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CNet expert discusses the benefits of remote learning

CNet expert discusses the benefits of remote learning

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CNet Training’s President and CEO, Andrew Stevens, discusses the benefits of CNet Training’s Live instructor-led Remote Attendance capability.

The way in which individuals can learn is constantly evolving. There are now more ways than ever to enhance skills and expand on knowledge that are easily accessible and convenient to the learner and employer. There is no one-size-fits-all model anymore when it comes to training and development. 

Over the last four years, as an organisation, CNet has introduced program delivery via ‘Remote Attendance’. We initially anticipated this would be driven by the global need for us all to operate in a more sustainable and environmentally sensitive way but what we didn’t expect was COVID-19. Looking at it positively, though, it is fortunate that we, as an organisation, were already ‘geared up’ to continue delivering programs once everything was suddenly shut down and global travel restrictions put in place. With large proportions of the globe still working at least partially remotely and with international travel still limited, all of us are having to adapt to the ‘new normal’; finding new ways to continue working and staying connected to friends, colleagues and the wider world. 

Our Remote Attendance programs allow people all over the globe to continue learning, developing and educating their digital infrastructure teams, which is absolutely vital for the industry right now. The industry is facing increased demands and organisations need to ensure that everyone in their team is competent and confident in their skills and knowledge to ensure the world can keep connected and communicating during these times.

Remote Attendance 

For the last four years we have been delivering programs via live instructor-led Remote Attendance classes. So, you could say that our Remote Attendance delivery has been tried and tested over the last four years, allowing learners to feel 100% confident that their learning experience will be professional, effective and of the highest quality.

It’s important to note that not all remote learning programs are the same and that there are various forms of remote attendance learning available, especially since the start of the pandemic. Some provide details to join an online meeting that allows you to see and hear an instructor or teacher. Others are more sophisticated and will enable you to join a place-based classroom with other learners sitting in the actual room. CNet’s Remote Attendance capability is different and stands out from others. 

Using the latest collaboration-enabled facilities, CNet provides those wishing to attend a program remotely with access to specially designed Smart Rooms. In real-time, remote attendees benefit from the same instructor-led classroom environment, with the same levels of interaction, collaboration and instructor contact as those who are physically present in the room. Remote attendees effectively sit in the same classroom as all other learners and can, therefore, see, hear and enjoy the same learning experience. Additionally, remote attendees can often take part in group activities via a virtual breakout room, combining those in the classroom with the remote attendees. 

The CNet Remote Attendance learning experience is live and fully interactive with both the instructor and fellow attendees wherever they are in the world. We have built the capacity to deliver from 15 Smart Rooms, allowing us to deliver 15 different programs simultaneously in different time zones across the globe. We are still limiting the class sizes per Smart Room to preserve the high levels of personal interaction and quality of teaching that CNet customers enjoy.

Remodelled program content for Remote Attendance learners

It’s also important to note that we recognise that you cannot simply transfer content from a classroom-based program into a Remote Attendance one. That is why the CNet technical team work hard to remodel every program to further enrich the remote learning experience for all. 

For example, with cable installation programs, practical demonstrations have been enhanced by exploiting on-board capabilities of the equipment being demonstrated. Multiple cameras are also utilised to ensure both the instructor and activity are clearly visible on learner’s screens, with optimal ‘close up’ capability to provide clear visibility of the smallest items such as the splice bridge on the fusion splicers and even the optical fibre itself.

For technician-level programs, the focus is now on functional online tools that can be used to evidence situational analysis, problem solving and decision-making. The use of virtual breakout rooms provides the opportunity for learners to undertake project meetings that would otherwise have to be achieved in a classroom environment.

For design-level programs, where previously design drawings were undertaken manually, they are now completed in digital format using innovative methods on standard software applications. Using these methods enables learners to produce high-quality plans and elevations that are accurately scaled and provide a true reflection of complex data centre or enterprise network designs.

Use of virtual breakout rooms features in all programs where group discussions, simulated meetings and collaboration are required. This provides the opportunity for smaller groups to engage, share ideas and determine collective outcomes.

 Benefits for Remote Attendees:

  • Save travel cost and time
  • Save accommodation costs
  • Save subsistence costs
  • Environmentally friendly – a more sustainable and greener approach to learning
  • Time zone flexible
  • Learn in the comfort of your chosen environment
  • Working from home friendly

 How does it work?

Smart rooms are fitted with the latest high-definition, bi-directional audio/visual communication and collaboration tools so all learners and the instructor can see and interact with each other in the usual way.

Remote attendees simply receive a link from CNet Training to download the necessary free software and login details for the CNet Training Learning Management System. Then, along with the items listed below, remote attendees have everything they need to enjoy the entire learning experience.

Remote attendees require:

  • A laptop/PC with unrestricted Internet connectivity (suggested >4Mbps dedicated) and the latest browser and suitable applications for reading PDFs and standard office documents
  • A USB camera, microphone and separate speakers are recommended, or integrated camera, microphone and speakers
  • Dual monitors are recommended as ideal to view an extended desktop and further enjoy the learning experience

Remote Attendance learner feedback

“Remote Attendance was great. The instructor was just as available as if it was an in-person class and I feel I got the same learning experience I would have if I was there in person.”

“I have never seen a system like this where I can see and interact with everyone attending the class.”

“The Remote Attendance learning experience was very efficient and convenient. I didn’t lose any value by doing the program via Remote Attendance versus going into the classroom.”

“This is the first time in a long while I’ve taken a class using the Remote Attendance capability. It’s a good way to network and share ideas as well as learn new methods from peers within our field.”

“The program met and at times exceeded what I had expected. The teacher did an excellent job at engaging all the participants, called on us by name and by industry. I always felt included in the class discussions and in the breakout sessions. I was very pleased with the overall class.”

For those who haven’t experienced Remote Attendance, we have created demonstration sessions and urge our customers to attend a session to be reassured of the high-quality learning experience.

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