One feature of the global pandemic has been the accelerated drive towards online learning.

With in-person training barred or restricted, people have had to adapt the way they deliver their expertise.

Gym workouts, yoga, meditation, language classes, IT, cookery demonstrations, have flooded online communications platforms like Zoom.

Many consultants, coaches, speakers and trainers have turned to Microsoft Teams as the way to deliver consultations, appointments and sessions.

And the statistics suggest there are many benefits to a switch to online learning, or e-learning.

Companies are seeing the Value

The traditional way of sending employees away to a venue for group training has almost vanished.

Online learning has shown it is possible to save money on travel and accommodation costs – and still receive high quality training.

A Brandon-Hall study revealed learning through e-learning typically requires 40 to 60 per cent less employee time than taking in the same material in the old-school classroom set up.

This is because the training does not have to be delivered at a set time. Employees can learn when they want so it doesn’t affect their workflow.

Businesses want a return on their investment

A study by IBM found that for every dollar invested in online training, a company sees $30 in productivity. This is largely because employees are able to get back to work more quickly and apply their learning immediately.

This was especially true for sales teams – where time ‘in the field’ has a direct correlation to dollars earned for the organisation.

An Ambient Insight report found 42 per cent of companies saw an increase in revenue as a result of e-learning.

E-Learning is Effective

IBM, in the same study that revealed the productivity benefits, discovered that participants in online learning programmes took in almost five times more material than through the traditional way.

Companies found that by teaching more material in less time, they could get employees back to work more quickly. Reduced costs, higher performance. A win-win all round.

Online learning also helps people to remember what they have been taught via computer screen.

According to The Research Institute of America, e-learning increases retention rates 25 per cent to 60 per cent. That compares with 8-10 per cent retention rates for face-to-face training.

I think much depends on the quality of the training and how the training is delivered. But the numbers look very favourable.

Adapting to Personal Learning Styles

Any decent trainer understands that people have different learning styles.

Some are highly visual – and like looking at slide presentations. Some are more audio – and like listening to a speaker. Some are mostly kinaesthetic – and warm to energy, movement and how the session makes them feel.

We all have a blend of these. It’s just we have our own preferences. I do. You will, too.

What the RIA research suggests is that people learn better when they have more control over the learning process. They can:

  • Watch lessons in their own time
  • Learn when they are able to concentrate best
  • Pause the e-learning at any time (without getting ‘left behind’ in class)
  • Watch a session, then repeat it and make notes, or…
  • Make notes as they go, knowing they’ll never miss a single word
  • Learn in the order that most suits them
  • Keep track of lessons completed and learning still to do

What all these studies and other research shows, is that online learning – when done well – works.

That’s Good News for Assistants around the World

If companies are placing their trust in online learning, they are going to want content and materials for screen-based training sessions and programmes.

They are most likely going to turn to their assistants for help in putting that together for internal teams.

That could include training notes, slides for the Perfect PowerPoint Presentation, workbooks, manuals, checklists, programme content schedules, creating branded templates or even scripts for training videos.

If your depth of knowledge and skills across Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams are not quite what they should be, help is at hand.

You can use e-learning for yourself. It’s precisely why I created a range of online courses so assistants like you can brush up on your skills.

Learn what you want, where you want, whenever you want.

Each course offers a step-by-step guide to all the essential tasks you’ll ever need to know how to do. You’re covered whether you work on Windows or Mac. You get lifetime access so you can revisit the training any time you need a reminder or a refresh. You go at your own pace.

If you know you need more learning across more than one application, it is worth taking a look at The Hub (aka ‘The Full Monty’). It’s the complete box set of my online courses. One price, the best value compared to buying individual courses, and new courses are added to your set for free.

Are you ready for the online world of learning?

Not forgetting the Green Factor

Another benefit of online learning, of course, is that it is good for the environment.

A study by the Open University revealed that, on average, producing e-learning courses uses 90 per cent less energy and produces 85 per cent fewer CO2 emissions per student than traditional face-to-face courses.

So, not only can you pick up new skills and develop those you already have, but you can also feel good about helping the planet while you study.

The numbers really are on your side.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes