This article was previously published by BeaconLive and is republished here with permission because IACET deemed it to be a resource that is relevant to IACET stakeholders.
It’s no secret that the corporate training industry has adopted online learning to facilitate employee training.
By now, you’ve mastered face-to-face training and are well on your way to becoming an expert at running virtual training sessions. Running online training may feel overwhelming, especially if you are just starting to incorporate the virtual classroom into your company’s training strategy.
Virtual instructor-led training has its benefits and challenges. It’s cost-effective and convenient, but it also can be challenging to engage employees when they are miles away and ensure your training methods are effective.
However, with just a few trial runs and some insider tips, your attendees will not only listen intently but retain what they learn during your virtual training program.
Let’s take a look at eight actionable tips you can use to improve engagement and user learning experiences during your virtual training sessions today.
Much like in person training, your audience needs to be actively listening during your online training sessions for them to be most beneficial.
It is the facilitator’s job to ensure that participants are not checking their email or scrolling through social media on their phones when they should be paying attention to the training materials.
Here are eight ways you can ensure your online training sessions are engaging and effective.
You can’t facilitate successful virtual training sessions without reliable technology and a high-quality eLearning platform.
Test your technology beforehand to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Use A Headset For Best Audio Quality
Test Your Internet Connection
Remind Participants To Create An Ideal Virtual Learning Space In Their Home Office
Familiarize Yourself With Your Event Platform’s Features
Do a couple of dry runs to ensure you have a good idea of how your training will flow. Double-check that all of your training resources are easily accessible.
Your learning management system should offer 24/7 tech support and be present to assist attendees with technical issues before, during, and after your live training sessions.
Attendees are more engaged if they are invited to participate in the training. Encourage your employees to ask questions, share experiences, and participate in collaborative activities.
Make sure your webcam is on and ask that attendees also appear on camera. Sure, not everyone wants to show their face, but it will keep them engaged and ensure they are at the computer for the training session.
It also facilitates discussion and social interaction if you can look at a person while speaking to them, even if it’s through a screen.
Invite participants who have not participated in answering any questions or offering their opinion. This not only increases engagement but shows that you value their input.
As the corporate training facilitator, it’s good to set expectations for the online training session to ensure participants aren’t distracted by other projects or activities.
Ask everyone to put away their devices and shut down other programs and tabs. Spend the first few minutes modeling the features of your virtual event platform, like the chatbox or live polling questions.
If you plan on using surveys or quizzes during the training session, let your attendees know ahead of time so they can be prepared and focused.
Breakout sessions are crucial in a virtual environment. They allow for the formulation of new ideas and encourage authentic creativity in problem-solving.
Maximize engagement by limiting room sizes to 4-10 participants and setting a specific goal for the real-time discussion on a particular subject matter.
Set a timer and allow the small groups to work together. Once the group reunites, make sure all participants make it back to the primary training course classroom.
You can then rotate through the groups and ask about how they met the discussion goal. This will show all members that you value their opinion while facilitating idea sharing in your virtual class.
Without active engagement, your audience probably will not pay attention to what you have to say, which will render your online training session ineffective.
Never go more than 10 minutes without some sort of audience interaction. Ask your audience questions, launch live polls, and call on quiet attendees to hear their input.
The more you interact with your audience, the most engaged they will be with the training session and the training content.
Strong content is essential for engagement. It’s OK to use traditional PowerPoint slides for virtual presentations, but you’ll need to make some adjustments.
Don’t fill your online training session with slide after slide of data. Find the minimum number of slides needed to communicate necessary information while maintaining an excellent flow to the training session.
A good balance is five slides of engaging activities and five slides of content for a thirty-minute training.
The header of each slide should communicate the main takeaway. Use highlighting in the text to emphasize key points and stick to bullet points rather than bulky paragraphs.
Your slides also need visuals, so incorporate infographics, images, and even some memes or GIFs to add humor to your presentation, which is a sure-fire way to keep online audiences engaged.
A side effect of too much screen time is a shortened attention span. Consider incorporating microlearning before, during, or after your online training sessions.
Microlearning involves providing small chunks of information on a specific topic that employees can quickly learn in less than 10 minutes. It is proven to increase engagement and knowledge retention, as participants may miss key takeaways in long-form pieces of training.
Microlearning can take on many forms.
These training resources allow employees to sharpen their skills and put all training session attendees on the same page.
Attendees are often more attentive if they know that one or more breaks have been worked into the meeting agenda.
Place these breaks strategically and resume the session with an engaging activity, like live polling, a fun quiz, or another ice breaker.
This will give your participants a much-needed brain break and give you another opportunity to form personal connections that will make your training session more powerful.
Much like face-to-face classroom training, online training requires an experienced facilitator and strong attention to detail.
Be sure to plan your corporate training from start to finish and make your primary focus employee engagement. This will ensure an enjoyable user experience, which ultimately leads to improved training content retention.
When done correctly, your online training sessions will inspire a culture of learning and enjoyable virtual meetings.
Ready to take your corporate training to the next level? Contact BeaconLive for more information on how their online learning platform and virtual event services will help you surpass your competition.
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