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Virtual learning

  • Learn at home, office, or anywhere you have an internet connection with Virtual Learning

    08 January 2013

    Finding space for additional training and/or learning can be difficult, but the benefits of further expertise are invaluable. People are now busier than ever before and need quick and easy access to quality teaching. Because of this, we are beginning to see an upward trend in the uptake of Virtual Learning courses.

    Virtual Learning allows the participant to be fully involved in the classroom environment without the necessity of physically being in the classroom itself. If you have an internet connection, you can be ‘in-class’ wherever you want to be. It ensures that all students have an equal learning experience - everyone is provided with exactly the same support, content and official materials. Each student is also able to privately contact the course tutor to replicate a traditional, ‘in class’ course as closely as possible.

    In some instances, a virtual learning environment is used in conjunction with a physical classroom, offering students the opportunity to attend the course in person. This flexible approach means that the student has as much control as possible over their own learning and loses out on nothing when compared to a traditionally taught, classroom-based course.

    If you want to take advantage of the flexibility and versatility of Virtual Learning to further your own, or your staff’s, knowledge and expertise, we are now offering several Virtual Learning courses at Total Training Solutions. To find out more about what Virtual Learning could do for you, call us at 0800 612 1299 or email any questions to info@tts-uk.com.

  • Save time and money by avoiding travel and accommodation charges with Virtual Learning

    17 January 2013

     As we saw last week, Virtual Learning is a way for you to improve your skill set and enhance your career prospects over the internet. This is especially beneficial when rising transport and accommodation costs are proving prohibitive to accessing traditional classroom learning.

    As we begin the new year, we are once again faced with above-inflation increases to rail fares and expect increases in fuel prices over the coming months. With accommodation price rises also showing no sign of stopping, even a short-period training course can easily cost more than the price of the course itself. Additionally, the inconvenience of the time taken to travel to, and attend, training courses is often as big a commitment to make as the money involved. The benefits of further training should not, however, be underestimated. This is where Virtual Learning fits in.

    Being able to connect to a virtual learning environment from anywhere in the world means that students can avoid any additional expenditure and get the most value for their money. As long as you have an internet connection, you can be 'in-class' with Virtual Learning, getting exactly the same experience as students who can attend in person. There are no 'hidden' fees, and time isn't wasted in physically attending a course. Students get quality learning with no drawbacks.

    If you want to improve your skills, but can't commit the time or money, then Virtual Learning may be for you. At Total Training Solutions we offer several Virtual Learning courses, including ITIL, PRINCE2 and VMware, to ensure that you can get the learning that you require without having to sacrifice time and money you can’t afford. To find out how Virtual Learning can fit around you, call us on 0800 612 1299 or email any questions to info@tts-uk.com.

  • Virtual Learning - Same expert instructors as our ‘classic’ classroom training

    24 January 2013

    With the option of studying in your own time to fit around other life pressures, it is a common conception that virtual learning also means independent learning. Whilst flexibility and choice still play an important role in any virtual learning environment, technological advancements mean remote students can achieve more intelligent and interactive learning via a real, live classroom.

    Key to any successful virtual course is the in-class experience. With this in mind many providers now deliver exactly the same content to remote delegates by allowing them to log-in to a live class. By giving them access to a browser-based interface, the virtual learner can see and hear the tutor and classroom students and have the ability to communicate with them in real-time.

    The intuitive interface changes as the learning session progresses so that the virtual learner is kept just as up-to-date as the in-class students. If the tutor is using supporting slides or an interactive whiteboard, the interface is synced with this to ensure the remote delegate is viewing the same part of the presentation as those in the physical classroom. Furthermore, the interface allows the tutor to address a virtual individual via a simple private call function to ensure they get the support and assistance required.

    Attention to a quality learning experience is further ensured by restricting the delegate class size. It may be tempting to allow dozens and even hundreds of remote delegates to ‘attend’ and interact with a live class but here is where standards can slip. This is carefully controlled and total class sizes remain the same as that of a classic instructor-led course.

