Harvard, MIT, and other universities are suspending in-person classes and moving learning online in response to COVID-19. To ensure cloud training and other initiatives keep moving, companies will need to embrace online interaction as well.
But over the past month, universities have been discovering that there’s more to online learning than just streaming lectures over the internet. They’re having to learn how to successfully engage students in an online setting – a challenge A Cloud Guru instructors have been confronting since our very first course.
Online learning is a core discipline at A Cloud Guru, something we’ve been practicing and refining for years. And we’re putting that experience to work for you, to help you continue your cloud journey amid all the uncertainty.
In the coming days, we’ll share on this blog our tried-and-tested strategies for learning (and teaching) in an online setting. First up, here are some key things to keep in mind as your teams are asked to work from home.
Using the extra time
If you want your people to learn cloud, it’s important to allocate time for it. Sure, some employees will have the intrinsic motivation to plow through on their own, but many won’t. So help them make the time.
One option: while everyone is working from home, institute weekly “idea hours” cobbled together from time that would otherwise go toward commuting. Say your team typically spends about 40 minutes per day commuting. That’s over three hours a week that could be channeled into cloud training.
Over the course of a month, that could add up to more than 13 hours of study time. Enough for your people to complete foundational cloud courses and be on the path to certification, put a huge dent in associate-level courses, or build strong momentum toward advanced professional and specialty certifications.
Supporting long-distance relationships
It’s as essential now as ever to keep your employees engaged — with their learning and with each other. The more conversation you can foster, the better:
- Organize study groups so employees can learn alongside each other even if they’re not in physical proximity
- Keep tabs on your people and their progress. Put extra emphasis into reaching out to celebrate wins, provide encouragement, or offer support.
- Send out a daily thought starter and encourage employees to chime in.
- Encourage rolling conversation through forums, dedicated Slack channels, or wherever works best for your teams.
- Set a weekly videoconference for each study group to discuss what they’ve been learning and help each other past obstacles.
- Plan online team building exercises — friendly competitions between study groups, digital scavenger hunts, cloud trivia...
Your ultimate goal is to keep your people talking, laughing, supporting each other, and even teaching each other. Keep those relationships healthy.
You can’t control what happens, but you can control how you react
Nobody asked for any of this, but here we are, and everyone is scrambling to deal with it as best they can.
You can’t control the disruption. You can’t control how long it will last or how severe it will be. But you can control how you respond. You can make sure you’ve got the tools in place to maintain continuity amid the uncertainty. You can take steps to ensure your people have what they need and know what they need to do. And A Cloud Guru is here to keep your cloud training and talent transformation initiatives on track amidst the chaos, so you can come back stronger and more cloud-ready than ever.
Feel free to follow this blog in the coming days as we reach into our years of experience with online learning to share our favorite tips and best practices. We’re in this together, and we’re committed to getting through it together.