Do you still travel to your workplace, that too for learning and training after work hours? Well, there is no need for such hard work, after all a thing called virtual learning exists. Yeah! Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT) is just your Instructor-led Training, conducted on a platform where learners can easily engage in first-hand interactions in a classroom-like space, but online.
Covid has pushed us to choose an alternative for our regular training sessions and VILT has been one of such alternatives that went mainstream. Everything started to continue online, whether it’s online gaming or online shopping, or even online working, so there was no valid reason not to implement online training as well. Virtual instructor-led training is adapted really well by corporates and has a good future ahead. Well, just like anything else, there are a few challenges associated with VILT as well, whether it is the implementation, conversion, or retention.
Are Your VILT Sessions Successful?
If not, you might be facing one of these challenges: –
- Limited or Non-existent Visual Prompts
- Lack of Mutual Understanding and Trust
- Technical Issues
- Third-party Distractions
- Lack of Learner Engagement
Read on to understand how to overcome all these challenges.
5 Most Common Challenges With VILT and How to Overcome Them:-
1. Limited or Non-existent Visual Prompts
Online Training sessions often don’t engage learners if they lack first-hand interactions. Organizations often VILT with webinars or conference-style meetings while it’s so much more than that. When the confusion persists, the training program turns boring and learners often leave midway or just don’t pay attention anymore.
- Training instructors can start the sessions with a small video introduction by all the learners.
- Maximize the usage of chat and the ‘raise hand’ option to maintain engagement throughout the session.
- Allow learners to use emoticons and stickers in chat just to promote creativity and express feelings when needed.
Want to get more tips on how to generate motivation and excitement in the virtual classroom? Check this e-book!
2. Lack of Mutual Understanding and Trust
Some trainers don’t try to interact with the learners the introductory session, which can make the learners feel a bit zoned out and not ask doubts or express their opinions freely. Due to the fact that they haven’t interacted much with their instructors, they don’t know how the instructor would react when they ask something out of the box.
- During introductory sessions, instructors can often try to ask 2-3 questions to just build up an initial bond so that either of them doesn’t feel a “ but.. but.., he’s a stranger” kind of feeling.
- This might look like an extra edge, but instructors can try to know more about their learners through e-mails or any other contact platforms.
- Throughout the training session, try to answer most of the questions raised by learners, so that they don’t feel ignored and their attention is maintained.
3. Technical Issues
This is probably the most common issue while hosting any sort of online session. It can occur from either side and it’s always irritating when you are actually invested in something and it starts lagging or buffering, resulting in a lost connection. Another issue can be software updates and limitations. For example, most of the learners can use android or apple OS, but there is a possibility someone can have another OS. Even when OS is the same, older devices and different security settings can be an issue as well.
- Organizations should ensure the internet connection and other related technical devices are working properly to facilitate a problem-free work environment.
- Make sure the tools or platform you use, are accessible and supported on the devices of all the learners while learners are advised not to use way too outdated devices and get a brief idea of the tools and software they would need to use.
- Always have a backup plan in case of emergency whether it’s your internet connection or your device or media elements. Try not to include VILT sessions for workers residing in remote areas where basic amenities like internet or electricity are not guaranteed.
4. Third-party Distractions
There is nothing that can be done to completely get rid of this issue, as it totally depends on the individual’s determination to learn and their self-control over distractions. Distractions can be of any type such as phone calls, social media surfing, the urge to play video games, or multimedia such as songs and videos.
- Ensure the learners have switched off their mobile phones (Almost solves the entire issue)
- Add polls and quizzes in between training keep the learners engaged
- Make sure the content delivery encourages voice modulations and variations in regular intervals to keep the learners focused.
5. Lack of Learner Engagement
Sometimes, the content can draw the attention away from learners if most of the course is made up of long paragraphs or lengthy videos. Training sessions need to be exciting and engage most of the learners, failing to do so, distorts the whole point of training in the first place.
- Breaking the segments into smaller and straightforward sections can be an impactful practice. These smaller sections can either be short videos or informative carousels. This strategy where you deliver content in the form of small bite-sized sections is microlearning.
- Try to include physical actions when required, though this can not be done every time, and it’s highly specific, but if it’s relevant do make sure to add them.
- Embed the concept of breakout rooms within your training sessions. Learners can form small groups here to meet each other and discuss their opinions or participate in social group activities. A breakout room refers to a virtual space to promote collaborations among learners effectively.
It’s a Wrap!
A Virtual instructor-led training session is a significant practice to be followed by corporates to encourage employees toward learning and development programs and promote employee growth. Employees can experience learning in a classroom through VILT while staying back at their places. Here quality is not compromised at all and the productivity of training sessions is maximized due to the flexibility it provides. It’s cost-effective and improves the overall training ROI.
There are countless benefits of VILT while most of the challenges associated with it can be dealt with quite comfortably. Try it for yourself, and if you get stuck somewhere in the process, this eBook can help you find your way out.