In our webinar, The Future of Software Learning: Virtual Training Labs, Appsembler’s CEO Nate Aune walked us through what virtual training labs are, why they are so important to a company’s bottom line and how they can help trainers deliver an immersive, hands-on learning experience.
For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here are the most important takeaways from the webinar.
Great talent is scarce and hard to find. One study suggests that employers in Europe and North America will require 16 million to 18 million more college-educated workers in 2020 than will be available.
As the Baby Boomer generation retires, and millennials and Gen Z start to run the show, the leadership talent gap will start to become apparent. And with more and more jobs becoming automated, there is a growing need to upskill and reskill workers.
These challenges can be overcome with effective learning and software training. Yet the issue facing CEOs and their companies is that many current training methods don’t engage and meet the needs of today’s modern learners and their shrinking attention spans. They also fail to deliver the learning experience that students expect, namely one that is user-friendly, self-explanatory, and accessible anytime, anywhere.
What are Virtual Training Labs?
Virtual training labs are also known as practice labs, virtual training environments, or sandboxes. Virtual labs make it easy to create student lab environments where students can conduct hands-on exercises, using software or writing code.
Virtual labs were traditionally delivered on-premise using virtual machines. This still meant that learners had to go to a physical location to access the labs on these virtual machines.
Now virtual labs are being run in the cloud so there is no need to install software on a computer, and learners can complete training from any device, anytime, wherever they are. As learners only need a browser and an internet connection to run virtual labs, there are no technological constraints and no need to be running certain versions of software. This provides a more consistent learning experience.
Why Use Virtual Training Labs
Virtual training labs (or virtual IT labs) provide learners with hands-on, immersive experiences that engage them, and makes it more likely that they will retain the knowledge of the software they are learning.
Virtual labs also give you the same certainty, that no matter what kind of laptop the student brings to the training (Mac, PC, Linux), the virtual lab will work on their machine, because all they need is a web browser. That predictability and consistency is really important if you’re an instructor and have limited class time.
You don’t want to spend the entire class troubleshooting why the software won’t install on someone’s ancient Windows machine. You just want to have a consistent learner experience, so that each student’s lab is identical, and eliminate any unnecessary unknowns.
Virtual Lab Use Cases
Some of the use cases for virtual labs include:
- On-demand, self-paced courses
- Live training events for large groups
- “Try before you buy” – project-based learning
- Instance of the software to do the exercise
Here are two examples below:
Redis Labs, the home of open source Redis, the world’s fastest in-memory database platform, offers their users with an invaluable opportunity to learn about Redis through their Redis University. Redis Labs provides virtual labs for both self-paced courses as well as in-person live training events.
Live Training Event: Redis Conf 2019
Each year, Redis Labs, hosts an annual conference called RedisConf. Redis Labs held a full day of hands-on training workshops, called Day 0, where over 500 developers gathered to learn and develop their skills during live tutorials.
Four training sessions were held simultaneously throughout the entire day, with three including hands-on software training powered by Appsembler Virtual Labs. With our platform, attendees were able to work within a virtual lab environment by simply clicking a link – no hardware or system configuration or setup required and no technical assistance – the only technical requirement was having a computer and a web browser.
You can also deliver technical training to end users. Dremio, the data-as-a-service platform that makes data engineering teams more productive, uses virtual labs to train their prospective customers on how to use a web application.
Dremio wants to provide customers and prospective customers the best-in-class Dremio learning experience. The goal of Dremio University is to help learners gain insights from their data faster, minimize their deployment time, enhance their user experience, help identify and reduce implementation challenges.
Virtual labs provide a more engaging learning experience, save time and resources and make it easy for students to access labs, course authors to embed labs and for anyone to create and update labs.
Watch the Recording Now
The webinar is full live demos on virtual labs and dives deep on why they are the best solution for your software training. You can watch the recording here.
If you would like more information on how a software training platform can help, then get in touch with our team, or get a live demo.