Virtual learning produces cost savings and more flexibility in scheduling as compared with classroom training, so why would anyone choose the old-fashioned, low-tech method? In part, because classroom training provides interaction and collaboration, which is still not replicated with online technology, carriers and education vendors say.The design team at Allstate Insurance Co's claim adjuster training facility in Wheeling, Ill., was aware of the limitations of virtual training when it redesigned one of its classroom workshops into a virtual workshop to accommodate employees who were reluctant to travel following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

As a result, the team worked with its training facilitators to ensure that all students participated in virtual telephone discussions, and reduced class size to four or five participants-a much more manageable number for teleconferences.

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