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Getting to grips with virtual training courses

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When you are attending an online or virtual training course it can be hard to be fully motivated. Even when you can see your fellow delegates on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Remo or whatever other virtual platform is being used, it still isn’t quite the same as being in the same room together. You and the other delegates may not be giving your full attention because of other distractions on your computer. There are distractions everywhere and unfortunately even the most interesting trainer may not quite captivate all of your attention all of the time.

Through necessity virtual training has become the norm and if you don’t want to put your career on hold then you need to take advantage of the professional training available online.

The good news is that just as there are certain types of distractions when learning from home, there are other distractions found in classroom-based training courses that you won’t have to contend with. For instance, you can mute other participants who might be slightly too fond of their own voices and just focus on what the trainer is saying.

There are many ways that you can improve your virtual training experience. Here are just a few…

Be prepared
If the training provider has supplied a pre-reading list then make sure you read it. Doing so will ensure you can take full advantage of the course material on offer. It will help you be confident enough to ask questions during the course as you will already have some background knowledge.

Even if no pre-reading materials are suggested why not read around the topic anyway. If the trainer covers the same ground it will help to reinforce your understanding. No amount of preparation is wasted effort.

Plan your space and time
If there is an opportunity to take part in the virtual training at any time, then choose a time when you are least likely to be disturbed by family members and can have some space and quiet in which to learn.

If the training course is in real time then forewarn other members of your household – ask them to take the dog or the children for a walk to allow you the peace and quiet to concentrate on your learning.

Ask questions and interact
One common issue with virtual training courses for project managers is that people who would otherwise willingly ask questions seem more reluctant to do so. (Maybe it’s the distractions?). So to get the most out of your learning, specifically seek opportunities to ask questions. Use the chat functionality if there is no obvious pause for questions. The chances are that if you have thought of a question so have your fellow delegates – and they will thank you for requesting clarification or more detail.

A good trainer will want to ensure that everyone is learning something new so they will welcome questions and discussion. As they will welcome feedback – so don’t hide behind your screen: speak up, chat, interact. You’ll be glad you did.

A virtual training course may not be your first choice but it’s perfectly possible to expand your knowledge and progress your career by gaining new qualifications through this virtual medium.


Study online with APM and realise your project management career goals. Visit APM Qualifications and learning for more information.


Image: Shutterstock / vipman


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