Transforming Virtual Training – The Right Way

A year or so into the pandemic, organizations are still trying to find their way in a world without in-person training. Despite years of considering a variety of digital approaches, few companies were prepared to train a remote workforce that could not meet face-to-face. 

In the initial weeks following the inception of stay-at-home orders, most companies turned to what they thought were the closest digital equivalents to in-person, instructor-led sessions. At the beginning of April 2020, nearly 90% of companies said they switched to webinars and 70% used virtual instructor-led sessions. By July, the percentage of companies using VILT as a replacement for ILT dropped by 40%. What happened?

It turns out that the transition from face-to-face to virtual learning is not as simple as having an available platform. Companies realized that the in-person content did not translate well to the digital space. Additionally, instructors and facilitators who excelled when teaching face-to-face often lacked the unique skill set required in a virtual setting. From the learners’ perspective, many L&D teams failed to consider the engagement and collaboration intrinsic to face-to-face activities, leaving a great void when switching to virtual solutions. Learners became less engaged in the learning and felt disconnected from their peers. Remote learners need a wider variety of options than just an online meeting platform. 

To address these issues, companies need not abandon virtual training. They just need to take a more targeted, strategic approach toward virtual training transformation. When done right, virtual training can be incredibly effective and engaging. 

Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice Platinum Preferred Provider EI Design has been helping organizations transform their training approaches well before the pandemic and are well-positioned to assist organizations finding themselves challenged in this new environment. They offer consulting services to help create high-impact virtual training strategies as well as helping with the rollout of the strategy; assessing the training effectiveness and impact; and upskilling trainers, instructors and facilitators to successfully transition from ILT to VILT or a blended approach. They also help companies put together fully online, self-paced training programs.

Some of the ways they help clients include:

Over the past year, EI Design has released eBooks, webinars and workshop sessions — all aimed at helping L&D leaders navigate the world of training remote workforces and the new workplace dynamics that come with it. They’ve helped many companies adopt new virtual training approaches, including EI Design’s own Next Gen Blended Learning Model, to not only meet the immediate needs of the pandemic environment but also drive the learning’s impact into the future.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit

Become a Brandon Hall Group member!

We are a human capital management research and advisory firm with more than 10,000 clients globally. For over 27 years, we have been delivering research-based solutions that empower excellence in organizations around the world. Our vision is to inspire a better workplace experience. Becoming a Brandon Hall Group member means our team joins your team. Membership provides a host of resources and services and – most importantly — a seasoned team of thought leaders and client support professionals dedicated to your success.

Click here for more information and to sign up for a free trial membership

Click here for information on Brandon Hall Group’s Professional Certification Program

Like what you see? Share with a friend.

Mike Cooke



Stay connected

Get notified for upcoming news subscribing

Related Content

Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.