adapting learning and development programmes for a virtual world

For nearly a year, we have been delivering our learning & development programmes almost entirely online. It has of course been a learning curve for everyone, but there have been some key takeaways for us at Brightstone and some fantastic tools which have made the process easier.

For us, there were two big questions we needed to answer:

  1. How can we deliver our learning & development programmes online, in a way that will achieve the same results and ROI?
  2. How can we measure, evaluate & assess the effectiveness of learning, in a virtual space?

Learning & Development in a virtual world

First things first, a webinar or presentation with a speaker talking through some slides is not training, it is a transfer of information. At universities, these are called ‘lectures’, because that is what they are. Learning involves shifting mindsets, skills and knowledge and is much more than just a transfer of information.

We often refer to Kolb’s learning cycle to ensure we focus on the different stages of the learning cycle, and what this means for different participants learning styles.

Learning Styles

Consideration of the learning process and different learning styles is always important to successful training, but it becomes even more important in an online setting when engagement and evaluation is more of a challenge.

Kolb’s model highlights the importance of process and reflection when it comes to effective learning. Reflection allows the learner to process what has happened, reflect on the experience, and conceptualise it for future experiences. By reflecting with your own personal experiences, the learning can become transformational and behaviour can change.

Evaluation and Assessment

A fundamental element of any learning & development programme is evaluating how much learning has taken place and the impact it has had on results. This is much harder to evaluate in a virtual setting, but with the help of the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model, we have made use of some evaluation tools to measure the learning at different stages of the cycle. This model has enabled to provide evidence of learning and behaviour change throughout our programmes.

Kirkpatricks Model of evaluation and assessment in learning

In a classroom it is much easier to see, get involved and measure the impact of training. In a virtual setting, we have had to make more use of some useful technology available such as Adobe Connect, Survey Monkey, Kahoot game-based learning tools and more.

The result of this has been that we have been able to measure, to the same degree as training in a face-to-face setting, how much learning has taken place at different stages of the learning cycle.

In fact, we have been able to capture this data much faster than we may do in a face-to-face environment, which has enabled us to react quickly to any changing needs of the learners.

Tools & other considerations for a virtual learning environment


We have made use of some truly excellent tools which we have found invaluable in our move to a virtual world, and have discussed some of these in another blog here: “The Tools & Logistics of takings a Learning and Development Programme Online”

Get started with your development programme today

If you have been considering a development programme for your business, there is no reason not to get in touch and get started now.  Our adaptations and experiences in the last year have given us absolute confidence that we can deliver the same level of learning in an online setting, and we have the tools to measure this and provide a quantifiable return on investment.

Contact Richard at Brightstone >
Virtual Learning Delivery >