There has already been a steady increase in the number of employees who worked remotely. Before the events of this year more 4 million people were already working from home at least part of the time (1). However this year we have seen a large jump in remote teams due to recent events. The impact of Covid19 on the world of L&D has been significant. Now more than 88% of organizations have either encouraged or required their employees to work from home (2).
This jump has increased the need for online training solutions such as virtual instructor led training programs also known as VILT. Now many organizations are looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of their virtual training sessions and mobile learning options. In this article we will share with you the top tried and tested tips that will help you get the most out of your VILT sessions.
Pre-Work and Setting Expectations
One of the best ways you can set up your virtual training session up for success is by preparing your participants ahead of time. This can be done in a couple of different ways. The first is by sharing some information about the training program ahead of time.
You can let them know what to expect to learn during the video training session so they can be prepared. This could cover anything they need to know from how to login to online learning etiquette.
Using a flipped classroom model is also a useful strategy you can use to train employees in an online learning environment. This is done by giving participants training content such as reading materials or activities to complete before participating in the virtual instructor led program. This leaves more time for interactive activities and engaging discussions during the virtual instructor led training.
Test Your Tech Beforehand
One of the trickier aspects of using a virtual training delivery method is the use of technology. Much of the success of the program depends on the platform and tools that used to host the program. There is nothing that creates more disruption than technical issues. The good news is that with proper preparation this can be avoided altogether.
Be sure that your facilitator is familiar with the technology they will be using to deliver the training. It is also wise to go through a couple of test runs before instruction takes place. This will help further prevent any potential technical disruptions that could hinder the learning experience
Partner with a Moderator
There are many benefits to using this modern training delivery method, but facilitators often struggle to juggle all the associated tasks involved. An instructor is responsible for managing the classroom, presenting, handling the technical aspects and for keeping learners engaged.
Thankfully teaming up with a moderator can make delivering virtual classroom training a little easier and help things run a little smoother. A Moderator often assists with these tasks such as handling the technical side of things, moving through slides during presentations and responding to comments in the chat section. This makes things easier for the facilitator and lets them focus on training delivery.
A common pitfall that occurs during virtual types of training is distractions. In an in-person training session the instructor has more control over the learning environment. During the VILT method of training there is much less control and there are numerous potential distractions that can impact the effectiveness of the session.
Have a plan in place to reduce potential distractions ahead of time. It is also helpful to have a plan in place to handle off topic questions or questions that will take a lengthy amount of time to answer. Distractions are inevitable part of online training programs but having a plan in place can improve training quality.
Integrate Visual Elements
Another element you may want to consider during the training content development process is the use of visual elements. Integrating strong visual elements and even small clips of video content can liven up the session and build context around each topic. Using the right visual elements can also help boost both engagement levels and understanding. Try to avoid using slides and visuals that are text heavy as they could be distracting.
Engage Learners with Interactive Activities
Blended learning is an effective training strategy for VILT sessions. One of the benefits of utilizing an asynchronous learning method where everyone is participating at the same time is that it allows learners to actively participate. This greatly increases levels of engagement and can be an incredibly useful way to build a deeper understanding of topics such as soft skills training.
74% of companies plan to shift at least some employees to permanent remote positions in the near future (3). The jump in remote teams is only expected to continue overtime. Implementing an effective VILT strategy is one of the best ways you can continue to deliver impactful learning opportunities to your distributed teams around the globe.
Learn more about VILT and watch the webinar replay of the Instructor’s Guide to Delivering Virtual Training.