As training managers, you may have found it difficult to navigate the challenges that come with virtual instructor-led training (VILT) sessions, especially when keeping the learners engaged in the training being delivered.
But you are not alone in this! There have been several organizations and training managers who have faced the challenge. And, after a lot of trying and testing, have come up with some best practices and tips to help keep online learners hooked to the learning delivered.
And through this article, I have curated a list of best practices to boost learner engagement in your VILT sessions.
Want to Boost Learner Engagement in Your VILT Sessions?
Follow these 5 best practices:
- Practice 1: Leverage Technology and Automation
- Practice 2: Promote Interactivity and Collaboration
- Practice 3: Embrace Storytelling Techniques
- Practice 4: Utilize Gamification Elements
- Practice 5: Incorporate Engaging
But before that, let us discuss VILT:
Introduction to VILT
Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) is a type of online training that simulates the experience of learning in a traditional classroom. With VILT, learners can interact with the instructor and other learners in real-time, regardless of location.
VILT has many benefits over traditional classroom-based training, including increased flexibility, lower costs, and improved learner engagement. When done correctly, VILT can be an extremely effective way to train employees.
There are a few key practices that can help you get the most out of your VILT programs and accelerate learner engagement. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Make sure your technical setup is solid. This includes ensuring that everyone has the necessary equipment and software installed and knows how to use it. Test your audio and video well in advance of the training session.
- Keep your group sizes small. In general, smaller groups are more engaged than large ones. If you have too many people in a single session, consider breaking them up into smaller groups or offering multiple sessions.
- Encourage interaction. One of the great advantages of VILT is that learners can interact with each other and with the instructor in real-time. Use this to your advantage by asking questions, starting discussions, and encouraging collaboration among participants.
Tips to Make VILT Sessions More Interactive
- Start with an engaging activity: An engaging activity at the beginning of class can set the tone for the rest of the session and help learners to feel more comfortable and engaged from the start. Try something interactive like a quick poll or quiz to get everyone thinking and participating right away.
- Encourage questions and participation: Asking questions and encouraging participation throughout the session will help keep learners engaged and ensure that they are actively processing the information being presented. You can also use breakout groups or pair work to encourage discussion and collaboration among participants.
- Use engaging visuals: Visuals can be a powerful tool for keeping learners engaged, so be sure to use them effectively in your presentation. Use high-quality images, infographics, and videos whenever possible, and make sure that they are relevant to the topic at hand.
- Make it interactive: Adding interactivity to your presentation can go a long way in keeping learners engaged. Use polls, quizzes, chat features, and other tools to make your VILT sessions more interactive and allow your learners to have a say in how the training content is presented.
- Keep it relevant: Make sure that the learning content of your presentation is relevant to your employees and their needs. All the effort you put in could go to waste if your learning content is not relevant or engaging.
learner engagement is of utmost importance in VILT, but what exactly is learner engagement? Let us discuss:
What is Learner Engagement?
Learner engagement is critical to the success of any online learning program. Yet, achieving high levels of learner engagement can be challenging, particularly in virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) programs. In this blog article, we’ll share some best practices for accelerating learner engagement in VILT programs.
Some factors that can influence learner engagement include:
- The quality of the instructional design: Is the content engaging and relevant? Are the learning objectives clear?
- The quality of the delivery: Is the instructor engaging and knowledgeable? Do they use a variety of delivery methods to keep learners engaged?
- The quality of the technology: Is the platform user-friendly and reliable? Do the audio and visual components work well?
Benefits of Boosting Learner Engagement
When it comes to accelerating learner engagement, many best practices can be employed. Here are just a few of the ways that you can boost learner engagement in your virtual classroom:
- Get to know your learners. To engage learners, you need to understand them as individuals. Take the time to get to know your students and what makes them tick. What are their learning goals? What motivates them? When you know your learners, you can tailor your instruction to meet their needs and keep them engaged.
- Create a positive learning environment. The tone of the classroom plays a big role in learner engagement. Make sure that your virtual classroom is a positive place where learners feel comfortable asking questions and participating in the discussion.
- Plan engaging activities and lessons. If you want to engage learners, you need to plan engaging activities and lessons. Keep things fresh by mixing up your instructional methods and using a variety of resources. And don’t forget to make use of technology! There are tons of great tools out there that can help liven up even the most boring lesson plans.
- Encourage interaction and collaboration. Group work is a great way to promote learner engagement. Assign tasks that require students to work together to complete them successfully. This will not only get students working together, but it will also help them learn more effectively by allowing them to share ideas and perspectives
Discover ID strategies that help make eLearning courses more engaging
Now that you have a fair idea about VILT and Learner Engagement, let us discuss the best practices to be followed to ensure maximum learner engagement.
