Many organizations are now choosing virtual training to train their globally dispersed employees and keep them on par with latest industry trends. Virtual training involves a ‘virtual’ classroom where an instructor or facilitator trains people not physically present in the classroom but in remote locations. So it is possible to train a large number of employees at the same time. Participants need not be in one remote location, they can be globally dispersed and are connected through the web.
This training negates the need to travel and associated costs. Rapid deployment of learning to meet changing business demands is possible with virtual training, because it is quick to arrange and offers learners access to a facilitator. These are some reasons organizations are adopting virtual training.
In this blog, we will provide you five tips to help make your virtual training a success.
Tip#1. Select relevant content
For any virtual training initiative to succeed, the right learning strategy with appropriate content is required. The content of the training should be something applicable to learners’ jobs. Lack of relevance will put them off and refuse to catch their attention. How do you ensure relevance? For this, you need to know what your learners hope to achieve from the session.
Knowing their objectives will help you select important information that should be included and develop a learning strategy that will meet their needs. For instance, if your learners need to learn specific sales skills, then you can include appropriate exercises, discussion topics, and examples related to these specific skills.
In case you are not sure of the subject, get the help of an SME to know what you should include in your session. Creating learning materials in advance will help you assess whether it is relevant and effective in delivering information learners require.
Tip #2. Inform participants
To involve participants in your online training session, you need to get in touch with them several times prior to the session.
- Send an e-mail, informing them about the session and how it is going to help them in their work.
- Send the agenda and invite their suggestions so that you can tweak it, based on their feedback.
Invite participants to connect via Chat; this will help learners know each other and connect, especially if there is going to be a series of sessions with the same participants. It will encourage collaborative learning.
Tip # 3. Have pre-session activities to build interest
Pre-session activities include building a buzz about the session by posting information through e-mails, company newsletters, and bulletin boards.
Apart from this, ensure you have participants tick off the list of pre-requisites to attend the course. You can conduct a pre-test to know their level of knowledge. This will also help you determine if you need to include in-depth information.
Introduce participants before starting; ask ice-breaker questions and reaffirm what learning needs the session will address.
Tip #4. Use skilled facilitators
A facilitator can make or break a training session. Ensure you have skilled facilitators who can build a connection with learners, create the right learning environment, are skillful in steering the session in the right direction, and at ease with the technology being used.
They should have the necessary skills to engage a remote audience and know how to keep learners hooked to the course. They must acknowledge questions and comments from every participant and try to answer immediately.
It makes sense to have a co-facilitator if the topic is complex or a large group is attending the session.
Tip #5. Use appropriate technology
There are many online meeting tools such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, or MeetingBurner to conduct a virtual training session, but you need to choose one with features that will meet your needs. You need to choose the platform based on whether the session is for a small group or whether it requires live demonstrations.
Before the session, you must ensure participants know how to set up their systems and have the appropriate software. It is important to allow your learners become familiar with the technology. To do this, allow them 10 minutes time before the session while you check on the audio and visuals.
Virtual training sessions can be successful, provided adequate preparation goes into them. Facilitators should engage learners and so should the session.