In a Remote World, Bring the Classroom to the Learners

Over the last two years, Zoom has become a ubiquitous presence for meetings, collaborations, interviews and any other situation where people need to connect in real-time. For many companies, it is where they dumped all the in-person classroom training they could no longer do in-person. And as strong as it has been as a meeting tool throughout the pandemic, Zoom was never really designed to be a virtual classroom.

The biggest challenge with adopting classroom-specific technology is that it presented yet another platform for employees to adjust to amid an almost entirely virtual work life. Every aspect of the employee experience now came with some virtual/digital component that people had to figure out, which presented a growing taxation of the time available to do their actual jobs.

Brandon Hall Group Preferred Provider Class Technologies allows companies to build virtual classrooms in an entirely familiar environment. Class takes Zoom as a foundation and builds out virtual classrooms with all of the features and functionality required for a truly engaging, immersive experience. Employees do not need to master an entirely new interface to engage in their learning programs nor do they need to jump in and out of multiple platforms to get learning done.

Instructors can build breakout rooms, practice sessions, one-on-ones and more, all within Zoom. One of the standout features is that an instructor or facilitator can jump in to help individual people who get stuck along the way, rather than halt the entire class. This is invaluable in onboarding when people may all bring different levels of knowledge and expertise. Additionally, learners can access course content, job aids and more from within the Class environment. There is no need to jump out of a Zoom call to interact with relevant material.

There is, of course, recording functionality which is helpful in train-the-trainer scenarios, but Class also added auto-transcription as well as note-taking. Now, learners and instructors can find precisely when something was discussed and see any notes that were added along the way.

In the early days of the pandemic, there was a rash of “Zoom bombing,” where unauthorized people would crash into meetings. On top of Zoom’s updated permissions, Class has made it so instructors can designate special permissions to assistants who are helping them to either proctor or set up and run the session. They can also authorize people to get into breakout rooms, see content and participate in the sessions. It expands the meeting protections to various classroom scenarios.

As organizations slowly begin to bring back in-person learning, Zoom meetings and classes will remain a staple. L&D teams can prepare learners for ILT by building preparatory sessions in Class to lay the foundation for what will be explored in person. 

David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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David Wentworth