Monday, 25 August 2008

What is Synchronous e-Learning and Web-based Training?

Synchronous e-Learning is live training which is delivered using the internet, and thus is web-based training. The trainer and learner(s) have an audio connection so that they can speak to one another and at the same time they view the same display on their computer screens. The training is similar to face-to-face training in that it can be a combination of presentations, discussion, exercises and case studies. The key difference is that the participants do not need to be in the same location.

MTS offers Synchronous e-Learning as an option for delivery of training. Visit the MTS website to find out more about the currently available courses. Samples of the training materials can be accessed in e-MTS. Please contact us if you have any queries or would like a booking registration form.
There are many advantages to delivering training using synchronous e-Learning. Here are a few examples:

A more effective format for learning
It is known that learning is retained better if it is delivered in short ‘bite-size’ sessions. Synchronous e-Learning is typically delivered using short sessions over a period of time, enabling a steady accumulation of knowledge and skills rather than trying to take it in all at once (e.g. Currently available MTS courses involve 8 sessions of 90 minutes duration. These may be delivered over the course of several days or weeks to suit the elearner). This allows the learner time to assimilate and review what they have learned.

Learning is also more effective if it is delivered at a time when it is needed. If the learning is not implemented immediately it is difficult to retain and may result in re-training at a later date. This is often a particular problem for technical training on, for example, analytical instrumentation and software programmes. The advantage of using Synchronous e-Learning is that it is easy to train individuals or small groups without setting up large training programmes and thus the training can be delivered on a ‘just in time’ basis.

Enables immediate transfer of learning into the workplace
Delivering training using ‘bite-size’ sessions which are staggered over a period of time also has the advantage that the learner can start to apply their new knowledge and skills between training sessions. They can then raise any issues with the trainer at the next session and the discussion generated will help to reinforce the learning. The trainer can therefore support the transfer of learning on an ongoing basis (rather than leaving the learner to work it out on their own at the end of the training). In addition, MTS training courses are supported by the trainer for 6 months after the last date of training.

Impact on the workplace is reduced
Traditional training courses which require learners to be away for a full day or more have an unavoidable impact on the workplace, particularly if several people are being trained at once. With Synchronous e-Learning the impact is reduced since the time away is staggered and is in short intervals. Since no particular facilities are required the learner can attend from their desktop (providing they have an internet enabled computer) thus no costs are incurred in the set up a suitable training room. There are no geographic boundaries when using Synchronous e-Learning to deliver training and learners can therefore take part from any location.

A greener training solution
The delivery of Synchronous e-Learning does not require that the participants travel to take part and therefore it is a green training solution which has a low carbon footprint. This also results in reduced costs for training.

The technical requirements for synchronous e-Learning are simple: a broadband internet connection and a telephone. A week before the starting date of our courses we perform a pre-training technical check to ensure that all connections are working correctly and that any problems are dealt with prior to the commencement of the training.

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