    Other developments in virtual learning technology mean all delegates, physical or remote, are provided with dedicated learning labs for quality ‘hands-on’ experience.

    If you are interested in virtual learning and discovering more about the benefits the latest technology can bring to the remote learning experience, please get in touch with Total Training Solutions. Browse our course directory to look at our range of Virtual Learning courses. Call 0800 612 1299 or email info@tts-uk.com with any questions or to make a booking.

  • Effective and interactive learning for employees across multiple locations

    31 January 2013

    One of the most important aspects of any form of learning is interactivity. Speaking to course instructors and other students can often be a great way to consolidate your learning and enrich your experience and understanding of a particular subject. People have therefore expressed concern over Virtual Learning because they assume that a great deal of interactivity is taken away from the learning process. In fact, Virtual Learning emphasises interactivity and allows people from all over the world to connect with one another.

    Virtual Learning courses incorporate the technology to allow every student to interact with fellow students as well as the course leader through VoIP and online chat technology. This means that the Virtual Learning experience can be just as beneficial as a classic classroom environment, while also removing the limitations caused by the need for a physical location. Not only is interaction part of the Virtual Learning process, but people are able to connect with others from around the world, not just those who are able to attend the class.

    In addition to being able to interact with one another, students can complete hands-on tasks in the Virtual Learning environment through online tools. Once again emphasising the capabilities of Virtual Learning. You no longer need to be in a classroom to complete individual or group-based class tasks, Virtual Learning can provide students with all the resources required to complete such activities while sat at home, at work or in a Wi-Fi zone.

    So, for those who are sceptical of the interactive nature of Virtual Learning, with the technology being used today, it is possible to be just as interactive online as it is offline.

    If you are interested in virtual learning and discovering more about the benefits the latest technology can bring to the remote learning experience, please get in touch with Total Training Solutions. Browse our course directory to look at our range of Virtual Learning courses. Call 0800 612 1299 or email info@tts-uk.com with any questions or to make a booking.

  • The different types of learning

    02 May 2014

    Total Training Solutions use a variety of learning techniques, offering flexibility for our customers and an assurance that you can achieve your new certification in a way that is convenient and effective for you. There are four main styles of learning offered by Total Training Solutions, however due to the fact that digital learning is still very much in its early stages, the lines between these different styles of learning can still be somewhat blurred...

    Classroom: This is the most simple and straightforward mode of learning. It takes place in a classroom or centre and most closely resembles a traditional mode of learning. Total Training Solutions have over 800 trainers and 37 training centres throughout the UK, so you will never be more than a short drive away from your nearest classroom learning facility.

    Virtual: Virtual learning is where the use of IT plays a key part. Virtual learning is similar to classroom learning in that a teacher conducts a class with students, however with virtual learning, no face-to-face contact is required. Instead, the class is taught via a computer. Virtual learning has all the same benefits as classroom learning, but is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

    Online: Online learning is similar to virtual learning, although it is less instructor-led. Where virtual classes are scheduled like a regular class, online classes allow students to create their own schedule. This allows for learning at the student’s own speed, and is often used for training large groups. Online courses are also often cheaper as they do not require the expense of a tutor or instructor.

    Blended: As its name suggests, blended learning is a combination of traditional classroom learning and virtual or online learning. These courses are perfect for those who benefit from face-to-face contact with teachers, however do not have the time or the means to attend entirely classroom-based courses. Blended courses may also use a combination of assessment techniques, such as exams to complete electronically, coupled with essays handed in to a tutor or instructor.

    Over the next four weeks, we will be talking you through each type of learning style, and explaining its benefits and drawbacks. Until then, you can find more information about the virtual courses we offer, or if you are curious about how a specific course is taught, you can send us a message through our contact form. You can also feel free to call us on 0800 612 1299 with any other enquiries.

  • The benefits of virtual learning

    15 May 2014

    Using the latest technologies, virtual learning allows students to electronically join an instructor led classroom and interact with the other students and instructors as if they were there. These classes can be taught in the IT suite of a learning centre, however students are able to log-in from anywhere with an internet connection meaning that structured virtual learning classes where a physical presence is required are becoming less common.

