Self-paced learning is significantly different from the instructor-focused learning methods most students are familiar with. Self-paced training does not follow a predetermined schedule, but rather progresses according to the learner’s preferences.
This trait usually implies that all course materials and resources are available at the start of the course and that all assignments and tests can be submitted at any time during it. In this system, learners finish coursework when it’s most convenient for them and have full control of when, what, and how they want to engage with the material.
Self-paced training using cloud technology is an innovative new approach that many companies are starting to leverage to provide hands-on customer and partner training.
Self-Paced Training in the Workplace
This approach to teaching is excellent for customers with tight schedules or a desire for more flexible learning opportunities. The hands-on approach makes it great for letting customers train and test themselves in real-world scenarios they may encounter on the job.
Getting new customers up to speed on your company’s workflow, procedures, and product features can be a daunting task in such a short time frame. However, a self-paced lab is one of the best ways to maximize knowledge retention.
Allowing your customers to engage with your solutions on their terms is also an excellent marketing tool. You can easily provide them with any necessary training they need, identify areas where they are struggling with your software, and provide them with effective support that eases their pain points.
Your ability to control both the learning and sales environment is valuable and can reduce any reluctance that a potential customer may have.
The Advantages of Self-Paced Learning
- No scheduling necessary. Since self-paced virtual labs have varying hours depending on the customer’s preferences, there is no need for scheduling and preparing for traditional classroom setups. Customers can focus on the material without worrying about deadlines, and vendors can provide support as needed.
- No time pressure. Customers are more likely to retain information when working at their own pace and making their own decisions. Since there are no communicated time limits, the pressure of timing isn’t as much of a threat in the self-paced classroom environment.
- Adapt to different learning speeds. Some concepts “click” for certain customers faster than others. Through self-paced training, customers can allocate more time to sections that give them trouble rather than adhering to a “one-size-fits-all” classroom agenda. A learner who understands one lesson quickly can move on without having to wait on everyone else. Instructors can also step in and provide support as needed based on the usage data a virtual classroom provides.
A Place for Instructor-Based Learning
Self-paced labs are emerging as a novel tactic for customer training. Traditional instructor-led classrooms still have their place, but advancements in cloud technology have shifted the educational landscape.
Traditional training environments are suitable for competitive learning environments such as professional licenses and certifications as a planned schedule allows instructors to cover large amounts of material in a structured environment.
The Merits of Self-Paced Training Software
Self-paced learning isn’t new. Most companies train their customers through supplemental videos, training manuals, and other content that they are expected to engage with on their own terms. But this approach isn’t always effective, and you may lose sales if your customers find the training process too difficult.
The self-paced approach to training has become popular in the business sector, thanks to the development of virtual IT training labs. Most managers prefer virtual self-paced learning methods for customer training. Adopting this type of environment allows you to provide highly effective training, collect valuable feedback and analytics, offer support as needed, and fine-tune your marketing campaigns to reflect what you’ve learned from the data you’ve collected.
Some additional benefits of online labs include automatic assessment, usage tracking, over-the-shoulder learning, and the ability for your organization to cut costs by reducing your dependency on hardware. Virtual IT training labs can be accessed from any machine with an Internet browser, removing the need for customers to travel.