Training and Development Manager
Remote learning offers significant benefits to technology companies by improving communication and support for the users of systems and products. As a result, progressive organizations have already been using it for years. Pandemic has only served to accelerate uptake and acceptance, and to establish remote learning as the preferred option.
An expanded, more coherent online presence is helping many businesses to continue to meet their contractual obligations in the face of second-wave lockdowns and continuing uncertainty. Remote learning is proving its worth for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) industry in terms of delivering new projects and providing supplemental training that was previously done face-to-face.
The role it will play going forward deserves careful consideration.
Despite the developments of the past few months, pandemic should not be viewed as the sole driver of remote learning’s growth. The world has adapted swiftly to massive changes that are potentially irreversible. The journey back — or forward — from pandemic is likely to be to a new reality.
This presents an opportunity. We can improve many of the things where they were less than ideal and build on processes that already work well. We have a chance to blend the old and the new to create a far more sustainable, robust and safe way of operating.
For many, the ability to rekindle face-to-face relationships will be a very welcome development. But, we need to remain aware that this may not always be possible. We need to think about the true necessities, as distinct from personal preferences, and work accordingly. We also need to think about the emerging opportunities.
The reality is that we have some very good technological enablers. A few months ago, many people had not even heard of video conferencing software such as Zoom or Teams. Likewise, many people did not have to engage with a Learning Management System (LMS) prior to the pandemic – or if they did it was only for their organization’s internal training. Now, their use for remote training is becoming more common and proving to have some advantages.
An advantage gained from providing remote training using video conferencing is that our customers have access to subject matter experts that might not be able to spend time on site in the normal course of system delivery. They can truly be assured that they have access to the most expert resources to answer their questions and help them get the most out of the new equipment and software that has been put at their disposal.
Video conferencing offers interaction with subject matter experts
LMS-based training has different advantages, but they are also significant. Learners can work through training material at their own speed and benefit from features like video demonstrations and built-in quizzes. And since the LMS is always available, they can come back to the online training for a refresher whenever they need one. This feature is also very important when the customer needs to orient and train new staff after the initial training is provided.
IRD benefits too. To provide good remote training, we need to think through our Intelligent Transportation Systems carefully and look at them from the perspective of a beginner. That means we learn more about our own systems every time we prepare training, but more importantly, we get a better understanding of the user and what they need from our system.
Web-based training may be guided or learners can work at their own pace
Remote learning and training packages can be tailored to meet market needs, taking account of local levels of technical expertise, languages and customs, and improving the customer experience.
It also has the ability to extend an organization’s global influence. Training and installations can be monitored in real time from a company’s home base or regional offices. This has the benefit of not having to send company operatives to more risky locations and brings technological and societal progress within the reach of more places in the world.
We have been able to support our project partners and end-users by providing training remotely for complex commercial vehicle enforcement systems worldwide despite the pandemic. Weigh-in-motion projects in places as far-flung as Tanzania and Ukraine have progressed more rapidly because we were able to complement on-site work with remote training.
The purpose of remote training is not to replace all personal interaction or hands-on training. In-person training continues to be very valuable.
In-person training offers learners immediate access to equipment
The way forward for organizations is to recognize that interpersonal relationships remain important and continue with these when and where positive and beneficial. At the same time, remote learning is a strong supplemental element to how we do business. In some cases, it may even be the best way to do things.
For more information on IRD's e-learning, remote training, and in-person training options for our Intelligent Transportation Systems please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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