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How the L&D Community Is Successfully Navigating the Pandemic

26 October 2020

4 Min Read


If you’re a member of the learning and development community, you’ll know that the last six months have been a time of unparalleled disruption.

You’re doing more with less. You’re adapting, diversifying, and evolving quickly. Time and time again, you’re showing resilience and drive to overcome new problems with creative solutions.

Trainers across the globe are going above and beyond to bring the learning experience to people, wherever they are. Each time you face a new challenge, you rise to the occasion. Whether that challenge is to shift to online learning, use virtual tools, or fix technology issues–you tackle it with a sense of purpose and passion.

We’ve dedicated our third episode of The Learning Xchange podcast to you, the learning and development community.

In this episode, Matthew Brown, our VP of Learning and Brand Success at Schoox, recognizes the difficulties you are overcoming. Matthew also speaks passionately about how the community is finding success and shares his advice for the future.

Hit play to listen to this episode of the podcast below:

Or, discover Matthew’s thoughts by reading the blog post below.

How the learning and development community is adapting to the pandemic

Back in March 2020, nearly every learning and development business in the world shifted. Overnight, businesses and trainers had to adapt to survive. Customers, jobs, and companies were (and still are) at risk.

The pandemic has put the community under sudden, immense pressure to evolve. It’s more important than ever for businesses to transition quickly from in-person to online.

Accommodating this seismic shift has been a struggle for many. Businesses and trainers are continuing to acclimatize to these shifts even now. Undeniably, it’s been an incredible catalyst for change.

The learning and development community continues to be at the forefront of these changes. You are finding ways to move things forward and are discovering innovative solutions. This response is forcing businesses to look at training differently and appreciate the value of it.

Few businesses already had the tools available to switch to an effective online learning environment at short notice. The lack of control over the environment remains to be one of the biggest obstacles for trainers. You are no longer delivering a learning experience in a work environment. Now many environmental variables are affecting how successful the training is. Needing to manage these variables is where the creative, resourceful solutions come into play.

Training and development businesses are still going through incredible transformations. Some businesses are reimagining everything, from their office space to their brand. Others are reimagining the products and services they offer, and how they deliver those. Companies are scaling back and becoming more niche in some instances, while others are expanding into new and different areas.

How trainers are utilizing tools to improve the learning experience

Trainers are learning quickly that a PowerPoint presentation can’t replace face-to-face training. A training designed to be delivered in person will not maintain the same effectiveness if delivered over a Zoom call.

There are also unique challenges that come with learning from home. Distractions or technical obstacles can affect a training’s delivery. You need to find ways to reapproach training to account for these new challenges.

In rare cases, you can rebuild training courses from scratch. Starting over with an entirely new training course designed for home learners is an effective solution. Rewriting learning objectives and rebuilding a content roadmap is a good way to cater to new challenges. However, this is a time-consuming and costly solution that most businesses can’t access.

In most cases, trainers are making adjustments using the tools available. There are already many virtual tools that support the learning and development community. These are widely available online–at a variety of price points. It’s the innovative use of these tools that help to keep propelling training forward.

Some of the best examples of these include:

  • Utilizing breakout rooms capabilities to hold small group discussions–available through video conferencing software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex
  • Creating interactive presentations using software like Prezi Video
  • Gamifying training through games, challenges, and competitions
  • Leveraging Zoom’s virtual background functionality as an interactive backdrop or to showcase presentation slides

This list will continue to grow as new technologies become available and trainers find creative ways to use them.

As you discover what works (and what doesn’t), sharing your advice and strategies is a quick way to help us all improve. Sharing knowledge has always been at the heart of the learning and development community.

Why the learning and development community should continue evolving

Trainers are diversifying their skills to improve their training and to safeguard their job.

The trainer’s scope has shifted drastically since the pandemic. You are no longer a person who stands at the front of a room, delivering a message. You’re now responsible for orchestrating a comprehensive online learning experience.

You are now using a variety of different mediums to teach effectively. You’re using the new mediums to target and develop specific skills for precise initiatives, and you’re achieving this remotely.

These new skills are important for delivering training, and you must take stock of them. It’s essential to understand your capabilities as your skillset expands. Trainers are gaining experience in many other areas, such as:

  • Facilitating conversation and communication across different groups of people
  • Project management
  • Design–including content, graphic, and more
  • Influencing without authority
  • Negotiation skills

The learning and development community must keep evolving through skill diversification. It’s easier to adapt to new positions when you understand your skills and capabilities, both as a trainer and an employee.

We believe that trainers are an unbelievably creative and resourceful group of people. You inspire us with your lack of limitations, and we encourage you to keep striving for your best.

How has your training changed since the pandemic? Have you had to transition in your role? Have you had glimmers of hope or moments of success that have made you proud?

If you liked the summary of this podcast episode, check out episode one: How to Create Competency-Based Performance Reviews, and episode two: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Learning Management System.

Thank you for reading about The Learning Xchange, a podcast from Schoox. The Learning Xchange is our weekly feature that focuses on the ever-changing landscape of online learning and talent management. It’s available to access here on our website as blog posts, on your favorite podcast channel, or as video episodes on YouTube.

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