Effective virtual training takes specialized design techniques, facilitation mastery, and production support.
Since March of 2020, learning and development teams have been rushing to move their face-to-face content to virtual platforms like Zoom, Webex, MS Teams, and Adobe Connect with the intent of providing virtual training...initially.
Somebody needs to be the expert -why not you?
Indeed, this wholesale conversion to virtual was a stop-gap measure. The focus was getting the content online temporarily - just for the few months while we were working at home. But a few months turned into a year and a half! As corporations are contemplating bringing workers back into the office (or not), they are also considering what role virtual classrooms will play in their long-term learning strategy.
(Spoiler – InSync’s clients tell us virtual training will continue to play a much bigger role than it did pre-pandemic!)
Now that the rush is over, the focus needs to shift from quantity of content delivered to quality of content delivered. Virtual training is about more than showing up with slides, turning on the video, and hoping people learn. And your team's virtual training is a vital key to not only their own success, but yours.
Effective virtual training takes specialized design techniques, facilitation mastery, and strong production support. To increase quality, we need to make a formal training plan available for all members of our virtual team: facilitators, instructional designers, and virtual classroom producers.
1. Virtual training must expand beyond simply learning the technology.
So often the training we get for supporting the virtual classroom consists of four things: loading slides, creating polls, muting the audience, and turning on the video. This is a recipe for an unengaging learning experience and does not encourage learning transfer.
- Facilitators need to be able to engage learners environmentally, intellectually, and emotionally.
- Designers need to be able to create rich experiences that rival a traditional classroom.
- And producers need to be able to advocate for the learner and support the facilitator in more ways than just supporting technology.
2. Your learners deserve more than a webinar.
Nothing demotivates a learner more than listening on mute for an hour, or a day, or a week! Learning needs to be active, immersive, and intellectually stimulating. The training team needs to know how to make learners want to come back to learn more.
3. You don’t know what you don’t know.
- how to ask questions in order to get responses,
- how a producer can partner with a facilitator to maximize results,
- or how to design for different instructional strategies, techniques or technologies require an investment in personal development.
4. If you are a Training Manager, your internal and external clients will expect that your team has the skills they need to ensure business goals are met.Investments in professional development result in credibility with your clients. We care enough to train the rest of the organization – we need to care enough to develop our own skills.
5. If you love the L&D field, you need to add virtual classroom expertise to your skillset.
No matter your role on the team, you need to embrace virtual training as part of your future. The pandemic just accelerated the trend that was happening in our industry already. As the workforce becomes more global, virtual, and mobile, the expectation will be that training will be delivered in a way that meets the needs of a diverse organization.
The next step: get certified as an expert, and help your team do the same.
InSync Training’s industry-recognized and accredited Virtual Learning ExpertTM (VLE) curriculum enhances the ability of participating training professionals to design, deliver, and implement effective live virtual training. The VLE is grounded in the InQuire Engagement FrameworkTM, a three-pronged approach to maximizing the engagement of all learners in the virtual classroom.
The framework, an ongoing research effort at InSync, is designed to optimize an organization’s existing training and provide a new construct for creating training programs that work in today’s hybrid workplace and “virtual first” approach to training and employee development.
- Virtual Classroom Facilitation Mastery,
- Virtual Classroom Design Mastery,
- and Master Virtual Producer.
To learn more about these components as well as how to combat virtual training that underwhelms, mark your calendar for this upcoming webinar on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 2:00 pm EST.