Virtual Learning Environment
Organizations have begun to catch on to the benefits of online learning: little to no travel costs, scalability of the training, and flexibility for trainers and learners alike. All it takes is a great virtual learning environment to deliver content to learners anywhere, anytime.
Most virtual learning environments allow instructional designers and trainers to:
- Create, store, and deliver learning materials.
- Plan lessons, assessments, and allow learners to personalize their learning environment.
- Access to learner information, including progress tracking and reporting of scores.
- Create opportunities for collaboration and communication via email, notes, chats, wikis, and blogs.
Virtual learning environments work well if they are designed to run well. A virtual learning environment stuffed with content will not be a useful tool. The collaboration and communication tools have to be incorporated into the lessons in a meaningful way. This takes time and planning on the part of an instructional designer. This effort may be seen as a disadvantage; however, once the training is developed, it is easy to replicate.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Virtual Learning Environment
Virtual learning environments are an easy way to deliver materials; however, without proper planning, they can become a dumping ground. For example, an instructional designer takes their PowerPoint presentations for face-to-face training and uploads them into the virtual learning environment without converting them into an online format. This leaves a lot to be desired for learners. Instructional designers and trainers need to pay attention to the materials they upload and how the users will interact with them. Face-to-face training materials can be leveraged to create online training materials. However, they can rarely be used the way they are.
Employees and trainers will enjoy being able to access training materials from anywhere and, sometimes, even from their mobile phones. This flexibility gives trainers the ability to provide training to many employees without having to worry about the facility or personnel scheduling. This brings up a new issue, though – network connections. The inconsistency in network connections is one drawback to relying on virtual learning environments. Some organizations may not have the proper infrastructure to support many employees and trainers on the virtual platform at once.
Self-directed learners will like the autonomy of online education. Others may find that they are confused by the navigation or lack of facilitator. Independent or facilitated virtual learning requires that learners have the right guidance throughout the process. In an independent learning format, instructional designers need to make sure that instructions are clear, concise, and easy to locate. In a facilitated virtual learning format, trainers should make sure that learners are staying on task and are not distracted by the format. Engage learners with interactive learning content and chances to collaborate with others.
Use Mindflash for your Virtual Learning Environment
Request a demonstration of the Mindflash platform. See for yourself how easy the Mindflash LMS is to use.