Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) is a popular digital learning format that offers several benefits for both, organizations as well as employees. The format, which involves imparting training via a virtual interface, brings digital splendor to traditional classroom training. Cost efficiency, time-saving, and a greater scope for learner engagement are just a few benefits of VILT.
However, the online learning format is not devoid of challenges! The biggest one is learner engagement – learners have several distractions when being trained online. Though it is called ‘instructor-led’, the instructor has decreased control over the learners and the learning environment. Thus, they are constantly looking for ways to keep their learners engaged in the classroom.
Want to Make Your VILT Sessions More Engaging?
Here are a few tips to follow –
- Keep Your Class Size Small
- Ensure Your Lessons are Small and Engaging
- Plan Your Fun Activities in Advance
- Add Varieties to Small Group Activities
- Ensure the Core Concept is Discussed at the Beginning
- Gamify Your Content
Instructors should ideally always make their courses fun for the learners but it becomes a necessity for virtual sessions. The learners’ environment may have distractions and they can’t do anything about it. So, they only have the option to design the virtual learning session such that it keeps learners engaged despite of their learning environment.
To make it easy, I have listed out a few tips that can help enhance learner engagement in your Virtual Instructor-Led Training sessions.
Tips to Help Enhance Learner Engagement in VILT Sessions
Keep Your Class Size Small
If you keep yourself updated with the theories and trends in the learning & development (L&D) industry, you must know that adult learners learn better in a personalized and interactive learning environment. In order to create such an environment, it is important to ensure that your class size is not too big. If it is, it is possible that the learner doesn’t find the experience engaging and efficient enough. To keep your class interactive and fun, you must keep your virtual classroom size small. In case the classroom’s size is big, it is a good practice to have breakout sessions that make it easy to manage the learners.
Ensure Your Lessons are Small and Engaging
As you know, in virtual learning sessions, the instructors have little control over the learning environment. As the sessions happen outside the classroom, there is more scope for distractions. For instance, they could be attending meetings at the same time as the training, or they may be checking their emails or mobile feeds, etc. What you can do here is keep your sessions small. For bite-size lessons, the learners will not have to keep fighting their distractions. Your aim should not be to complete your course as soon as possible but to enhance the learning of the learners. Small-sized online training lessons will help the learners develop a better understanding. 60 minutes lessons with ideally 2 or 3 quick recaps or question breaks are considered good. Additionally, including interactivities such as quizzes and polls is a good idea for quick pulse checks and keeping the learners engaged throughout the course. Also, you can include humorous videos to deliver concepts to add fun element to your training sessions to enhance learner engagement.
Plan Your Fun Activities in Advance
While spontaneity is a good thing, it is always a good idea to plan interactivities much ahead for the virtual environment. While offering virtual training to your employees, you have to consider adding activities compatible with the VILT platform you are using. Based on this, you can add breakout activities such as asking the learners to summarize their thoughts on the topic discussed in the class. However, a key here is that these activities be planned in advance, i.e., before the session.
Add Varieties to Small Group Activities
Group activities are always a preferred way to make online learning more impactful. These activities help engrain learning in the minds of learners in a fun way. Obviously, you will include multiple group activities throughout your course. Try to bring variety to these group activities such as virtual whiteboards or group discussions by altering the group size and also shuffling the group members. The same employees should not always be made partners in group activities. Learners need to learn team spirit and also to cooperate with different varieties of individuals. Adding the element of surprise in simple things like creating a group helps a ton in keeping learners engaged.
Keep the Most Important Learning at the Beginning
We have grown to believe the theory of ‘save the best for the last’ but it does not work so well in today’s time, especially on digital platforms. We are living in a time of instant gratification. The attention span of people is readily dropping. In such a scenario it becomes important to prioritize your lessons based on the learning you want to impart. Always plan your lessons in descending order of priority. The most important learning should come at the beginning.
Gamify Your Content
You might think that games are for kids and your learners are adults and that too, corporate professionals. But, time and again it has been proved that adults too love gamified versions of lessons, and most importantly it enhances their learning capacity. Do not worry, you won’t need to put too much effort into this task. Most virtual learning platforms have game templates that can be easily customized for your lessons. You will find the learners to be participating wholeheartedly when they are served with interesting formats of online learning.
It is mandatory for virtual trainers to keep their lessons interesting and engaging as the virtual learners have to deal with lots of extra distractions as compared to the learners of traditional classroom setups. The above-given tips will help you achieve your target easily. Additionally, you can also ask for your learners’ feedback and suggestions to make the course more interesting and engaging. You can use those suggestions for your next session thereby improving with every new session.
Designing engaging VILT courses is not all. Motivating your learners and enhancing excitement in a virtual classroom is equally important. Get your hands on this eBook to get tips and tricks to generate motivation and excitement among your virtual leaners.