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February 24, 2021

On a Virtual Campus, Professional Development Courses Stay Personal

Group tasks and social exercises anchor executive leadership courses. A virtual campus lets key interactions happen online.
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As the business world becomes more fluid, it’s not enough for directors and VPs to simply master their industry. A set of relational skills is just as important. To make it  to the C-suite—or maintain your effectiveness once there—experts in professional  development expound the value of self-awareness.

For the team at Action Learning Associates (ALA), seminars and courses expose professionals to their everyday selves. The consulting firm offers an intriguing proposition: the opportunity to catch yourself being yourself.

ALA’s signature style is learning by doing. Immersion is key to its promise of facilitating self-awareness. Tasks, group work, and labs allow course participants to observe themselves in the moment.

Senior partners Scott Miller and Lance Giddens fielded questions for years about an online version of the program. But with experiential learning at the heart of ALA, the team didn’t want to dilute meaningful social interaction.

Virbela helped change that. ALA’s VEE-CAMPUS (Virtual Executive Education Campus) makes it easy to bring executives together in a unique space. 

In a virtual world powered by Virbela, ALA program participants enjoy realistic engagement. 

Represented by avatars, they can see each other’s names on screen, move throughout a dedicated hall or campus, and chat as they like. Spatialized voice makes conversations sound real with volume changes from up close or afar. 

ALA’s content comes to life, because its VEE-CAMPUS allows collaborative brainstorming, problem solving, and listening exercises.

And with a platform like Virbela, any segment of ALA’s clientele can ramp up from anywhere at a comfortable pace. Most clients are senior managers or above. They’re not digital natives, but they’re experienced enough to know that familiarity with the latest tech is crucial to leadership.

This means the VEE-CAMPUS can provide even greater programmatic value to ALA participants. 

When holding seminars in places like Singapore, Lisbon, or Los Angeles, Miller and Giddens schedule onboarding. Unstructured time lets participants network and get settled before diving into program content.

When held in the VEE-CAMPUS, kick-off sessions still encourage networking, but also help clients gain familiarity with next-generation technology.

Once the program is underway, an active exercise could include taking a psychological assessment and then forming lines to represent the strengths of their individual preferences such as extraversion or introversion. The use of avatars allows each participant to understand more about themselves and their teammates via visual example.

Richer content involves breakaway groups in private spaces that allow customized design, web browsing, PDF presentations, sticky notes, and more. One such session led to the launch of a new professional services business, developed by program participants.

By providing a private, tailored space for awareness and growth, ALA prepares its clients to solve challenges of the modern business world. Exercises in self-discovery fuel new ways of relating that foster trust, productivity, and new solutions—exactly the skills world-class leaders need right now.

Learn more about how you can create connections and solve business challenges from virtual offices by reading more case studies.

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