2020 changed the way organizations conduct employee training.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced organizations to regard online training as a downright-necessity rather than a strategic possibility.
With employees constrained to work from home during lockdowns, organizations scrambled to find a remote training solution.
They wanted a simple application with a minimal learning curve that could allow their trainers to invite employees and deliver training programs quickly.
Zoom was built as a personal and official video conferencing app, and designed to be simple and easy to use while sharing screens.
And this is what made Zoom a natural choice for remote training.
In fact, Skype, MS Teams, Google Meet, and Cisco WebEx offer broadly similar features and can be assessed on the same line as Zoom.
Zoom was created to make video calls and share screens. While your trainers have to use presentation slides and documents during sessions, they still need to look for complimentary tools like Kahoot to add interactivity to training sessions.
Training delivery remains synchronous since it is instructor-led. Though Zoom overcame the constraint of location, it still requires the logistics of getting people together at the same time to be managed.
When trainers use external tools for quizzes and interactions, learners are forced to leave Zoom to access other apps. This is a challenge on a mobile device.
Zoom allows a few interactive activities to be carried out, such as 'Video breakout rooms,' where employees can be divided into small groups to perform interactive tasks in a group.
Source: Wabash Teaches
It's 'Raise hand' feature allows employees to signal their intent to answer a question or choose to participate in an activity.
Source: CTE Resources
In addition, there is a possibility for polls too. Since Zoom's interaction capabilities are not designed around training, instructors must rely on external apps and sites to make learning more interactive.
The ability to ask questions is a key part of training delivery - for reinforcing concepts as well as assessing the understanding of the learner.
On Zoom, you can only conduct polls and share external quiz links.
For activities conducted within Zoom, your employees can respond to polls or share answers via the chat window.
Since answers cannot be evaluated in real-time, there is little feedback for the trainer on the training effectiveness.
Source: Wabash Slido
During training, there is often a need to ask different types of questions - multiple-choice, sorting, grouping, etc.
Sometimes, there might be a need for some workflow practice as well.
Since Zoom doesn't offer such features, learners often end up using an external app that requires additional login and setup.
Zoom hasn't got a built-in certification feature either, where end-of-training assessments can directly lead to auto-generated certificates upon successful completion.
Meaning, instructors must spend additional time to collect results and generate certificates outside of Zoom.
Zoom cannot track and record learner progress.
This renders your instructors to spend additional time on a spreadsheet or an external system to collate performance data to make sense of it.
For example, there is no visibility on training progress or if and where employees are stuck in training and when they need help.
Imagine conducting multiple training programs simultaneously on Zoom and trying to find out how your employees are faring.
Because Zoom isn't designed to collect performance data, you can't generate insights on training impact and identify new training needs.
You would like to permit "anytime", "anywhere" learning to your employees.
While Zoom provides you the flexibility (with limitations) for "anywhere" training, the program still needs to be synchronous.
Meaning - learners and trainers need to be available at the same time.
To scale training, either you hire more trainers or spread your training team thin. The former is inefficient and the later is ineffective.
Training in a large organization requires not just the training team, but even the reporting managers and regional team members to promote a continuous learning culture.
Zoom isn't a complete training system and hence is not built to promote a continuous learning culture.
To promote such a culture of learning, organizations need an allround training system.
Now that we have assessed Zoom against seven online training aspects, let us plot the Pros and Cons on a table.
|Aspects of training||Pros||Cons|
|Training creation||Simple and familiar tool to use existing training material for ILT sessions.||Zoom was not built for and is not meant to create training content for remote learning.|
|Training distribution||Zoom allows you to host your regular classroom training as video-conference based training sessions.||Requires simultaneous presence of learners and trainers. Trainers need to use other apps to fulfil training goals. Learners get a sub-optimal experience since they have to switch between apps.|
|Interactive learning||You can use Zoom's 'Video breakout rooms' and 'Raise hand' features to engage learners.||Zoom still needs instructors to initiate activities. It offers limited interactivity, leaving you to rely on external apps to make learning more interactive.|
|Assessments and certification||You can conduct polls and quizzes. Quizzes need employees to share answers via chat.||Since Zoom is limited to conducting polls, your instructors have to use external apps and sites to create multiple-choice quizzes, sorting activities, and workflows. This forces your learners to switch between apps making learning on mobile devices very cumbersome.|
|Training progress and insights||You can collate quiz answers from chat and generate a poll report at the end of the training session to conduct a detailed analysis.||You cannot track and record assessments and learner progress within Zoom. You need an additional training management system to keep records and build reports.|
|Asynchronous training||None.||Training on Zoom does not help you accomplish "anytime learning" since it requires the trainer and learners to be present at the same time.|
|Inclusive training culture||None.||Zoom isn't a complete training system that allows you to onboard all stakeholders to create a continuous learning culture.|
Zoom began as a natural choice to train your employees remotely.
If remote working continues to be the norm in 2021, is Zoom still the only choice to deliver remote training at scale?
Can you still afford to hire more instructors or spread your existing training team thin?
Can you still afford not to measure the impact of training before you put your employees back on their jobs?
You need a training system that allows a small team to accomplish all seven training aspects, without breaking a sweat.
That's why we built Nittio Learn LMS - a tool made for small training teams tasked to create and deliver training for 1000s of employees regularly.
To check if Nittio Learn is ideal for your organization's training demands, visit our homepage to learn more.
A few days back, when I gave a breif introduction of Nittio Learn to an acquaintance, she made remark - "Oh, that means corporate eLearining would cover more business critical areas than the typical don`t do eLearning".
Large organizations have hundreds and thousands of employees across tens of cities who are always on the move. Though there was always a need to use digital training for such a deskless workforce, most companies still persisted with doing it through instructor led programs.