NetSpeed Virtual: Repurposing classroom training for virtual learning

Case Studies

NetSpeed Virtual Learning Custom Solutions


NetSpeed Learning's Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification reduces training costs and training time without sacrificing learning engagement


McKesson is a Fortune 15 healthcare company dedicated to delivering medicines, medical supplies and information technologies that enable the health care industry to provide patients better, safer care. This 100-year old company is the largest pharmaceutical distributor in North America, distributing one-third of the medicines used every day. In addition, the company develops and installs healthcare information technology systems that eliminate the need for paper prescriptions and paper medical records.

McKesson was looking for a way to improve their efficiencies and reduce costs associated with training, particularly in the time and expense associated with extensive instructor travel for face-to-face training in their geographically dispersed locations. They were looking for a way to provide a first rate virtual training experience that was every bit as engaging and interactive as their face-to-face instructor-led courses. And they realized that their trainers, while strong in terms of face-to-face classroom delivery, lacked the experience and skill set to provide the same top-flight virtual learning experience.


McKesson's training executives realized that their experienced classroom trainers needed training in the facilitation skills to excel in the virtual classroom. They found this in NetSpeed Learning Solutions' Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course. The course provided a deep-dive, comprehensive skill-building experience, and had been developed by a training solution provider that had a stellar reputation in the virtual learning space. McKesson worked with NetSpeed Learning Solutions to create a customized private VFTC course for their trainers.


McKesson estimates that as a result of shifting a portion of their classroom training to virtual courses, they will be able to reduce their overall training-related travel costs by 10 to 15%. More importantly, the virtual learning program has been a smashing success.

They initially launched virtual learning as a pilot program for one course, as a test to see whether they could conduct some of their training virtually and replicate the classroom experience. It was so successful that they have now added it to their core curriculum as an exclusively virtual classroom offering.

McKesson has taken a course that previously required 14 days of face-to-face classroom instruction, and thanks to what their trainers learned in the VFTC program, were able to repurpose it into a virtual course consisting of shorter training segments which required only half as many days of training, supplemented with self-paced pre-work.

The scores from participants going through McKesson's virtual learning course were "nothing short of phenomenal," said Patty Patmore, McKesson's Vice President, McKesson Center for Learning, "I am a true believer in the potential virtual learning. Based on the facilitation skills our trainers acquired by going through NetSpeed Learning Solutions' VFTC course, I would strongly recommend the VFTC program to any other organization looking to transition their trainers and learning content from traditional classroom delivery to the virtual learning environment."


Valero Energy

Virtual Training Allows Training Team to Reach Geographically-Dispersed Workforce


Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio,  is the world's largest independent petroleum refiner and marketer with 16 refineries, 10 ethanol plants, and retail filling stations/convenience stores throughout the U.S. and internationally. The company's learning education and development team is centrally located at Valero’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, but travels daily to bring professional development programs to employees in the field.  In 2009 when Valero purchased 10 ethanol plant scattered throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota, the training team faced a new challenge.  Because these plants each employ as few as 50 people, traditional classroom based training would not be a feasible option for reaching this employee base. One on-site class of 20 people, for example, could pose a significant drain on operational staffing.  In 2011 Valero acquired assets in the UK and Ireland, creating a new customer base in a different time zone and posing an additional “reach” challenge to the centralized training team. Like many companies, Valero, while growing in size, found themselves in an even more competitive economic environment in 2011-2012. All internal support functions (i.e. human resources, accounting, IT, etc.) were asked to remain competitive as well, and find ways to minimize additional costs and staffing despite serving a larger and more geographically dispersed employee population. Collectively, these company changes pushed the Valero training department to challenge their own thinking with respect to current scheduling and training delivery methods, especially with respect to reaching an expanded population of operations employees in the field.


