What to expect from online training with Armada

Online learning has been around for many years now in different guises, but the recent Covid-19 pandemic has brought it to the fore, with many people considering this training format for the first time.

Here at Armada, we’ve been in the strange position that we’ve had to close our classrooms whilst the country is in lockdown, so online training has been the only format we’ve been able to offer. We’ve welcomed many ‘virtual delegates’ onto our courses, and have been overwhelmed with the feedback we’ve received.

We are very aware that participating in an online course can be a daunting prospect for some people. There are a lot of unknowns involved if you haven’t participated in online training before, or if you’ve had a bad experience. If you are not sure what to expect when participating in a live online course, or whether it is the right learning format for you, I hope these FAQs will answer your queries and reassure you.

Will my online training be live, or pre-recorded?

All of our training courses are hosted live, in real time and with a real trainer. You’ll be able to see and talk to your trainer, and the other participants on your course. There is no part of your course that is pre-recorded, and your trainer will adapt the speed of the course to the requirements of the group.

When you attend a live online course with Armada, we endeavour to make your experience as close as is feasibly possible to being in the classroom.

How will I know how to access my online training?

One week before your course, we’ll send you an email with the information you need to participate in your course.

Zoom is our platform of choice for online training – you’ve probably used it for video calls with friends and family, so will be familiar with it. The email we send includes the all-important Zoom meeting ID and Password to log-in on the morning of your course, and a link to our ‘Delegate guide’ that covers the Zoom features we’ll use, including one or two specific to training that you may not be familiar with.

The email also includes links to any training files you’ll need to download before your course, and information about out recommended computer set-up for the optimum learning experience.

If there’s anything you’re not sure about ahead of your course, we’re always here to assist – just email or pick up the phone and we’ll do all we can to help you.

What happens on the first morning of the course?

We recommend that you log in to the course in plenty of time – say 10-15 minutes ahead of the scheduled start – so the course gets underway on time.

When you first log in, you’ll wait in our virtual waiting room until your trainer admits you on to the course. This is usually pretty quick, but you may have to wait a few minutes if the trainer is not quite ready. Don’t worry if this happens – they know you are there and will let you in as soon as they can.

As you join, the trainer will introduce themself to you and check your audio to make sure you can hear them, and vice-versa.

You will notice an extra person in the meeting called ‘Administrator’. That’s one of use here at Armada’s offices. We join in first thing to make sure everything gets underway smoothly. We are here to support you and the trainer, but only if needed – we’ll remain ‘muted’ in the background unless we need to speak.

Whilst waiting for everyone to join, your instructor will ask you a few questions about your work and any experience you may have with the software, to get to know a bit about your requirements for the training. Once everyone has joined, they will get the training underway and we (the Administrator) will leave you to it!

I’m quite shy, will I have to speak to the group?

No, not if you don’t want to. Your trainer may encourage you to all chat amongst yourselves on occasions, and some trainers will use ‘breakout rooms’ where you split into smaller groups to complete exercises.

If you’re not comfortable with this, simply send your trainer a private chat – this option is always available, so you will never feel pressured into speaking. That being said, we find that once things get underway, delegates are quite comfortable with each other and there tends to be a friendly vibe amongst the group. Our trainers are all highly experienced and really friendly people, so they want you to all get along and have fun whilst you are training.

What are the timings for the day?

Our online courses run from 9:30am – 4:30pm GMT each day. It’s difficult to give a defined breakdown of session times as these can vary between courses and trainers. Your trainer will want to break at a logical point, not in the middle of a topic. There will be at least one group morning break, a lunch break, and at least one group afternoon break. Our trainers are flexible, so if you need a screen break, just send them a private chat message and they will break as soon as they can for you.

Will I need any special software or equipment to participate?

If you’re attending training to learn how to use a particular application, you’ll need to have it installed on your computer.

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet purchased the software – we’ll provide you a link to download fully‑functioning trial software that’s fine for participating in training.

The only other things that are essential are a stable internet connection and a webcam.

Do I draw or design things myself during the online training?

Absolutely! Our courses are really practical and ‘hands-on’, and this applies as much to our live online courses as those held in-class.

The whole way through you’ll be doing exercises and drawing, writing, creating or designing things, depending on the course you’re participating in. This is why it’s essential you have access to the relevant software. The best way to learn is from watching and then doing it yourself, and our online courses are packed full of exercises to keep you focused and engaged throughout. You’ll be able to see your instructor’s screen the whole time and, should you get stuck, you can share your screen with them too so they can see what you’re seeing and guide you through getting un-stuck 😊.

Will I still get my certificate at the end?

Yes, absolutely. All of our Autodesk and Adobe courses are accredited, whether you attend a classroom-based course, or participate online. So, you will receive the same e-certificate at the end of your course regardless of your method of attendance.

What training materials do I get?

We provide exactly the same training materials for live online training as we do for our in-class courses. We send printed copies of training guides to your requested address ahead of your course commencing; these are yours to write on, keep and use as a refresher after. And, as mentioned above, we’ll send you a link to download any files and resources you’ll use during your course.

I hope these FAQ’s help to give you an insight on what you can expect when you are a ‘virtual delegate’ with Armada. If you still have any queries, don’t hesitate to call us, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Lyndsay

Lyndsay Mann

About the author

Lyndsay has worked at Armada since September 2019, and is an integral part of the team. She is the face behind our website chat service and the voice at the end of many of our in-bound phone call enquiries.Lyndsay studied Equine Science at Holme Lacy college, and she has numerous Equestrian qualifications. Prior to working at Armada, she spent the majority of her professional life managing busy competition stables, both private and professional, in the UK and Europe.When she isn’t working, Lyndsay likes to be outdoors and active as much as possible. Weekends are generally spent catching up with friends and family, and she is regularly the unpaid help for her friends at horse trials.

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