice”, which enables the virtual classroom system itself to review the exam and grant the corresponding grade.
Once the exam is approved, you can move on to the following units and continue advancing with the course.
In the end, the system can grant an online certificate, which the student can download, print and, if desired, frame;)
What if the students have doubts?
During the entire course of study, each study group has one or several tutors assigned to clarify the doubts, although students are encouraged to raise these doubts in the Discussion Forums that are enabled for this purpose, so that knowledge is shared as widely as possible.
The students are never alone: they have their tutors and their classmates to clarify their doubts and move forward.
How does my company benefit?
In addition to the elimination of the need to physically move, which undoubtedly saves time and money, some of the main advantages are the following:
- The student can acquire knowledge at his own pace, when it suits him best. It can be, for example, on Friday afternoons or on Saturday mornings, before closing the week, every day early, in the morning … it is not necessary to adjust to any schedule.
- By completing the course, students have direct access and keep their notes and data, so you can go back to them at any time. You can never forget anything. It is good practice, too, that once the course is finished, the Forums are also open so that the students continue to be nourished by subsequent debates.
- Being in electronic format, the information is easily updatable, expandable and improvable. We can even place an expiration date in each course, making sure that once the limit is reached, an alarm is triggered to the author of the course, warning him to review it.
- Both during and after the completion of the courses, digital communication channels are opened between the different HR, distributors, installers and / or sellers of our product, making sure we have agile communication tools, according to today’s times.
- The same system can also have databases of files, documents, plans, explanations of processes, etc., which will be neatly arranged and easily found through an internal search engine.
- This system can also have an internal communication blog, which ensures that all information reaches HR, distributors, suppliers and opinion makers in a simple, economical and efficient way.
My company is a SME, does something like that work for me?
This type of virtual classroom is especially useful for companies or institutions that:
- Have a physical presence in several geographical points.
- Count on distributors in several cities, provinces and / or countries.
- They need to train installers or technical services for their products.
- They must constantly update / improve processes and communicate them to their HR or different stakeholders.
- They benefit from having a “library” of shared knowledge that allows them to access them quickly and efficiently.
No matter the size of the company, what must always be weighed is the benefit that the adoption of any new process brings and assess whether the change is worthwhile.
When some of the conditions described above are met, it is extremely important for companies to have the capacity to train their members, both internal and external, about their processes, techniques, etc. in a fast, efficient and economic way.
This will avoid losses of time, travel and will also open direct and instantaneous communication channels between the individuals that compose it, accelerating daily communication and making our response capacity more efficient to the always challenging market of today.
FAO Guide on eLearning Methodologies (PDF)
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