The Human Resources Talent Development team launched the Virtual Learning Center just over one year ago on March 30, 2020. Created in response to the pandemic’s impact on university operations and to meet the professional development needs of Virginia Tech employees in a virtual environment, the response for the center has been remarkable.

Over the past year, more than 4,300 individuals visited the center and accessed the 52 courses curated by the Talent Development team. Notably, 76 percent of the courses accessed have been completed. Further, 97 percent of respondents recently polled found benefit in these curated courses.

Shannon Cave, a unit administrative assistant with Virginia Cooperative Extension in Westmoreland County, found the Virtual Learning Center easy to use, with many excellent courses to choose from. “These courses have helped me expand my working knowledge, implement new techniques in my organization, and better assist my office team. My confidence and ability to handle situations and everyday details has been given a boost,” she said.

Content recommended by the center during its inaugural year featured nine out of 10 of the top skills accessed through LinkedIn Learning Courses, including personal development, career management, Microsoft Excel, data analysis, communication, leadership, teamwork, time management, and data visualization.

Jenn Million, admissions and academic advisor for the Graduate Life Center, completed several LinkedIn Learning courses over the past year. “The courses are informative, engaging, and self-paced, which makes it easy to fit them into my ever-changing schedule. I particularly appreciate the courses that cover topics related to working from home and engaging digitally. Having never worked from home before, the past year has been a huge shift for me. It is fantastic that Virginia Tech provides us access to these learning resources so that we can continue to learn and grow both personally and professionally,” she said.

The feedback regarding the center has been overwhelmingly positive. According to a recent survey, 95 percent of respondents found value in the Virtual Learning Center.

Joshua Akanmu, business management and process consultant for Virginia Tech Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities said, “I have acquired new knowledge, which has led to improvement in how I conduct business. Furthermore, being able to access the learning center with ease, and at any time of the day, has been a motivating factor in my commitment to attending the courses and trainings.”

The Talent Development team looks forward to providing more enriched content to aid Virginia Tech community members on their professional development journey. The team has redesigned the center and features a new category for micro-learning, which includes learning activities curated to fit into anyone’s schedule.

New pages have been added for the learning, leading, and working categories, as well as a professional development perspectives area that features content from guest collaborators in the Virginia Tech community. Content will be updated on a regular basis. This quarter provides tips for building self-confidence, rocking an interview, leading at a distance, using a strengths-based approach for maximum team potential, organizing a remote office space for maximum productivity, how to influence others, and more.

Vice President for Human Resources Bryan Garey said, “The Talent Development team quickly shifted gears to respond to the development needs of university employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their focus on providing a variety of development opportunities showcases the team’s commitment to continue to serve and build the talent of Virginia Tech employees. The Virtual Learning Center came to fruition because of the pandemic but the demand we’ve seen for these curated learning activities means the program is here to stay.”

Visit Talent Development’s website to learn about other development programs and resources that the team offers such as Fast Track for New Supervisors and On Topic. To access multiple learning venues for professional development on campus, including the PageUp Learning Management System, visit training.vt.edu.