It’s Time to Embrace Remote Training The COVID-19 crisis has challenged all of us in many unexpected ways. For our team at NextUp Solutions, we challenged ourselves to pivot from in-person training courses to a 100% remote training platform to continue serving our students. We jumped into virtual training with both feet and hoped that […]
The COVID-19 crisis has challenged all of us in many unexpected ways. For our team at NextUp Solutions, we challenged ourselves to pivot from in-person training courses to a 100% remote training platform to continue serving our students. We jumped into virtual training with both feet and hoped that our students would adapt to this change with us. After all, one of the Agile manifesto’s founding principles is that “Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.”
Well, the first results of fully remote training are in, and they’re surprising! Our attendees unanimously report that our online training goes way beyond sufficient and is refreshingly engaging. And that engagement occurred in many ways that we didn’t expect. Check out these surprises:
An in-person class can be intimidating to everyone on some level, but for some people, the intimidation of being in a new place with strangers and a teacher learning about an unfamiliar subject, can be paralyzing. Online learning removes or reduces many of those threats. We’ve witnessed an uptick in overall engagement within the online environment, and the number of non-participators has dropped dramatically. It seems everyone wants to say something in an online training environment, which makes it much easier for our instructors to ensure everyone is learning at the same pace.
What’s the old school go-to breakout group division? Proximity. Instructors typically assign discussions or activities to specific tables. So, in a live training session, who you sit with becomes your team, often for many activities. And, sociologically, we almost always sit in the same place on subsequent training days. This doesn’t happen in online training sessions! Breakout teams can be assigned randomly or in lots of different ways, so you get to work with varied classmates across many activities. For this and other reasons, the camaraderie amongst online students seems to be more class-wide than in live classes. It’s a great networking opportunity to boot.
In a live environment, louder teams can be disruptive to others. However, it’s always nice to see a team bonding and enjoying the activity, so it can be hard for the instructor to rein them in. Once again, this is where the online environment shines: teams complete breakout activities in complete isolation from one another, giving them the freedom to develop their own sub-culture, even at high volume, if they wish.
Every student can chat privately with the instructor or “raise their hand” without being intimidated by others. All classes have an online proctor providing support in addition to the instructor who monitors their private-chat thread. This is yet another aspect of online learning that can’t be easily achieved in a live learning environment. If a student is confused or has a concern to raise, the online private chat is a discreet way to relay it.
This is the most enduring improvement over live training. A functional class community always develops, whether the training is online or in-person. We pride ourselves on delivering learning experiences that endure far beyond the class. After all, that’s the measure of effective training. One way to reinforce the learning is for the classmates to remain in contact, enabling a forum for questions about Agile in practice and group accountability. With live learning, it’s sometimes difficult to transition face-to-face relationships to email or other electronic means. Here’s where online learning comes to the rescue: students are already comfortable interacting with one another electronically, so it’s natural for the connections to endure and deepen over the same medium after class.
On its face, remote learning seems like an uncertain second choice to the face-to-face experience of a physical classroom. That’s probably because the vast majority of us experienced most of our formal education in classrooms: it’s the shared heritage of our education system. That paradigm has been shattered, but we’ve been given the opportunity to experience learning in an entirely new (for most of us) way, one that offers refreshing, comfortable, and most of all, illuminating results.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up your comfiest chair, and revolutionize the way you work by adopting an Agile mindset and joining our virtual training community.