One of the benefits of current online learning platforms is the social networking functionality. This can include video conferencing facilities, forums, blogs and chats via your LMS.
Using this functionality in a corporate environment, virtual mentoring has become a full-fledged industry where knowledge acquisition can stretch across multiple time zones and cultures. Collaboration using these decentralized communication methods can also be achieved between diverse groups and skill sets.
A high profile example of this collaboration is architect Frank Gehry, whose unorthodox building designs have resulted in the streamlining of the idea-to-execution process using digital communication tools, building information modelling and web systems.
Whatever the context, the idea of mentoring in a fast changing world, takes on even more important role in learning new skills and trading ideas.
There are some key points to keep in mind when setting up a virtual mentoring program.
First, use a platform that has solid administrative capabilities which makes it is easy for participants to register and access training materials. Those training materials can include access to pre-recorded interviews and demonstrations so participants can hit the ground running when it comes time for one-on-one interaction.
When it comes to choosing a mentor, some companies will allow participants a choice. This is a bit of a luxury that would be difficult to achieve unless the organisation has deep pockets. This type of mentoring is a teacher/apprentice style which some companies or educational institutions simply cant afford. If you can’t afford a mentoring program or devote the time and resources to setting one up, there are other options.
The social networking functionality of an LMS can make any kind of peer-to-peer interaction achievable. For example, a virtual idea exchange has been set up by many companies where employees are encouraged to share better ways of performing tasks in what amounts to a running workshop.
The employee logs on to a central portal, then accesses the idea exchange site.
The idea is you can have a bunch of freelancers or contractors working from home exchanging ideas and hooking into to pre-programmed corporate information to help them achieve their work goals.
The decentralisation of information is a fact of life now. If you want to exercise some control of over how it is deployed and who can access it, then your choice of LMS can make a difference.
My Learning Space can offer you a detailed analysis of how you can achieve the mentoring/idea exchange programs.