A virtual training platform is an online platform that provides training and learning experiences to users through a realistic virtual environment. It is a technology-based solution, often hands-on labs, that deliver training and educational content to individuals and organizations online.
Virtual training platforms typically include a variety of features and tools designed to facilitate remote learning, such as cloud-based hands-on labs and virtual simulations. Some platforms also offer customization options that enable trainers and instructors to tailor the training content to specific learning objectives and user needs.
These platforms can be used for a wide range of training purposes, including employee onboarding, sales training, customer training, partner training, and certifications. They are particularly useful for remote or distributed teams, as they enable learners to access training content from anywhere in the world at any time, using just an internet connection and a computer or mobile device. Today, all top businesses are investing highly on IT training labs to educate customers, prospects, and staff about their products.
What is virtual lab-based training?
Virtual lab training refers to the process of educating users online with the help of a virtual hands-on labs. Businesses and organizations generally utilize virtual training labs for training their partners, employees and customers on new product developments and internal workflows. For example, to successfully sell a product, the sales team need to be trained on how to demonstrate the said product efficiently. Training is hence an essential component in the various phases of a product life cycle.
These trainings occur virtually today as online coursework has multiple advantages over traditional classroom training, especially as the training can be offered remotely. Virtual lab training is not just the future of training but is already the practical solution adopted by large corporations with the help of cloud-based labs.
What are the components of a virtual training environment?
Virtual training platforms provides various features that help provide an efficient environment for learning. These include:
- Multiple content type support (e.g., text, images, videos, audios)
- Reports with customization that helps track training status, execution, etc.
- Video conferencing
- Uploading and sharing of files, documents, and presentation
- Digital whiteboards
- LMS integration
Virtual labs often also provide you with an option of opting for self-paced or a synchronous classroom setup according to your company’s needs.
What sets cloud-based virtual training apart from traditional learning methods?
Virtual training platforms have their set of advantages over traditional learning methods that make them the best fit for businesses. These are:
- Convenient and portable learning content: One of the biggest benefits a virtual training platform provides is accessibility. Since all content for the training is available online, participants are free to access coursework or labs from a computer from any location. This is especially useful to businesses with many employees and clients.
- Amendable content: With cloud-based labs, it is easier to update or customize training materials for different scenarios. There will be constant updates to workflow and product information and virtual labs make it much simpler to keep up with these changes.
- Inexpensive prices: Online learning enables everything remotely and helps reduce travel and cuts down on several costs.
- Security: Since the data is stored in the cloud, it is relatively secure and the risk of losing training progress is minimal.
While most virtual training platforms offer these advantages, features often differ from one platform to another. Therefore, choosing a platform adept to your company can be a crucial part of planning virtual training sessions.
What are the factors to be considered before choosing a virtual training platform?
You will need to consider the following factors to determine your requirements out of a virtual training platform:
- Type of training solution – To decide on the type of platform, you need to first decide on the type of training your company is going to offer. Factors such as duration of training, class format, etc. are to be decided.
- Target audience – Audience to be engaged, their technical knowledge and needs are to be recognized.
- Cost – Determine the scale and budget for the training process.
- Course content – Determine the data and features to be included within the training course. The format of content inside the course, assessments and quizzes are to be identified as well.
- Interactivity – Decide on the level of interactivity. Check if you need polls, break-out rooms, live presentations, etc.
- Infrastructure integration – Will you need to integrate features of other systems, such as a learning management system or an LMS?
- Flexibility and control – Determine the level of flexibility and control one should have as an instructor for these training courses.
How to choose a virtual training lab for your needs?
There are so many virtual training platforms out there. So, decide on your needs for your training and answer these questions to find a virtual training lab fit for your company:
- How many users/how much engagement are you expecting? This number might change over time, and it is important to keep in mind the potential users in the future before selecting a platform. Choose a platform that can scale quickly and accommodate your users.
- What are your top priorities? What feature of a virtual training lab do you require the most? Prioritize your needs and choose a platform that offers the best of these features that benefit both instructors and your trainees.
- How tech-heavy should the platform be? Do you need to include physical tech infrastructure during training? Choose the one that is the most asset-light and requires minimal physical on-prem infra.
- Does it automate processes? The platform should reduce management hassles and automates processes like onboarding, cost monitoring, offboarding, assessments, etc.
- Where are the users located? Are the labs completely virtual, or will it be hybrid? Even if all the users are remote, will they need specific-based guidance?