Frequently Asked Questions
Common Queries and Questions
Online training is still a relatively new concept in Asia and as an HR or Training manager, you may be unclear about how it works and what the benefits are over face-to-face training. The following frequently asked questions by HR and Training managers will give you a better understanding of what online learning entails and how it will enhance staff performance in the workplace. If you have any further questions or would like to meet us for a walkthrough of an online course and available options, please don’t hesitate to contact Tom Crawfor on (852) 2893 6124.
Online training is training delivered online through a learning management system (LMS). Course participants log in to the LMS (we use Moodle LMS), read, discuss and work on tasks and quizzes together with the support and guidance of a trainer (often known in the online world as a ‘facilitator’). The training is ‘asynchronous’, which means the participants can log in and study at their convenience.
Courses are usually 6 weeks long. Tailor-made courses may be shorter or longer. Each week covers one module, which consists of several topics.
With face-to-face training it is difficult to find a day and a time to suit all staff members and often it is not effective to have too many people away from their desks at any one time. In larger face-to-face groups, participants can get lost in the crowd and may not always have the opportunity to participate. Less confident people may not feel comfortable asking questions in front of a big group and will therefore benefit less. Other participants may find that they study better at certain times of the day and that the time of the training doesn’t work for them.
The advantages of online learning:
- Asynchronous and offers flexibility in when and where to study
- Benefits busy people travelling for work with no time for face-to-face training
- Participants have control over their learning and can decide how much time they need to spend on reading and tasks and go at their own pace
- Gives all participants the opportunity to get involved and ask questions
- Identity can be concealed through the use of avatars and nicknames for less confident participants
- Facilitator-driven collaborative learning rather than spoon-fed teaching
- Effective and sustainable as learning is spread over several weeks rather than condensed into a day’s training
- Provides a bridge between face-to-face learning and performance in the workplace
Online training is for everyone – anyone in fact who would usually take part in face-to-face training. It is particularly practical for companies training staff based in different locations or who frequently travel for work. Level-wise for soft skills training a higher level of English is recommended, whereas language courses cater for a range of levels.
For participants to fully benefit from the course, a minimum of 8 participants is recommended and a maximum of 30. The greater number of students you put on a course, the more cost-effective it will be for your organisation.
Online courses are delivered through a learning management system (LMS) called Moodle. Course content and interactive exercises, in the form of a slide presentation, are delivered through a SCORM package. Students also interact with other participants and the facilitator on forum activities and tasks.
Moodle is a well-known LMS, which is used all over the world for corporate and academic training. It is customisable and straightforward for course participants to navigate. It doesn’t require prior online learning experience and is very intuitive.
The computer that participants will access Moodle with should be of reasonable specification but they will not need the very latest and fastest technology to do an online course. Any PC or Mac from the past 3-5 years should be able to run the core software required:
- An up-to-date web-browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari)
- With standard plug-ins (e.g. Flash, Java, QuickTime)
Yes, it is. Participants will be given the link to download Moodle Mobile app to their portable device. They then login to the app as they would login to the course on their PC.
Yes. Participants will be given a log in and password and can access the course at any time.
"The Key to Writing Professional Email" is ready for delivery to clients. A number of other courses such as "Report Writing," "Business Writing Skills," and "Common Written Errors for Chinese Learners of English" are currently in development. For each course there are core foundation modules and a number of further modules that can be selected according to your company and staff needs. Core modules can also be customised and we can write an entire tailor-made online course based on your specific requests.
Yes absolutely! This is what we call ‘blended learning’ - a combination of online and face-to-face learning.
Blended learning works well for speaking courses such as telephoning and dealing with customer complaints. Functional language can be presented through the LMS and case studies discussed so that participants are prepared before the session and no valuable time is wasted in class.
Face-to-face training can then focus on participants practising and mastering the language, preparing for real-life situations, and participants will receiving feedback and guidance on their performance.
Blended learning works well for developing speaking skills as it is integrated and developmental, and immediate progress can be seen.
There are two complementary aspects to the role of facilitator. Firstly, to enable learning, the main focus is encouraging participation in online interactions. Secondly, acting as a trusted inquisitor, a process involving both supporting and challenging participants in their learning. Studies have shown that the balance between these two roles leads to a successful and productive online learning environment.
Our facilitators are highly qualified corporate trainers, who possess a BA or an MA, and an online training certificate. They also have a business background and both face-to-face and online training experience.
Progress is monitored throughout the course through the data provided by the LMS and the facilitator. The LMS collects data on the number of log ins, time spent online, tasks completed and number of discussion posts. HR will have access to this and can monitor progress at all times. Overall progress will be measured through a final assignment, completion of the interactive exercises and the quality/level of participation in the forums both on individual and group-based activities and tasks. The aim of the course is not about ‘passing a test’ but developing skills that will enhance workplace performance. Our training philosophy is not to give learners a fish so they can eat for the day, but teach them to fish so that they can eat forever.
HR/Training staff with responsibility for a course will be assigned a course user account with special permissions to access reporting data from the course. Through accessing this data, you will be able to closely track the progress of all your staff enrolled on a course.
Reports will give you the option to generate the following from the course:
- a log of activity in the course, for various periods
- a course activity report, showing the number of views for each activity and resource
- a participation report for a particular activity
- graphs and tables of user activity.
Learning data from the LMS will be sent to the HR department, and participants will be given an overall pass or fail grade for participation and their final assignment. They will also receive feedback on their final assignment and suggestions for further development. Individual feedback on each participant will be provided at HR’s request, and at an additional cost. Certificates will be provided for all participants provided they have satisfied all the completion criteria for the course.
We keep people engaged by:
- providing clear learning objectives and stimulating, relevant material
- encouraging collaborative learning through participant and facilitator interaction
- creating a community spirit in a supportive learning environment
- highlighting progress throughout the course and providing a clear sense of achievement at the end
If the facilitator sees that participants are not logging in and engaging with the course materials, they will send a message to the participant to see if they are having issues logging in or finding their way around Moodle. They will also check to see if the participant needs any support or is having difficulty with the course and inform HR.
Participants will receive a digital handbook at the end of the course, which provides a summary of the course content, useful language introduced and various reference models to support their continued development in the workplace.
There is a standard package offers access for up to 20 participants. Should you wish to add additional participants, there is a cost per participant (up to a maximum of 30).
The customised package offers the same participant options as the standard package; however, the complete online course is customised to a specific industry. This means each module has examples, explanations and exercises based on industry specific terminology and workplace tasks (industries include finance, shipping & logistics, luxury fashion, banking, retail, hotels, F&B, cosmetics, insurance, manufacturing, and government departments).
We don’t offer trial lessons but are happy to give you a demo of how online courses work. We can do this online through Skype or one of representatives can come to your office.