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Attendance rates on virtual classroom

Hi everyone! 

I am conducting a bit of research (for my CIPD final paper actually!) on attendance rates for virtual classroom events. It's ridiculously difficult to find any data on line in order to benchmark attendance for this type of training/learning.

We are finding virtual classroom no-shows are higher than those for traditional face to face classroom training. I wonder if anyone would mind providing me with statistics for your own organisation or experience? For reasons of confidentiality, I won't use any company names in my report and/so if you'd prefer to email me the information directly, please do so at karen.lough@iqstudent.com. 

Thanks all! Much appreciated.

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  • Hi Karen, 

    Great question! I'd love to hear more (anonymised) info when you gather and analyse it. Have a look at on24.com - they have a variety of bits of research about when is good to get people on webinars, when to email them and all sorts. A lot of it is US based but they are also good on their European and APAC data too. It might not have everything you want but will help I'm sure. 

    Speaking for us, we get nearly 100% on our virtual classroom training courses, but they are very specific for teams, we aren't offering a variety of shorter sessions/courses internally to an organisation, which I think it more where you are at. 

    This is why I think the On24 info might be useful, to look at the marketing element of what is being done. 

  • Hello Karen, 

    I have just seen your query.   I have been using virtual classrooms for several years in the context of blended learning programmes.   In one programme, which I have delivered multiple times during that period, there is no noticeable difference in attendance rates between the workshops and virtual classroom sessions.   Occassionally people have technical difficulties attending, eg firewall not permitting them to access from work, but sometimes people have technical difficulties with getting to workshops eg train cancellations.   In this programme, the virtual classrooms are fully integrated into the programme and participants are highly motivated about the whole programme.  On occassion we have varied the timing of the session to suit particular needs eg childcare, attendance at a funeral.  

    In the other, the virtual classroom sessions are after a face to face workshops and are predominantly about briefing an assessment.  They are recorded and participants have no influence over the timing of them,   As the programme progresses, the attendance rate is droppping.   

    I don't hold the data, so unfortunately can't share it with you.   I think the challenge with the latter is the design of the programme, rather than the use of virtual classrooms per se.  

    Hope this helps, 



    • Thanks for this Rachel. Yes, I'd agree with your theory - we find that the sessions which form part of a wider blended programme are generally well attended.

      Interestingly, my report has now been submitted and my research shows that it is those workshops that are delivered to new staff that are the ones that are worst attended - we have two in particular that loosely form part of onboarding and they sit within the bottom 4 in our attendance ratings.   I have compared this to theories and secondary research that indicates that the virtual environment is not the ideal one for people new to an organisation - we were relying on just a virtual and digital blend to our onboarding offering. As a result of this research we are moving our strategy towards a wider blend to include face to face delivery during the onboarding period.

  • Hi Karen,

    This is an interesting one. Unfortunately I dont hold the data myself but in my experience, when it comes to F2F, people feel obligated to come, even if they don't fully understand what the training is. For virtual, we have found that if we make the promotion and the 'What's In It For You' well then the attendance is much higher than the equivilant F2F. 

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