Instead of designing their entire curriculum internally, Valero’s instructional design staff supplemented existing course materials with NetSpeed Leadership Library content.  For example, they integrated the NetSpeed Leadership module Delegating Smartly into their Phase II leadership development course as a complement to existing modules.  Laura Vaccaro, Executive Director of Learning, Education and Development reports that the NetSpeed Leadership program "was positively received by participants. NetSpeed made it easy to integrate and package our training content with theirs because of the stylistic similarities in instructional design.  High impact lecturettes combined with interactive activities were exactly what our adult learners have come to expect and enjoy in the classroom. NetSpeed training content has provided us with quick turnaround and the flexibility we needed to deliver more training with less people."

To address the geographic reach challenges, Valero enrolled all of their instructors in NetSpeed Learning's Virtual Facilitator Certification course. This program is designed to help experienced classroom trainers become highly successful facilitators for the virtual classroom.  VILT, or virtual instructor-led training requires a different skill set than conventional classroom facilitation.  The NetSpeed course provides participants a solid foundation of knowledge about what virtual training is and provides the opportunity to practice skills first hand in an actual virtual environment.  The talented and experienced NetSpeed staff work one-on-one with all participants to ensure that they gain the skills and confidence necessary to successfully launch their virtual instructor career.


Vaccaro reports "The NetSpeed virtual instruction course transformed the way we do business.  The hands on coaching and innovative techniques shared by Cynthia Clay and her team opened our eyes to a whole new universe of training possibilities. After completing NetSpeed’s virtual training certification we re-designed several of our existing courses, creating a series of nine 1.5 hour webinars that we were able to deliver virtually using the Adobe Connect platform.  This re-design in our thinking and in our delivery format allowed us to successfully reach small groups of participants from all 10 of our new ethanol plants simultaneously. We received extremely positive feedback from this new training in that it allowed Ethanol plant employees to take courses at flexible times while not ever leaving their workspace.  Plant operations were minimally impacted without creation of overtime or extra staffing.   The success of this new format has since stimulated the development of several other virtual leadership development programs that will be offered to audiences in the UK and throughout the company in late 2012 and beyond.  Virtual training will allow us to prioritize which programs we will offer in the classroom and significantly extend our reach to customers throughout the company while maintaining current staffing levels.  We attribute our success in virtual learning 100% to the insights shared by Cynthia Clay at NetSpeed.  She has been a great mentor and continues to inspire our learning in this area.”

"I recommend NetSpeed Learning to my colleagues in the leadership development field all the time. One key reason is that NetSpeed truly understands what we do in learning and development.  CEO and President, Cynthia Clay, has walked in our shoes and knows exactly what we need.  She and her team are experts in designing innovative training solutions that we can implement with ease. It's refreshing to have a strategic partner that understands and relates to our business challenges."

While the exact cost savings from the virtual facilitator training program are hard to measure, using virtual methodology allows the Valero team to save travel expenses and extend team capabilities in reaching global company audiences, regardless of which division of the company or which time zone employees live in. Virtual training has created opportunities for all Valero employees to participate in company branded, high-quality, and engaging learning that might not otherwise have been possible bearing in mind scheduling and resource restraints.  Vaccaro concludes that “the Valero training team will continue to grow their virtual training offerings and look at training delivery with a new mindset, thanks to our friends at NetSpeed Learning.”


Monsanto logo


NetSpeed Learning's Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification helps drive migration of learning content to the virtual classroom



Monsanto is a Fortune 500 agribusiness company dedicated to helping millions of farmers throughout the world grow more and conserve more through a combination of advanced plant breeding, biotechnology and improved farm-management practices using sustainable agriculture. In this pursuit, the company invests more money into research and development than any other seed company in the world. As a large, geographically dispersed organization, it faced a major challenge of finding more cost-effective ways to deliver their employee training. While they had created extensive learning content for face-to-face delivery, they lacked the internal instructional design expertise to migrate this learning to a virtual classroom environment. In addition, its trainers did not have experience delivering in a virtual (web conference) environment.


