After much consideration, as well as input from our customers, ATL’s BOOT CAMP went virtual for the first time ever! For more than 20 years ATL has offered onsite training courses providing a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience for customers using our LIMS software. ATL’s Boot Camp Team has a genuine passion for sharing their LIMS knowledge, as well as connecting and interacting with our customers. Although the lack of the “hands-on” experience was among some of our initial concerns for a virtual option, the new “normal” for 2020 assisted with our decision.
One of the top considerations to maximize the virtual experience started with technology. ATL’s IT team worked diligently to ensure that we had the right training platform that would allow for easy, secure, and reliable access for our customers.
Additionally, our Certified Instructors prepared by modifying the curriculum to deliver content- rich material while encouraging participation and facilitating collaboration. Our real-time format made our instructors accessible to all students and allowed for active communication and interaction.
One popular and well received feature of our in-person class has been the ability for students to network through our lunches and after hours events, such as dinner and golf in Pinehurst. Although in-person, face-to-face contact can never be replaced by technology, we were able to socially connect by hosting a Virtual Meet and Greet. We also ignited the competitive spirit of our students with some Online LIMS Jeopardy, LIMS Bingo, and Trivia. Of course, the Amazon Gift card prizes were great motivators!
Feedback from our students has been very positive. We found that one of the greatest perks of virtual training for many of our customers was overcoming the geographical obstacles. Travel is often restricted, and many struggle to get approval to leave their state. The opportunity to take the course virtually opened up access to training for many that would otherwise not be able to attend.
Virtual training also offers these benefits:
- All virtual sessions are recorded and made available to students for an extended period after the class ends. This is beneficial if the student has to miss a portion of the training due to unforeseen circumstances, or if they just want to review a portion of the class.
- All students have access to a virtual Sample Master or TITAN LIMS training environment that is available to students throughout the training class as well as for an extended period after the class ends. This allows students to continue learning during non-class hours in a sandbox environment with no risk of “breaking” anything.
Students found the class to be very valuable and, despite the distance, many commented on how well the instructors worked to engage the students, as well as monitoring incoming questions.
Overall, the entire virtual course experience has been very favorable according to our students and team at ATL. All of our virtual offerings for Boot Camp were SOLD OUT for 2020, showing us how essential this option is! We were excited to be able to offer this solution in order to accommodate our customers’ needs in these changing times.
How do you feel about virtual training?
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