Gaëlle Delmas-Watson, Founder, Biography
Gaëlle is a member of The Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) and a certified online facilitator and coach whose work received an E-learning Award in 2014 in the category “Best use of synchronous online learning/Virtual Classroom”. Gaëlle founded SyncSkills to enable trainers and training organisations to move to the virtual classroom with ease and her personalised programmes enable them to get the support they need to confidently embrace new opportunities.
In 2011, I became course manager for a membership organisation. The membership had been badly hit by the credit crunch, yet to maintain their qualifications and be able to work, members still had to undertake at least 12 hours of formal learning per year. I was most distressed to hear about the struggle of self-employed members, particularly those in remote locations, having to travel to London or Manchester for training with all the costs that incurs, all the while not being able to earn an income. Some were on the brink of bankruptcy and others caring for children or elderly relatives, unemployed or with limited mobility. They were facing real challenges in order to keep up with their professional learning requirements.
I felt I had to do something about it and worked on launching a large scale programme of live online classes. It took 6 months to establish the platform, prepare the subject matter experts and their content. Even with a few technical issues, it was deemed successful because it was exactly what the members needed. Within a couple of years, it was a commercial success and one of the certificate programmes to receive an Award.
I soon came to the realisation that the issues faced by the members in my organisation were wide spread. Women with children, remote workers and self-employed were particularly affected. These professionals were not receiving the support they needed to develop their skills and competence. As a result, they were unable to achieve their potential and became frustrated and demotivated. This all too often resulted in severe consequences in their personal as well as their professional life.
I set up SyncSkills to support trainers and learning and development (L&D) professionals through the process of creating virtual instructor led training and reach out to learners who really need it. Virtual instructor led training reproduces the same benefits than a classroom training including:
- personalised coaching time
- role play and cases
All this without any of the inconvenience associated with travelling to a course. It became clear that instructor led online training often achieved better results than face to face courses. Instead of spending a day (or two) cramming information in, the courses are structured into a series of short two hour sessions with time to experiment in “real life” then reflect and feedback to the group.
From technology selection, course design and online facilitation method, I have created a suite of creative personalised programmes that get live online programmes up and running in a very short period of time, allowing my clients’ training to reach out to everyone, everywhere. Training organisations get to greatly increase the level of satisfaction of their clients, expand their geographic influence and develop their trainers to face the future of Learning and development.