Monsanto needed to find a quick, cost-effective way to begin the process of migrating learning content to the virtual classroom and equip their trainers with the skills to become competent facilitators in that environment. Working with a very tight timeline, Monsanto’s training team was looking for a solution provider who was experienced in designing training content specifically for the virtual classroom and who could train their trainers for this environment rapidly, without requiring Monsanto to jump through a lot of logistical hoops in the process. They chose NetSpeed Learning Solutions because of their extensive experience designing learning content specifically for the virtual classroom and their comprehensive Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification course, which gave trainers in-depth, hands-on exposure to how to deliver high-impact, engaging and interactive virtual learning experiences.


NetSpeed Learning Solutions created a training program specifically designed for Monsanto’s web conference platform and certified ten of their classroom instructors on  best practices for virtual facilitation, including one-on-one coaching sessions leading up to webinar workshop trainback presentations. As Monsanto began delivering this web conference training, both their trainers and employees quickly began to appreciate that high-impact learning could take place in an environment other than a traditional face-to-face classroom. They are now able to reach thousands of employees remotely for training where in the past they might have been required to travel to different campuses and cities. The result: thousands of dollars in avoided travel costs and associated lost productivity from travel time.

Employees are now more accepting of training conducted via webinar than ever before. As a result of the virtual classroom program NetSpeed Learning designed for Monsanto, other divisions have been able to utilize this content delivered by Monsanto’s internal trainers, rather than having to hire external training consultants to deliver this training, saving the organization a significant amount of money.  Working with NetSpeed Learning Solutions has helped Monsanto realize that virtual learning can be a successful, engaging, and highly cost-effective alternative to traditional classroom learning. Monsanto plans to increase its commitment to virtual learning in the years to come.


Remote Workers' Performance Dramatically Improves Through Interactive Online Learning Program


Since 1993, Spheris has been a leading global provider of clinical documentation and medical transcription technology to more than 500 health systems, hospitals and group practices throughout the US. With a remote workforce of more than 2800 medical transcriptionists performing this tough but critical job, Spheris operation supervisors needed a program-based learning solution that would target specific skill competencies to insure uniformity and ongoing production of high quality material.


After identifying a set of competencies they wanted to achieve, Spheris looked to NetSpeed Learning Solutions to provide a leadership training program that could be offered in a virtual learning environment to a group of remote workers spread out across the country. They also wanted to provide the training through their own company’s web conference platform. The two companies worked together in partnership to convert one of NetSpeed Learning Solutions' classroom programs, NetSpeed Leadership, into a customized, interactive supervisory training experience consisting of seven different leadership courses centered on communication skills competencies. The webinar courses are trainer-led, but provide group learning in virtual breakout rooms, which allows remote participants the ability to actively engage, discuss content and practice their skills. According to Chuck Roberts, Director of Training and Organizational Development, Spheris chose NetSpeed because their leadership skills training content addressed the most critical areas of supervisory skills competency, and the material could be quickly and easily adapted into an online format.


Today Spheris sees evidence of the webinar leadership training program’s success in multiple areas across their business. “We’ve enjoyed considerable cost savings with this program by eliminating travel expenses for training, but there are other benefits as well. The program has made a big impact on our supervisor retention rates, and we can actually see folks putting the skills of being more clear and direct into place. The program has improved overall work performance and helped us provide a better product,” says Roberts. The instructional design resources NetSpeed brought to the table helped simplify development of the program, according to Roberts. “Their ability to work with us, lead us through the process, and adjust content so that it maps to our goals has made NetSpeed Learning Solutions a great choice for us.”

Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia

Interactive Learning Platform Creates a Successful, Engaging Learning Experience for Students Across a Vast Geographical Area

The Situation

The Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia (MVSA) is an independent agency created by the Canadian government to ensure that business practices and consumer protection laws are properly adhered to by more than 1,700 motor dealers andmore than 7,000 sales professionals throughout British Columbia. As part of their mission, the MVSA provides mandatory certification courses for personnel who directly deal with consumers in retail vehicle sales. When their ability to provide training was hampered by logistics, travel costs, and access to remote, hard-to-reach areas, MVSA turned to NetSpeed Learning Solutions to develop a program that would provide timely, cost-effective and accessible training across a vast geographic area.

