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Virtual Learning: more on the horizon

No one can seriously dispute the inherent benefits of instructors and learners being in the same room. However, virtual learning looks like it will remain prevalent even when in-person training becomes safer.

What changed when the pandemic hit?
Learning Stream polled its customers to get the lay of the pandemic-era landscape. First, the not-too-surprising news: Training programs switched quickly to online learning this year. We asked Learning Stream users how the volume of their virtual offerings changed since the advent of the pandemic. A strong majority (84%) say they are delivering more virtual learning. In fact, more than two-thirds (68%) said they have begun delivering significantly more content virtually since March.

How does 2020 compare to last year?
Training has not stopped in 2020, but it has slowed down for some programs. Forty-two percent (42%) of Learning Stream users who responded to our survey say they are offering about the same amount of training content (in-person and/or virtual) as they did last year. And 22% say they are offering more. On the other end, however, more than a third (37%) say they are delivering less training this year; 21% say their offerings have dropped significantly compared to 2019.

business woman with binocularsLooking ahead
Live virtual training appears to be here to stay as a significant form of learning. We asked Learning Stream users to scan the horizon. When it becomes safer to hold in-person programs, will they continue to deliver more virtual learning, or will they go back to pre-pandemic levels with more in-person training? Nearly a third (32%) say they will deliver significantly more virtual learning than they did before the outbreak. Another 47% say they will offer somewhat more online learning than they did pre-pandemic.

Priorities haven’t changed
The difference is tiny between how Learning Stream customers manage the registration process for in-person or virtual learning. So, we asked them what registration functionality is most important in 2020. The priorities are generally the same as they were in 2019, 2018…

For program administrators, the top three features are:

    1. Report access and management
    2. Online payment capabilities
    3.  Providing learners access to their own histories, including continuing education transcripts and certificatesf

Honorable mention goes to integration with virtual learning platforms like Teams.

For their learners, our customers say the most important features are:

    1. Communication such as reminder emails and texts
    2.  Online payment capabilities
    3. Access to their learning histories

What has been your training program experience in 2020? Please contact us anytime to share your thoughts or pick our brains on registration management software.

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