How To Make Virtual Training Effective
In this digital transformation era, we are relying on virtual technology to organize all the organizational training. To make virtual training influential, we as training professionals (or HR or L&D professionals) need to understand the fundamental way to conduct trainings effectively using available resources. In this article, we will share with you how you can leverage practical resources successfully to create effective virtual training.
Here are 7 practical tips to make virtual training as effective as classroom training.
1. The Expectation Setting
Planning is always more important than execution for any project. If you want to make your virtual training more effective, you need to plan the training with trainers and learners by setting up a scoping call.
You can do it in the following ways:
- Invite your crucial stakeholders or SMEs to have a call with the trainer directly before the training
- Encourage SMEs to share the training expectations as per their learning needs
- Ask the trainer to customize the training curriculum based on the learning needs and objectives discussed in the training
- Discuss the timeframe, assignments, prerequisites, etc.
- Choose the dates, duration of the training, and finalize it
2. Try To Keep The Training Duration Short
Once you have done the “expectation setting” and know the training’s critical objective, you can customize the course duration.
Typically, the duration of most classroom trainings is 8 hours/day, for 2 to 5 days. This way of doing the training may work in classroom-based training, but if you plan the same experience in a virtual environment, this method of delivery may or may not work. Sitting for many hours at home and attending day-long trainings can be an exhausting and stressful learning experience in a virtual environment.
To avoid this situation, you may apply the microlearning principle to your virtual training. The shorter duration can create more focus and learning retention during the virtual session. For example, if you can split an 8-hour session into two 4-hour sessions, this will help learners focus more on the training, and they are able to rest part of the day to concentrate on work; this may also result in improved training effectivity.
3. Use A Conference Tool That Works For Your Team
In the COVID situation, most organizations highly depend on technology. Virtual collaboration tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, WebEx, etc., are significant demands. You may have many options to choose tools from for your training, but please understand that selecting the right tool is crucial to making your training effective. To make the training effective, you should consider the following features:
- Live chat
- File sharing
- Recording features
- Breakout rooms
These standard features (listed above) will help you make the training useful and engaging.
4. Try to Keep The Video On During Training
Due to the virtual world, you can only create your presence more intensely when you keep your camera on during the training. By keeping your camera on, you feel more connected to the training. It is more applicable to the trainer.
You will be more attentive and responsive if you keep your video on during the training. The trainer can see your facial expressions and body language while teaching and vice versa. Video training is more effective when people can see each other.
5. Use Social Collaborative Learning Effectively
Peer learning plays a significant role in overall learning. Creating either a virtual cohort, small group, or joint purpose group for learners and providing assignments, learning activities, and practical tasks as peer learning will help with the overall effectiveness of the training.
6. Make Practicals/Assignments Fun And Rewarding
Businesses create training sessions for their employees to equip them with the skills needed to make them efficient. Active learning is far better than passive learning. With this concept, you can create some of the customized assignments and learning assessments for the training, which can be mandatory for the training sessions.
You may also use gamification, which can be an essential element to make the learning more fun and rewarding. Use some gamification elements in virtual training. You can integrate gamification elements such as point systems, badges, trophies, certificates, etc. Use your Learning Management System for virtual training as a platform for the learner to see the leaderboard.
7. Ask Learners To Provide Formative Feedback
The feedback is the art of improvement. Using tools like polls and surveys and asking simple questions during trainings can improve your training effectiveness.
Instruct your trainer to get feedback every 2-3 hours during a session in order to understand the learners’ perspectives on the training. Based on the feedback, the trainer may make some training changes to help learners during the session.
As mentioned earlier, virtual training requires little attention to the methodology and use of existing resources. While keeping this in mind, you can create a learning environment, tools, and content that effectively improve employee skills and job performance, even complex training can become a pleasant experience.
As long as training is well planned, informative, and engaging, learners are sure to have a fantastic experience, which will increase their retention of the topic covered and improve their overall productivity.