As remote working became the norm for many workers, so did virtual learning. In March 2020, L&D departments had to pivot their learning strategies overnight. Some were already well-versed in distance and digital learning. Others had never attempted it before. L&D professionals learned a lot from that experience, and so did we. So this guide is a collection of our favorite resources—ebooks, webinars, blogs, and articles—to help you prepare, design, and develop your own virtual learning content and strategy.
Virtual learning has been an important part of learning strategies for a long time. Like many areas of learning, the pandemic and sudden shifts in working locations merely exacerbated the need for it. This short guide full of useful resources is here to help you navigate a range of elements of virtual learning, from content and design through to engagement and strategy.
You’ll find links to resources from GP Strategies and a whole bunch of research we’ve found useful on our own journey with virtual learning.
To help keep things simple, we’ve split this guide up into the following sections:
- Animation, and creating for virtual learning content
- Designing and facilitating virtual workshops and classrooms
- Building and maintaining engagement in virtual learning
- Adapting and developing virtual learning strategies
- External research
1) Distance and Virtual Learning Content
When you think of virtual learning, you may go straight to virtual classrooms. And while they are a big part of a virtual learning strategy, there’s a lot more to it than that. For example, animation and video content can be great additions to virtual learning. These resources can help you with creating learning content for virtual learning, both professionally and remotely.
2) Virtual Workshops and Classrooms
When remote working first became widespread across the world, virtual classrooms and webinars were the go-to delivery for internal training that was previously conducted in person. We’ve worked with a wide range of customers to help them transform their virtual learning efforts and have created a lot of resources specific to workshops and classrooms.
These resources draw on the expertise of L&D professionals across a range of industries, a model for understanding virtual learners (check out the final webinar from the list!), and commentary on industry research.
- ARTICLE | How to Run Successful Virtual Classrooms: 10 Tips for Virtual Training
- ARTICLE | Virtual Learning Delivery Tips: L&D Professionals Reveal What’s Working
- ARTICLE| Reflections on Fosway’s 2021 Report on the Power of Virtual Classrooms
- WEBINAR RECORDING | Going Virtual: The Next Steps in Engaging Online Together
- CHECKLIST | 12 Ways to Design Virtual-First Learning
- WEBINAR RECORDING | Going Virtual: What’s Working?
- WEBINAR RECORDING | Virtual Learning Journeys: A Focus on the Emerging Learner
3) Designing Engaging Virtual Learning
Once you understand what goes into designing effective virtual learning journeys, whether the delivery is live or asynchronous, the next vital step is to boost engagement. Learning at a distance without your peers can bring new challenges when it comes to maintaining interest and engagement, so these resources are here to help you understand how to get through to your learners at a distance and maintain their focus.
- ARTICLE | Virtual Instructor-Led Training: Best Practices to Elevate Virtual Learning Delivery
- ARTICLE | Distance Learning: 5 Ways to Keep Engaging Your Audience
- ARTICLE | 5 Ways to Build Trust and Engagement in a Virtual Workshop Setting
- WEBINAR RECORDING | Virtual Learning Journeys: Engaging With Learners at a Distance
- ARTICLE | How to Design a Distance-Friendly Blended Learning Experience
- ARTICLE | Embracing the Power of Scenarios in a Virtual Learning Journey
4) Advice and Virtual Learning Strategy
Our final section is a little broader. Here, we’ve included a series of resources that discuss the theme of virtual learning more generally. However, we think these blogs are still really useful and wanted to make sure we included them. Our experts talk strategy, ask questions, and use what we learned during the pandemic to look to the future of virtual learning.
- ARTICLE | Zoom Fatigue: 4 Ways L&D is Adapting Learning Delivery During Lockdown
- ARTICLE | 3 Key Mindset Shifts for L&D Capabilities in 2021
5) External Research
As well as learning from our clients, we’ve spent a lot of time reading and researching to create the resources above. Here are a few of our favorite pieces we’ve drawn on over the years.
- FOSWAY REPORT | The Power of Virtual Classrooms in a Post-Pandemic World
- HARVARD BUSINESS PUBLISHING eBOOK | Harnessing the Power of Virtual Learning
- HARVARD BUSINESS PUBLISHING ARTICLE | Keep Your People Learning When You Go Virtual
- MCKINSEY & CO ARTICLE | Everyone Is Within Learning Distance: Building Skills Remotely
Ready to take your next steps in the world of virtual learning? Or perhaps you have some questions? Get in touch with one of our experts.