    Virtual learning is growing in popularity due to its many benefits. A high number of Total Training Solution courses are now taught virtually, as a virtual learning environment can often cater to more people. The classes can be accessed from anywhere, saving the time and cost of travel, and making it easier for those with busier lifestyles to fit in their studies around their job, family or social life. Assessed work is also often submitted electronically with virtual classes, along with quizzes and classes being taken online, making it easier for students to submit work instantly and for instructors to receive, mark and distribute feedback on work quickly.

    However, the electronic submission of work has its drawbacks. Students are able to cheat and plagiarise far easier with electronic work than within a classroom environment. While cheating is of course unbeneficial and hinders learning, a level of trust comes into play with virtual learning. Another disadvantage of virtual learning is its reliance on technology. If there are any problems with the internet connection on either side, or if a certain website is down, it can be incredibly problematic, especially if it happens when assessments or tests are due.

    Virtual learning, like all types of learning, is suited to some students more than others. For some, a hands-on or face-to-face approach is preferred, and many find it difficult reading off screens. However for others, the visual elements of virtual learning can engage them, and enhance their learning experience. The ability to communicate with other students and instructors electronically is often embraced by those who may not have the confidence to ask questions or strike up a conversation in a classroom environment. Virtual learning also promises standardised courses - whereas with classroom learning, the topics covered and resources used may depend on the teaching style of the instructor, with virtual learning everyone gets access to the same resources, regardless of where they live or where they take the course.

    It is of course important to remember that virtual learning suits some courses more than others. For example, it would not necessarily lend itself to a customer service qualification, where face to face communication plays a key role. However, with many IT qualifications such as Cisco, Microsoft or ITIL certifications, it can help to learn electronically. It can lend itself to hands-on tutorials and examinations, and also encourages beginners to use their computer in different ways.

    Take a look at our full list of qualifications which use virtual learning. You can also view our entire range of courses through our course directory. Feel free to contact us with any queries on 0800 612 1299 or send us a message through our enquiry form.

  • The benefits of blended learning

    28 May 2014

    To round off this month’s discussion on the various methods of learning, this week we’re concentrating on the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning.

    Blended courses can offer a more well rounded learning experience than any other type of course, offering the best of both classroom learning and virtual or online learning. Despite our reliance on technology, and the many learning tools available online, studies show that most people still learn more from face to face contact with a teacher or instructor than they do from reading from a screen. The multisensory nature of classroom learning engages students, as well as encouraging queries and discussions. For this reason, blended learning suits most - offering a solid basic knowledge from a qualified instructor whilst also encouraging independent learning and the use of online tools.

    This also means that students are not restricted to the instructor’s lesson plan, and have the flexibility to build on what they have already learned in their own time. They are also able to return to class with any questions or concerns they may have encountered in their independent study, encouraging discussion and problem solving.

    Blended learning is often said to cater to the needs of the modern learner. Many modern students, particularly younger students, enjoy using technology within their studies, however dislike online or virtual courses for their antisocial nature. Today, exchanging numbers and email addresses with classmates is common, as building relationships with others on a course can not only make the process of learning more enjoyable, but can also be useful if you find you are struggling. The classroom element of blended courses allows for this. The use of technology and online tools within a blended course classroom also caters to younger modern learners who benefit more from technology, but still prefer instructor-led classes.

    Of course, while blended courses have all the benefits of online and classroom courses, they also have all the disadvantages. The online or virtual element means that they are reliant on technology and an internet connection, and a basic level of IT literacy is often required. A certain level of self motivation is also required due to the independent learning elements of blended courses. However due to the regular classroom sessions, where instructors will expect students to have done the required work, students are often more likely to keep up with their independent work as part of a blended course.

    Learn more about blended courses, or tailor made options Total Training Solution have available or send us an enquiry. You can also visit our course directory to learn about all the qualifications we have available, or contact us on 0800 612 1299 for more information.

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