The world today is different from what it was back in history. Today it has become a global village and the interaction of people, companies and services provided is not restricted to a single nation. The market has become competitive with competitors from all over the world. Virtual training is yet another component of the benefits of globalization. Virtual training can be delivered online, through email, remote desktop or even on phone with or without videoconferencing. Hence when one communicates with individuals or a group and trains them, they are working face-to-face and when one communicates and trains through these various noted means where they do not sit face-to-face, it is called virtual training. Therefore virtual training is a training delivered from a distance rather than in person face-to-face.
THE TREND OF VIRTUAL TRAINING
In virtual training one can train and coach individuals or groups. A virtual group would be a group of people who are dispersed geographically. They are mostly handled by an audio or video conference where that trainer can hear all of them and they can hear each other as well as the trainer himself. This can even be handled via chat rooms or emails. Training for groups in virtual training and face-to-face training cannot be compared because a virtual group consists of people not in the same area. They do not have to fly in at one location and training can be done with each member miles apart. Another plus point for virtual training is that "members experience less concern about superficialities of appearance. People are judged by their ideas rather than their physical attractiveness" (Ben Dean). Many companies today offer virtual training in various things for example the training of how to use Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia, C programming, Unix Shell Scripting etc. The trend is now changing and instead of people taking hours of classes each week on how to use and get the best out of any software be it 3D or just an operating system, they are turning towards these virtual training programs where they can learn from training videos at the comfort of their home or office. They can also skip the part that they know already to save time which would be impossible in a face-to-face course while sitting in a room with others who have the need to learn what one might already know. Many might just not have the time to go through any form of formal training. Hence this method of virtual training proves to be useful. It is said that "from any computer with Internet access you can easily connect and receive computer-based type training 24 hours a day, 7 days a week" (Anonymous).
Recently IBM is giving developers access to the virtual workshops. They are mainly aiming for developers in Russia, India, Brazil and China but their services will be available to developers all across the globe. IBM seeks to expand its business and acquire more customers around the globe by this virtual training program which they are about to start. Their virtual workshop will be accessible to developers from across the globe through phone where they will be able to dial into the lecture, web conference using their PCs or VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). "IBM is looking to increase its business in emerging markets by providing more developers with access to the facilities already offered at its 30-plus global innovation centers, according to Hanny" (China Martens).
Virtual training is being used at an increased rate for a number of fields. This service is also being used in the training of CSS soldiers. The Virginia Tech Computer Automatic Virtual Environment (VT-CAVE) provides this service where the trainees wear special 3D glasses and sensor devices. The environment is created by computers and input is carried out by verbal commands, physical actions or data gloves. Hearing, sight and touch are stimulated and the trainee feels as if he is actually in the 3D environment i.e. A realistic feel. The important thing is to know the advantages of this form of virtual training over the conventional form of training. Data from the Return of Forces to Germany (REFORGER) exercises was checked to know the expenses and efficiency of the conventional form of training. In this method, used in the 1980s, actual soldiers and vehicles were deployed. With the damage to vehicles due to accidents and the damage to personal property it was estimated to have "cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually -- a fact that led officials to look for a better way to train CSS soldiers" (Pete Thibodeau). Hence it was noted that million of dollars were saved when methods of virtual training were adopted as opposed to the conventional form of training.
It is seen that virtual training is being used for every field that is out there. It proves to be efficient and is cost effective. Moreover the participants in the training can go through the process from the comfort of their home. They do not need to undergo formal methods used previously. Although many do suggest that regardless of the benefits of the virtual training method, one cannot shut out the conventional face-to-face method. AMD provides virtual training via an internet-based course but they claim that this still does not eliminate "the need for occasional face-to-face interaction. AMD's Gardner says, 'We are a high-tech and high-touch company. Therefore, even if the work of global teams will be primarily virtual, we usually start with a face-to-face meeting'" (Laura L. Bierema, et al. p.70). However the trend is still seen to move towards virtual training rather than formal training. The Information Technology Division (IT'd) of University of Michigan also provides a website where they provide both beginner and advanced virtual training on multiple topics which include Java, C++, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Access, HTML etc. Of course this virtual training does not aim to remove their conventional formal classroom courses but the idea behind this is to provide help, tips, tricks etc. anywhere and anytime. However these courses "while written for users at any level, are not intended for users uncomfortable with the operation of the computer" (Kerry Colligan).
Virtual training is now on the rise today and has become the new trend. Training can be offered across the globe which proves to be beneficial for the customer as well as the company because at one time they can handle many people dispersed all over the globe rather than in the same city which would be necessary in the formal conventional training. Virtual training can be seen being used by nearly every organization and it would really help the human resource department to use this for their benefit. The HR department would find it easier to train people not only nationally but also internationally. The training would become much efficient and people will benefit greatly by these services. Today one can find many online universities that train and educate students from all over the world and they earn degrees from the comfort of their home. Virtual training has indeed proved itself to be useful and beneficiary for all the parties involved. Today virtual training is also available for surgery with the use of 3D computer graphics. This is mostly used in orthopedic surgery. With time it will be available for other surgeries as well. Virtual training in surgery is a big step and hard evidence to prove its efficiency and to exhibit its capabilities. Such advanced techniques in virtual training have made it popular and doctors can go through training in surgery virtually.
This trend of virtual training will be on the rise in the future. Presently its use has been increasing steadily. The profits gained by its use are also remarkable and the ease of delivery of services makes it…