The past year has been a time of much change and, along with many other businesses, we have had to adapt the way that we work. One of the biggest changes we’ve made has been in terms of how we deliver OrcaFlex training to our clients.
In the past, our training courses were almost always conducted on a face-to-face basis, which has clearly not been possible in recent months. Instead, we decided to start offering remote training courses, conducted via screen-sharing with one of our trainers. Although there are always some limitations with this type of training, we have been excited to discover that remote training can also offer advantages over more conventional options.
Traditionally, face-to-face OrcaFlex training would be held over two or three full days, which can be quite intensive for both trainer and trainees. We felt that the nature of remote training meant that full-day sessions may not be as productive as in a face-to-face course – with this in mind, we typically offer remote training as a series of half-day sessions. These half-day sessions can be held on consecutive days but, more typically, the overall course is split into two phases with a few days break in between. This increased flexibility has been beneficial in many cases, as it allows the client more freedom in choosing dates for the course.
Probably the most obvious advantage of remote training is that it allows us to easily present training courses to users in different parts of the world. Historically, presenting a training course to a company located in another continent meant some serious air miles for the trainer. This is expensive, in terms of time, money and the environment. Of course, there are no such limitations for a remote course, as long as a mutually convenient time can be found – and having half-day sessions makes it much easier to schedule sessions for locations that are in very different time-zones from us here in the UK.
The logistics of organising a face-to-face training course, e.g. flights, hotels etc, can also be time-consuming, which means that face-to-face courses often have to be planned a relatively long time in advance. Remote training courses require much less logistical planning and so we can generally be far more responsive to training requests (as long as we have a trainer available).
In the past, we have always provided OrcaFlex licences for use during the training, if required. For remote training courses, we achieve this through electronic licensing (via FlexNet). Using electronic licensing allows us to easily activate OrcaFlex licences for use during each session. We typically allow the licences to remain active for some time after each session, to give the trainees more time to experiment with OrcaFlex. This approach seems to work well in combination with the half-day training sessions, as it allows the trainees to continue to work on models between the formal sessions.
We have not yet held an Open Training course using the remote format ourselves (although our colleagues in North America have done so), but this is something that we plan to do early in 2021 – please keep an eye on the Training page of our website (https://www.orcina.com/support/training/) for the most up-to-date information.
Finally, in addition to offering training courses, we are also in the process of developing a series of training course videos, to take you through the basics of using OrcaFlex. These can also be accessed from our website – see the Introduction to OrcaFlex section on the Videos page (https://www.orcina.com/resources/videos/). At the moment, only four basic introductory videos are available, but we will be adding to these over the coming months.