5 Practices to Accelerate Engagement in your VILT Sessions
Practice 1: Leverage Technology and Automation
Technology and automation can help you speed up the learning process and improve learner engagement. Here are some ways to leverage them:
- Use an eLearning platform i.e., a Learning Management System (LMS) to manage your learning content and delivery. This will save you time and hassle in terms of content creation, updates, and distribution.
- Take advantage of learning analytics to track learners’ progress and identify areas for improvement. This data can help you fine-tune your instructional methods and make sure that learners are engaging with the material.
- Automate administrative tasks such as scheduling, reminders, and follow-ups. This will free up your time so that you can focus on more important things like designing quality learning experiences.
- Use technology to create engaging and interactive learning experiences. For example, you can use video, gamification, or simulations to make the learning process more fun and engaging for learners.
- Keep learners engaged outside of the classroom with mobile learning tools such as apps or online courses. This way, they can learn at their own pace and convenience.
Practice 2: Promote Interactivity and Collaboration
When it comes to VILT, promoting interactivity and collaboration can go a long way in accelerating learner engagement. Here are some best practices to promote interactivity and collaboration in your VILT sessions:
- Use chat features liberally: Chat features are a great way to promote interactivity and collaboration among learners. Be sure to use the chat feature during your VILT sessions, and encourage learners to use it as well.
- Encourage questions and discussion: Asking questions and encouraging discussion is a great way to promote interactivity and collaboration. Be sure to encourage learners to ask questions and participate in discussions during your VILT sessions.
- Use breakout groups: Using breakout groups is a great way to promote interactivity and collaboration among learners. Be sure to use breakout groups during your VILT sessions, and encourage learners to participate actively in them.
- Make it fun: Ultimately, making your VILT session fun will go a long way in promoting interactivity and collaboration among learners. So be sure to inject some fun into your session!
Practice 3: Embrace Storytelling Techniques
Storytelling is a time-tested way to engage listeners and capture attention. When used skilfully, storytelling can be an effective way to communicate complex information in a way that is memorable and meaningful. In the context of online learning, stories can be used to introduce new concepts, provide examples of key points, and help learners connect on a personal level with the material.
When crafting stories for your virtual classroom, keep the following in mind:
- Make it relatable: Choose stories that will resonate with your learners and help them see the relevance of the material.
- Be concise: Keep your stories focused and to the point. Remember that you only have a limited amount of time to engage your learners in virtual sessions.
- Use rich detail: Describe people, places, and events in a way that brings them to life for your listeners. This will help learners stay engaged and visualize what you’re talking about.
- Engage all senses: Use words, images, sounds, and even smells to create a multi-sensory experience for your learners. This will help them connect with the material on a deeper level.
- Practice telling the story: Telling stories is an art form, so take some time to practice before delivering them in a live session. This will help you gauge timing, delivery, and overall impact.
Practice 4: Utilize Gamification Elements
Gamification is a great way to engage learners and keep them coming back for more. By incorporating game-like elements into your VILT courses, you can increase learner motivation and encourage repeated participation. Here are some tips for using gamification in your VILT courses:
- Use badges and leader boards to foster competition and recognition.
- Make use of points, levels, and other progress indicators to show learners how they are doing.
- Create challenges and quests that learners can complete to earn rewards.
- Offer leader board prizes for top performers to further incentivize competition.
- Use avatars or other personalization options to help learners feel more connected to the course content.
Practice 5: Incorporate Engaging
Engagement is critical to the success of any online learning experience. By incorporating engaging content and activities into your VILT courses, you can ensure that learners are actively involved in the learning process and are more likely to achieve their learning objectives.
There are a variety of ways to make content more engaging for learners. Here are a few ideas:
- Use multimedia resources such as videos, infographics, and images to break up text and add visual interest.
- Create interactive activities such as quizzes, polls, and surveys to encourage learner participation.
- Write clear and concise instructions so that learners know what is expected of them.
- Provide timely and constructive feedback on learner progress to keep them motivated.
By following these best practices, you can create more engaging content for your VILT courses and help learners achieve their learning goals.
Following the best practices that I have discussed above can contribute to learner engagement in a virtual classroom setting. In addition to them, it is advised that you keep your VILT content relevant and engaging; experiment with your training delivery methods to keep the learners engaged; and make well sure that the technology you use is user-friendly and reliable.
Want to explore more about VILT before getting started? This eBook can help you with it! From talking about the key elements of a virtual classroom to discussing the types of instructional material needed to tips for training the trainers, the book is a must-have for beginners.