The use of the virtual classroom and those participating depends on the instruction topic and level of the learners. Although there are advantages with virtual training there are also disadvantages. If the course is self-paced, fully instructor led, or partial individual instruction.
Looking at some of the challenges faced with virtual training and how different learning styles are presented can become larger issues later. Virtual training reduces the impact of non-verbal cues. Facial frustration, comfort level of asking questions, and the simple look on the learners’ face which in a classroom setting signals the instructor to change the approach of engagement. These non-verbal cues enable the instructor to make the adjustments and change the pace of instruction. Another disadvantage in virtual training is the lack of participation and focus from the learner. Learners who take manual notes may find virtual training challenging and at a faster pace. Again, this is an advantage to the instructor while presenting in person. Instructors can physically see the learner is not ready for the next level of instruction and pause in their instruction.
Since learners learn in a variety of different styles, the transformation of information becomes more challenging. The ability to write on a white board, or white paper is no longer there helping or guiding the visual/hands on learners. Distraction in the virtual training is another challenge. While in the comfort levels of home, the learners can easily become distracted with phones, knocks on the door, animals, going to grab a snack in the kitchen, along with others in the home working or performing online education. While in person learning reduces the number of distractions and can be controlled by the instructor in a more efficient way.
To effectively turn around the disadvantages to advantages, the instructor needs to become more creative in their delivery. Increase the amount participation in the form of exercises, group discussions, message boards, assessments, and creating a professional connection with the learners from day one.