The Solution

Meet NetSpeed Fast Tracks, NetSpeed Learning Solutions’ online, customizable interactive learning platform that leverages emerging technologies in social media such as blogs, videos, interviews, and podcasts - complete with avatars - to help educate, train, and communicate with participants, while fostering a collaborative learning experience. With NetSpeed Fast Tracks, organizations can use a turnkey, state-of-the-art integrated learning platform to deliver their own customized learning content, as well as offer employees a wide variety of already developed customizable content on career development, workplace effectiveness, coaching and communication strategies, and management and leadership practices to help managers, supervisors and individual contributors become more successful in the workplace.

With NetSpeed Learning Solutions’ expertise, the MVSA was able to convert their popular, highly successful 2-day classroom certification course into a dynamic, online, blended training program that incorporates preliminary self-study online sessions followed by a series of five 2-hour facilitated webinar “virtual classroom” sessions. “What we really like about NetSpeed Fast Tracks is that we’re able to use the built-in administrator tools to go in and see how people are doing. It gives us the chance to reach out and encourage participants to get going and stay involved, which has kept our drop-out rate extremely low. Because this program requires active participation, we feel like our students are getting as much, if not more learning than they had been getting in the face-to-face classroom,” says Doug Longhurst, Director of Consumer Services and Professional Development. The program successfully combines the use of traditional and cutting-edge internet 2.0 learning tools to meet all the needs of their multi-generational audience.

First, the MVSA workbook is mailed to students in advance of the start date. Next, the MSVA administrator sends each student an invitation to register and start their self-study sessions on NetSpeed Fast Tracks. After each self-study session is completed, a facilitated webinar solidifies the learning and reviews all the important points. Students document key information in their workbooks, which later serve as a resource for an open book test that is given at the end of training. “With 25% of their grade dedicated to classroom participation, our students are very aware that their participation and attendance is important. It’s a different experience than the face-to-face classroom. At first we were skeptical about how well it would be received, but we see a lot of relationship-building as people chat and banter on particular topics. The online environment levels the playing field, too. Shy people are no longer hesitant to participate, and it eliminates the ‘blowhard’ syndrome. People like it, and they really have fun with it,” says Longhurst.


While the MVSA program is only in its second pilot, it has already proved a resounding success. “We had a 100% pass rate on the first group of students tested under this program,” says Longhurst. “Not only did our students succeed, but the online learning environment has established a relationship between us and our students that we know will be helpful in the long run. The communication door remains open, it’s a natural channel, and it will help us do a better job of performing our public responsibility and serving as a trusted and valuable resource for them in the future.” Longhurst also reports that the expense, travel and weather challenges that previously restricted their ability to give classes at remote locations have simply evaporated. “The virtual classroom is a perfect solution for a certain number of our provinces. Working with NetSpeed Learning Solutions made our transition easy,” adds Longhurst.

United States Tennis Association (USTA)

Geographically dispersed organization builds a culture of collaboration and leadership at all levels with a virtually delivered, customizable leadership training program


Established in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is a national not-for-profit organization that, among other things, produces each year the most important event in US tennis – the U.S. Open – which more than three-quarters of a million people attend, making it the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. With more than 750,000 individual members and 7,000 organizational members, and thousands of volunteers, the USTA’s staff is dedicated to growing the game of tennis at the grass roots level throughout the USA. Their staff works with local municipalities and youth organizations throughout the country, providing youth tennis programs to introduce a new generation to the sport.

The national organization has a staff of 350 in four locations (White Plains and Flushing Meadow, NY, Boca Raton, FL and Carson, CA) broken into five different divisions. In addition, the USTA also supports 17 independent sections, geographically dispersed throughout the country. A few years ago, the USTA’s senior leadership concluded that the organization with its many divisions and geographic sections, had developed an unhealthy silo culture, in which individuals within different sections sometimes did not work as effectively across divisions as was needed. Communication and cooperation suffered as a result. They wanted to support encouraging staff at all levels to work more collaboratively and communicate more effectively, to support the needs of the USTA, its volunteers and growing membership ranks.

