The use of meeting platforms has exploded in recent years, and it seems like nearly everyone has an account for either personal or business use these days. From big-name platforms like WebEx, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams to lesser-known platforms such as Toasty, Jami, and Talky, meeting platforms are helping more people connect face to face on the internet than ever before.
And while all of this connectedness certainly has its benefits, meeting platforms simply can’t solve all of the needs that any given business has on a daily basis.
So let’s look at what meeting platforms are actually designed to do.
Virtual meeting platforms use video conferencing software to allow users to see one another while speaking. So instead of huddling around a telephone in a conference room during a call, users are now able to connect from anywhere around the world, using their webcams to see who they’re meeting with.
While it’s certainly a huge step forward from outdated corporate conference calls, they’re called meeting platforms for a reason — because they’re designed for meetings.
And the truth is, they do meetings very well. With video and audio capabilities, chat boxes, dialogue transcription, file and screen sharing, meeting platforms are a great tool for large and small group discussions.
Where they come up lacking is when businesses try to use them for virtual training.
Virtual training means any training that brings an instructor and learners together in a virtual environment. Virtual trainings are synchronous, meaning that all participants meet at the same time, and participants are often located in many different locations. And while it may sound like a meeting platform could be the right software for a virtual training, there are several reasons why it is not.
The first reason is that meeting platforms do not provide an opportunity for personalized learning. All participants in video conferences see and hear the exact same thing at the exact same time, leaving the moderator unable to tailor information to a specific audience.
Plus, educational studies have shown that people learn new information and retain it longer when they’re actively engaged with hands-on activities. But in a meeting platform, one or more people can speak at any given time, but there are no interactive opportunities for participants to engage with. So they could just as easily be looking into the camera but tuning out the speaker.
And another important feature that’s lacking in meeting platforms is the ability of the instructor to assess learning in real-time. Besides asking participants if they understand new information and hoping for an honest answer, there’s no way for the moderator to gather learning analytics and see who needs further clarification.
In summation, the best way to meet the needs of virtual training is to use software designed for that purpose. While the design features of meeting platforms are lacking in this regard, virtual training tools provide opportunities for personalized learning, interactive activities, and critical assessment data, making them a far better solution for all of your virtual training needs.
Jigsaw Interactive’s virtual training solution was designed specifically for training and learning. To learn more about a true virtual learning environment visit Jigsaw at www.jigsawinteractive.com.