Virtual communication, is when people communicate without being face-to-face. An example of its usage is in training sessions, i.e., e-learning. Instructors can communicate and provide lessons from anywhere and anytime, as long as they (and the audience) have the right tools.
The trainer needs to first know:
- Who is the audience?
- How do we virtually connect?
- What tools are required by the trainer and user?
- Is there a process in place for ensuring that all communication standards are met?
- How will files be exchanged?
- Does the documentation meet the training objective?
- How do we easily transfer the knowledge?
- Was the language used suitable, appropriate and understandable within any culture?
- How do we ensure that the correct knowledge was transferred?
The cloud and mobile devices will help the trainer (and the user) by providing quick and easy access to documentation and training. With easier access to learning and communicating, everyone has a means and an opportunity to be more efficient. The cloud makes it easier for the trainer by providing and maintaining the training sessions, and the mobile devices allow for easier and faster communication between the trainer and user.
To know if the virtual training and communication will be effective, the following questions below should be answered with a ‘yes’:
- Did the virtual training and documentation meet its purpose and goals?
- Did we follow existing processes and standards for communicating?
- Did we provide appropriate and beneficial information through slides, videos, and presentations?
- Did we use the best and the right tools (and formats) to produce the documentation and training program?
- Did we ensure that everyone (provider and user) will be utilizing the same communication tools?
- Did we allow users to access a demo? It would be beneficial for the user to have access to a demo even if it is for a limited time so that they can become more familiar with the product, subject, service, app, etc.
- Did we provide a prototype that the users can try it out?
- Did we provide a means for users to review the training session?
Regarding the documentation (or downloaded files), ask:
- Was the work reviewed and approved?
- Were the documents tested for accuracy (by individuals, department, and project)?
- Is there a schema where all training documents as well as presentations and videos kept?
- Is there a methodology (or an existing content management system) that exists to help us stay organized?
- Will the users be able to download essential files?
Regarding collecting user feedback, ensure that:
- the processes are set up to get feedback from users (clients, developers, SMEs, customer service, etc.)
- the audience was questioned to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the virtual presentation, such as was too much or too little information presented.
Virtual communication (as well as video communication, web conferencing, etc.), are very popular and beneficial, and are used by many organizations and institutions to provide the information they want to share, teach, market, etc.
What are your thoughts and experiences on virtual communication?