NVTI Classes Continue Virtual Delivery
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) has directed the National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI) to continue delivering all classes typically delivered in the face-to-face classroom setting in the live virtual classroom through the second quarter of the year (June 2021). This includes both the 9608: Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialist Core Competency Development course and the 9609: Local Veterans’ Employment Representative (LVER) Core Competency Development course.
As we have seen over the past year, many companies have moved to a virtual format. Working from home, virtual meetings, and virtual training all have become the new normal. There is the strong possibility that the way offices and businesses have learned to operate during the pandemic will create more opportunities and avenues to learn and grow that have not been considered before. The landscape of work has changed, and virtual learning will not completely disappear.
The NVTI Virtual Training Environment
As an NVTI virtual class participant, you should have many of the same expectations as you had of traditional face-to-face classes. You will still have the opportunity to learn from the instructor, engage with other students, and participate in dynamic learning exercises. You also have the opportunity for peer-to-peer engagement in these classes with other individuals from around the country. You can share ideas and better understand how you can prepare to serve veterans. Additionally, you will learn best practices around how to work in a virtual environment, talk about challenges you face, and discuss strategies and preparedness that will benefit veterans. After class, you have access to the Making Careers Happen for Veterans: Community of Practice so that you can continue to network and share ideas.
Keys to Success in the Virtual Training Environment
Much like a typical face-to-face class, one of the keys to success in a virtual learning environment is preparation. Arriving to class on time and with the desire to learn is a critical step, but preparation starts by ensuring that the laptop or computer to be used during the virtual class is ready (tablets and mobile devices aren’t recommended). Most NVTI classes use Voice Over IP (VOIP) audio, and benefit from a headset with a microphone. The best type of headset is one that plugs into the computer’s USB port. Cell phone headsets that plug into the computer, such as those used for an iPhone or Samsung, have also been successful, while other students have had success with a gaming headset. Most issues occur when the computer speakers and microphones built into laptops are used because they often lead to feedback. We also do not recommend Bluetooth devices.
It’s a great idea to run a diagnostic test and the go through speaker and audio setup prior to class at: http://managementconcepts.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
After ensuring your hardware and software are working, the best strategy to learn from virtual facilitation is to be flexible and to have the same desire to learn as you would in the classroom setting - engage the facilitator, ask questions, post ideas in the chat, and share best practices. When you have the opportunity to go to a breakout room for small group interaction, unmute your microphone and talk to other learners.
Of course, technical issues will occur. Having a positive, can-do attitude goes a long way in generating a successful class experience as well as in how much you understand and retain. During these unusual times, the virtual classroom setting has allowed learning, career growth, and critical veteran services to continue. The ability to stay prepared and continue to serve veterans is priceless.
VETS and NVTI will continue to monitor the situation to determine when students will return to the face-to-face classroom setting. Until then, NVTI looks forward to seeing you in the virtual classroom!