16 Feb 2021

Remote training in the age of Covid-19


Ten months into the Covid-19 pandemic and we're all very familiar with the challenges that remote working brings. In particular, these challenges have had a significant impact on training. Irregular working hours, unsuitable technologies and geographically isolated staff have seen trainers struggle with:

  • Low levels of engagement
  • Poor accountability
  • Less motivation

So what's the answer? To find out, let's first explore in a bit more detail some of the key issues.

“Is your camera switched on?”

Back in March 2020, we all rushed to adopt the many different video conferencing tools that are on the market. Whilst these are great for catch-ups and meetings, they are less than ideal for training. The nature of a dynamic Zoom call, coupled with shaky residential WiFi, make these disruptive environments that are not conducive to reflective learning.

Self-curated experiences

It's a well established fact that we all learn at different speeds. Simply broadcasting training materials at a team is not an effective model. Learners will quickly switch off if they are struggling to follow what's been delivered. In fact they are increasingly moving towards a self-curated experience, where they choose what they want to learn and at a pace that suits them. This approach enables a far more flexible and inclusive learning environment.

It's time for learning

The pandemic has had a significant effect on the working day. The absence of a fixed commute, alongside new commitments such as supporting home learning, have led to the need for many to work less conventional hours. This has undoubtedly impacted training schedules.

For training to be successful, it needs to be able to adapt to this sea-change. Rather than delivering fixed, traditional times for training, organisations need to learn to adapt. By providing training that can be accessed at any time, managers are meeting the needs of their staff. Especially useful if you are not also trying to help with children's spellings and times tables.

Becoming more accountable

Accountability across remote teams is undoubtedly a challenge. The same can certainly be said for staff training. It's too easy to mute yourself and then carry on doing some other work, while the trainer or manager reads out a 50 slide presentation. This is an even more acute issue in a session with more than 10 people, as each participant feels invisible to the trainer (and often they are).

Targeted training always encourages users to be more engaged. By giving users and managers a means to monitor progress, through a set of resources, is a far more effective way to provide remote training.

Meet ReelPlatform

As we have seen, online training has been critical in helping remote teams gel and progress during the pandemic. However, the issues we've explored illustrate that simply shoe-horning learning onto platforms not designed for this purpose simply won't cut the mustard. Neither is expecting training to be delivered within traditional working hours.

Organisations need a platform that provides access to dynamic, engaging content that enables reflective learning to take place. It needs to accommodate different learning styles and provide accountability.

With ReelPlatform, we feel we have the answer. ReelPlatform is an online training site that uses video content to deliver training. It's a flexible environment that enables organisations to invite staff to watch pre-created courses, or to curate their own playlists. This approach enables learners to view content at their own pace, as and when they're able. This flexibility means that staff can fit their training around other commitments and are therefore much more inclined to learn.

ReelPlatform is a secure environment which requires staff to login to access training. This has two benefits for an organisation. Firstly, there are no concerns around content being accessed by the general public, or users battling through distracting ads as per YouTube. Secondly, an organisation can monitor what each member of staff has been watching. This greatly improves accountability.

The takeaway

So for us, online learning is a remarkable opportunity. The pandemic has accelerated this sector immeasurably. But, the rushed switch to online has not been a smooth experience for all. Organisations should not simply see the use of digital as ticking a box, but truly embrace both the potential of online learning and the current needs of the ‘new normal'. Only then will the learning revolution truly commence.

If you are interested in finding out more about ReelPlatform, then do get in touch.

Robbie Beak