With no end to the current COVID-19 outbreak, organizations are trying to adapt to changes brought by this pandemic. Now it is more important than ever to understand how to utilize online learning platforms for making virtual training a success. Many companies are increasingly using online learning to develop and enhance their employees' skills and knowledge. Even if you are only used to doing offline sessions, with our guide you will be a pro at conducting great virtual training sessions.
In the previous blog article, we discussed 5 guidelines to make virtual training successful. Now we will give you more essential tips and guidelines that will help you create highly engaging learning experiences.
So, how do you quickly shift to virtual learning? How do you create virtual training sessions that allow you to achieve your training goals? We have compiled 5 additional guidelines for making your virtual training successful:
1. Prepare pre-session activities with virtual icebreakers
Before you start the training sessions, you should prepare some pre-session activities. Such as polls, quizzes, and word puzzles. You could also send links to YouTube videos on how to use the learning platform to employees before the training starts. Virtual icebreakers can also be quite useful in online training. Interesting icebreakers in the form of trivia games on topics are a great way to get conversations started and build human connections.
All these pre-session activities can help your employees stay online until the training starts. They can help them prepare mentally for the session. They can also make your learners more involved and interactive. Lastly, these activities can help the trainer to better connect with the learners by sharing some information about themselves and their teams.
2. Ask engaging questions for interactive discussions
Use breakout rooms to make your employees connect with each other. Then take the time to create thought-provoking and guiding questions, polls, and discussion topics. Asking engaging questions to employees will make them think and interact. It will give them a sense of purpose for their interaction with one another and will help you to keep the discussions on track.
When asking questions, you could ask your learners to write their answers. Then you could discuss each answer or ask them to pose their own questions that can be further discussed. This will make them feel like they are actively participating in the sessions.
3. Schedule short sessions with breaks in between
You should keep training sessions short ensuring that they don’t last more than 1.5 hours. Go through all the available materials to cover. But keep the content concise, avoid lengthy explanations, and only include information that is necessary. Since it can cause boredom and reduced employee engagement.
Regularly engage with your employees every 10 minutes. Otherwise, they will lose interest. It is also important to have breaks between sessions. Never go longer than 90 minutes without a break. Then resume the session after a break with polls, quizzes, and other similar activities. This will reduce distractions and improve learner engagement levels.
4. Encourage learner involvement and participation
Virtual training requires you to manage group interactions. So, encourage active participation and involve your learners early and often. Try to involve your participants every 4-5 minutes. Motivate them to collaborate, ask questions, and share experiences. Acknowledge your employees and let them know that their views matter. Try to know your participants better by asking yes/no questions and having them raise their hand for a yes. Call on participants who haven’t volunteered to answer questions. Also, have video calls/meetings as it will keep your employees engaged. Otherwise, your training may not be that effective as you would have wanted.
Encourage your employees to communicate using tools such as chats, polls, quizzes, breakout rooms, and shared whiteboards. You could use these features with MindScroll’s integration with Zoom. Participants could use the chat feature to ask questions and respond to questions. You could also allocate the task of monitoring chats and filtering questions to a team member. Polls are another great way to track engagement, get live participant feedback, and create competitions. You could use polls to test the knowledge of your employees and their understanding of topics. Similarly, online breakout rooms having 4-10 participants per room could be used to brainstorm ideas, increase engagement, and allow for true creativity and application of what is taught.
5. Incorporate regular feedback and learner assessment
Continuous feedback and assessment is the key to the success of virtual training sessions. Your employees are also more likely to do well when they feel heard and understood. So, encourage regular employee feedback to track and evaluate learner engagement and satisfaction. Make suggestions and ask questions about the online learning process. Create as many chances as possible for participants to provide feedback, make suggestions, or ask questions about the virtual learning process. All this will help you correct courses and leverage successes.
Moreover, consistent formative and summative assessment will lead to great training success. It is especially important when your learning platform is new to employees and trainers. As you will be able to quickly resolve issues and make improvements. You could evaluate components like learning content, UI/UX, technology, and instructional design.
For example, find out how your employees feel about their experience with the learning platform. This will be largely determined by the user interface (UI). Review how your learning content is performing. Find out if the course structure and delivery were effective and if it met the expectations of your employees. Plus, encourage honest and open feedback about the technological elements of your learning platform.
Now It’s Your Turn
By now you are fully prepared to use the power of virtual training to create great online learning experiences. You will able to create successful training sessions by using the best tools and online learning technology. When done right, you will create a culture of learning that goes beyond the traditional classroom.
We hope you found this blog post useful in knowing how to make your virtual training successful. By following all these guidelines, your virtual training will be more engaging and effective.
Have you read Part 1 of this article. If not, make sure to read it here.
Now we would like to hear what you have to say.
Which guideline from this article will you try first?
Maybe you already know of other effective guidelines.
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Deliver virtual training with our integration with Zoom. Learn more here.
Want to learn more about teaching online using live virtual classrooms in the coronavirus crisis?
Read next: How to Teach Online Using Live Virtual Classrooms in The Coronavirus Crisis
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