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My adventure in the world of virtual learning

My adventure in the world of virtual learning

18th May, 2021

The traditional concept of education has changed radically over the past years, and this change has taken hold over the past months, especially with the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic. Physical presence is no longer the only learning option considering the difficulty of meeting face to face; thus, it was gradually replaced by virtual learning, which soon became an inevitable reality. In the beginning, I looked at this reality as a painful experience. Is it possible that my current job as a proud consultant who masters the face-to-face learning methods and used to have crowded courses is about to vanish? With the first weeks of home quarantine, I found myself forced to heed to the virtual learning experience; part of me wanted to accept it and cope with this global trend, however, my other part was forcibly stepping towards this unknown experience.

If we look at the educational opportunities and resources around us at present, we will find that anyone can obtain learning at any time and place if he or she possesses a device connected to the Internet. Ladies and gentlemen, we have entered a new kind of revolution, which is called the "online learning revolution". Despite my recognition of this new era, I initially held some doubts about its effectiveness. It is certainly difficult for me to simply get rid of the practices that I have become accustomed to. Moving to a 100% virtual learning will mean that I will not be able to see my trainees, shake their hands, have coffee with them, and exchange all kinds of conversations. However, my curiosity was the trigger that pushed me to enter the adventure of teaching and learning in the virtual world. Here I was a student at times and a teacher at other times, yet I learned a lot, was able to share my experiences and knowledge with others, reached faraway countries that I could not reach, and communicated with people of different races and nationalities while comfortable at home.

I admit that I have benefited a lot from this rich experience where I gave and received a lot of advice. Hence, I will be generous and share with you what I have learned from this trip in the next few lines.

Diversity:

Virtual learning is characterized by diversity. Thus, with one click you can open doors to immense knowledge. Whatever your request is, you will find it for sure. Whether you want to study music or cookery, you will simply have what you hoped for.

Flexibility:

Virtual learning has high flexibility that meets most of your needs. This flexibility of content is also available when it comes to your wish to shorten the time you want to spend to acquire the needed learning. One of the most significant advantages of online training is the time you get back on your schedule since no travel is needed and no more long face-to-face days. Virtual learning allows you to acquire knowledge from anywhere in the world without spending huge amounts of money. With the right technology, platforms, and tools the road to the world of "wonders" becomes possible and reasonable. In a nutshell, you can learn whatever you want through a customized bite-sized manner.

Convenience:

By reaching this varied world you will find trainers that are keen to provide what suits you according to your requirements, level, and abilities. The virtual learning platform is full of what satisfies your knowledge needs with various educational resources and materials for learning such as videos, pictures, electronic books, virtual forums, online discussions, and lectures all designed to meet your specific needs and to make sure you come out completely satisfied from this unique experience.

Easy to track and measure

Virtual learning provides you with great and effortless understandings through dashboards reporting. Therefore, you can assess and track your training results and manage your learning plans. Tracking your training or the training related to your employees is so easy with the presence of virtual learning and learning management systems (LMS). Consequently, you can reduce compliance-related issues while tracking the right metrics such as training completion rates, pass/fail rates, and pre/post training survey results.

These are just some of the thoughts that stuck in my memory; the rest is saved on my computer’s desktop or the cloud of my smart devices and I will be glad to share it with you, dear readers, at any time and through any channel you want. However, I insist that direct education has advantages that virtual learning will not be able to match despite its many and varied options, as distance education will not be suitable for those who belong to the following categories:

  • - Those who cannot focus while left alone because they get distracted quickly.
  • - Those who would like to have hands-on experiences and workshops.
  • - Those who consider themselves social and relate with others in group discussions.
  • - Those who enjoy learning face-to-face and love analyzing body language.

But until now I have not disclosed the great treasure that the inhabitant of the magic "lantern" offered me when I returned from my adventure when I asked him about the best choice between virtual learning and traditional learning. The Genie was confused when I asked my question and requested me to allow him to return from where he came, answering my question in a low voice: "My dear, direct learning has a long history along with many clear and proven advantages similar to a famous sailboat, while online learning is fast and flexible like speed boats, but both need a skilled captain to reach the wanted destination."

About the Author
Charles J. Tawk

Partner

Mr. Charles Tawk is a Partner with Meirc Training & Consulting. He is the author of Scattered Thoughts for Business and Life (First Edition 2022, ISBN 978-0-578-33268-0). Charles holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Lebanese University, a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management and Training from the University of Leicester in the UK, and a Master of Applied Business Research from the Swiss Business School where he is currently completing his doctorate in business administration. In addition, Charles is a senior certified professional by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP), a certified training practitioner (CTP) from the Institute of Performance and Learning, and an Associate Certified Experts Career Coach (ACECC). He is certified in occupational health and safety from Nebosh, and a registered organization development consultant (RODC) with the International Society for Organization Development and Change (ISODC).

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