I have recently been taking some training from Global Knowledge to obtain a certification. I have been taking the courses onsite in their training location in my city. I decided to take my last course using their “Virtual Classroom Live” training format, i.e. online, because the course had been cancelled at the training location and the next course wasn’t for many months. Here are some of the lessons that I learned from taking the Global Knowledge Virtual Classroom Live course.
1. Register early enough to get the reference materials.
I decided to take the course using the Virtual Classroom Live format less than a week before the course started. I didn’t realize that they had to courier me the course slide book and work book. Since, I am in Canada and they are sending the reference material from the United States, I was worried that I would not get it in time. Global Knowledge was really good and send the materials out the day after I booked and I received it the following day in time for my course. So, my lesson learned is that if you are taking a Virtual Classroom Live course to book it well in advance so that you can receive your reference material before the course starts!
2. Where to find the link to the Virtual Classroom Live course?
Since I was rescheduling my course I talked directly with one of the Global Knowledge representatives. She was very helpful to get me registered and how to test my computer to see if supported taking the course online. However, I forgot to ask where the link to start the course was. I looked around a bit and found what appeared to be the link in the MyGK under the “Learning” section. The link became active about 30 minutes prior to the course starting. So, the lesson learned is where the link reside and that you should test logging into the MyGK section of the Global Knowledge website prior to the course so that you know that you have access!
3. Load the Adobe Connect software
Prior to the course starting I tested my computer to see if it would work for taking the course. To test your system, from the Global Knowledge main web page, select ‘Delivery Formats’ under the Training menu, then select ‘Virtual Classroom Live’ from the links on the left side of the web page, then select ‘Test Your System’ from the list of links on the right-side of the web page. This will immediately start testing your system and give you the results within a few minutes. For me, it recommended loading the Adobe Connect software, so I did. I don’t know what the implications would be if you don’t load the Adobe Connect software. The software was easy to load and I didn’t have any issues during the course so I would recommend loading it. So, my lesson learned is to load the Adobe Connect software.
4. Use a telephone rather than your computer’s microphone/speakers.
The course I took had a number of group exercises. I used my telephone instead my computer’s microphone to listen to the course and participate in the group exercises. It was really easy to have the software call my telephone. I had a headset on my telephone so my hands were free. There were some people in my course who did not use a telephone, but rather used their computer’s microphone. These people could not participate in the group discussions. We had to communicate by chat to involve them in the group discussions. This was very difficult. Most of the people in my course were using their telephones. My lesson learned is to highly recommend to people to use their telephone when taking a Virtual Classroom Live course.
5. Tests need to be scheduled after the course finishes
Most of the people in my course were taking the course as part of a certification. Most people assumed that since the course was online, that the test would be online right at the end of the course. This was not the case. The test needs to be proctored so we had to email Global Knowledge to arrange a date and time to go into their office to take the test. Our test supposedly consists of 10 questions with a 15 minute time limit so it is not a big test! I understand that since it is for a certification that the test needs to be proctored, but I’m thinking that many people will spend more time arranging for and getting to the test taking location than the actual test will take! I also think, because of the reactions of my classmates, that they were not aware of the fact that the test was not going to happen in the course. So, my lesson learned is that you will need to schedule your test AFTER the course.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the Virtual Classroom Live experience when taking my course. I would take another course using this format.
Update..after taking the test
It turned out that I could not take the test in the Global Knowledge training facility because they are using a third-party facility. I had to find a proctor and arrange to take the test. It took me a few hours to organize everything. The test only took 5-10 minutes and I scored 100% on it…if you were wondering!!! So, before taking a Global Knowledge Virtual Classroom Live Course ask Global Knowledge if you will be able to take the test at their facility in your city or whether you need to find your own proctor and arrange for the test which may or may not be an issue for you.