To address this issue, Karen Pacent, the USTA’s Director of Learning & Leadership Development, began a search for a professional skills training program that was flexible and customizable to their unique culture. They specifically were looking for a program that could be delivered by USTA staff – people who knew the culture and needs of the USTA, to help make this new program more credible in the minds of employees, and lead to much quicker buy-in to the skill-building initiative.


The USTA adopted NetSpeed Leadership’s comprehensive curriculum of 24 different leadership, management and professional skills courses. They quickly saw the power of NetSpeed’s blended combination of real-time learning supported by post-classroom online reinforcement tools, to maximize learning transfer.

A strong selling point was the program’s flexibility. Not only did the team at NetSpeed work with them to customize the content for their unique needs, but NetSpeed certified 18 USTA adjunct faculty members to deliver the program. .

Over time, the USTA saw the need for this program to be delivered virtually, because of the geographic dispersion of their staff. They worked with NetSpeed Learning Solutions to certify several trainers to deliver the training virtually in a web conference environment, through means of the Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course.


“The NetSpeed Leadership program has been very well received at the USTA,” said Fred Allemann, USTA’s National Learning Manager. “We are now entering our fifth year providing this training curriculum to their staff. The feedback from participants and their managers has been consistently positive. They have observed improved productivity and the breaking down of barriers between individuals and teams as a result of applying the principles learned in the NetSpeed Leadership training.”

A study of the self-reported results of just under 300 USTA participants who went through the NetSpeed Leadership training program reported that 83% of participants said they have applied what they learned back on their job and 85% said they were more capable of applying the skills learned from the program as a result of the training. The average self-reported improvement in the skills taught in the NetSpeed Leadership program was 56%.

Thanks to the VFTC course, the USTA’s trainers are now able to successfully deliver programs (both NetSpeed Leadership training and other training content) virtually. Now two thirds of the USTA’s workshops are delivered virtually, providing substantial savings in travel time and cost. The VFTC course has not only improved their trainers’ virtual delivery skills but also their ability to design highly engaging, interactive virtual classroom sessions. The result is that employees have experienced virtually delivered training sessions they feel are every bit as engaging and participatory as the face-to-face classroom, helping to create collaborative virtual learning communities.

The USTA recommends NetSpeed Leadership and the Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification course to any organization that wants to improve the collaboration, communication and workplace productivity for their professional staff and supervisory team and is looking for highly engaging, customizable leadership skills training that can be delivered either virtually or face to face.

NetSpeed Leadership Webinars

Florida Virtual School

Connoisseurs of Virtual Learning Find NetSpeed Leadership Webinars a Perfect Fit


The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is a publicly funded K-12 online learning school and winner of numerous national and international educational awards. FLVS also trains teachers, administrators, school districts, and states how to deliver a sound, accountable, and successful online learning experience. When this industry leader decided to offer a more cohesive, formalized leadership and management program to their 1000+ employees, they wanted a program that could deliver the highest level of excellence and a learning experience that would keep these connoisseurs of online education interested and engaged.


The Florida Virtual School chose the NetSpeed Learning Solutions Leadership Webinar Series, which offers a broad range of leadership skills training content, with dynamic presentation and a complete follow-up package. Using 90-minute leadership webinars and web-based reinforcement tools, FLVS participants experience maximum learning without the need for face-to-face contact. Online tools provided with the program give FLVS the ability to measure training impact. “NetSpeed Learning Solutions offered us the kind of online leadership training experience we only hoped to find,” says Raven McElman, Training and Development Specialist. “They have a deep knowledge of the subject matter, with talented webinar presentations, and truly thoughtful follow-up questions to help with retention. It’s an intelligent, creative series that gets people involved, learning and applying their own experience.”


According to McElman, it’s been a challenge finding an online learning program that will keep her caliber of online experts interested. “My people are always multi-tasking, and they’re very savvy. If they’re not listening because the content isn’t up to par, or it’s just a lecture, they’re not going to learn. With NetSpeed, I have found an engaging, well-integrated leadership webinar training program with good follow up. The folks at NetSpeed Learning Solutions are instructional design experts when it comes to virtual learning,” says McElman.