What is "virtual training"? Is it the same thing as virtual learning?
These two terms at first glance seem to have identical meanings but they are not exactly the same thing. They both involve the use of digital technology and online platforms for education and skill development, but they emphasize slightly different aspects of the learning process.
Virtual learning is the broader of the two terms. It encompasses all forms of learning that occur through digital technology and online resources. It includes not only skill-based training but also academic education, personal development, and general knowledge acquisition. Virtual learning can encompass formal education such as online courses and degree programs, as well as informal learning through online resources like articles, videos, and tutorials. While virtual learning can include skill development, it is not limited to this aspect and can cover a wide range of educational content.
Virtual training typically refers to a specific form of online education that focuses on skill development and practical training. It often involves structured courses or programs designed to teach specific skills or tasks. Virtual training may be associated with professional development, vocational training, or job-specific skills training. The emphasis in virtual training is often on hands-on practice, simulations, and the acquisition of practical skills that can be directly applied to a job or task.
“Virtual training" also refers to a method of delivering skill development or practical training through digital technology and online platforms rather than in a traditional physical classroom or training room. It involves using computers, the internet, and various software tools to create a virtual learning environment where participants can access and engage with instructional materials, interact with instructors or facilitators, and collaborate with peers remotely.
Key components of virtual training may include a variety of media and methods.
- Online courses: Virtual training often involves the creation of online courses or modules that cover specific topics or skills. These courses can include multimedia content such as videos, presentations, quizzes, and interactive simulations.
- Webinars and virtual classrooms: Live webinars or virtual classroom sessions that allow instructors to deliver real-time training and interact with participants through video conferencing, chat, and other communication tools.
- Self-paced learning: Many virtual training programs offer self-paced learning options, allowing participants to access course materials and complete assignments at their own convenience.
- Learning Management Systems (LMS): Virtual training is often facilitated through learning management systems, which provide a centralized platform for course administration, content delivery, and assessment.
- Virtual labs and simulations: In fields such as science, engineering, and healthcare, virtual training may include simulations and virtual labs that replicate real-world scenarios for hands-on practice and skill development.
- Collaboration tools: Virtual training platforms often incorporate collaboration: discussion forums, group projects, and social learning features to encourage interaction and peer learning.
- Assessment and feedback: Virtual training programs typically include methods for assessing participants' progress and providing feedback, such as quizzes, assignments, and instructor evaluations.
Virtual training has become increasingly popular due to its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility. It allows individuals to acquire new skills or knowledge from anywhere with an internet connection, making it especially valuable for remote or geographically dispersed learners. Virtual training is used in various contexts, including corporate training, academic education, professional development, and skill enhancement across a wide range of industries.
- Example: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Virtual Training
- Example: Siemens Healthineers Virtual Training by Virtual Training Solutions (Siemens Knowledge Hub)
Virtual training is a subset of virtual learning. It specifically refers to training programs and courses designed to develop practical skills, often with a focus on job-related tasks. Virtual learning, on the other hand, is a broader concept that includes all types of learning experiences facilitated through digital technology, including formal education, personal development, and general knowledge acquisition.