InSync Training

Jennifer Hofmann

Jennifer Hofmann
Jennifer Hofmann is the president of InSync Training, LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in the design and delivery of virtual and blended learning. Featured in Forbes Most Powerful Women issue (June 16, 2014) as a New England Women Business Leader, she has led InSync Training to the Inc. 5000 as the 10th Fastest Growing Education Company in the US (2013). Hofmann is a recognized thought leader in the field of synchronous learning. She is the author of The Synchronous Trainer’s Survival Guide: Facilitating Successful Live and Online Courses, Meetings and Events (Pfeiffer, 2003), Live and Online! Tips, Techniques, and Ready-To-Use Activities for the Virtual Classroom (Pfeiffer, 2004), and How To Design For The Live Online Classroom: Creating Great Interactive and Collaborative Training Using Web Conferencing (Brandon Hall, 2005). Additionally, she is a chapter contributor to The Handbook of Blended Learning (Pfeiffer, 2006), The AMA Handbook of E-Learning (The American Management Association, 2003), and The ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals (ASTD, 2008). She has most recently co-authored, with Dr. Nanette Miner, Tailored Learning: Designing the Blend That Fits (ASTD, 2009), a book focused on taking advantage of distributed technologies to create the best blended training solution possible.
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Recent Posts

Don’t Design Training Content like a Food Blogger!

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Nov 12, 2019 8:00:00 AM

85002819_sThis weekend, I purchased something new at a local farmers market: delicata squash.

It came highly recommended as an easy winter squash to prepare, with a nice light taste.

As I was getting ready to cook it, I had a couple of quick questions. At what temperature should it bake, and for how long?

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design

Not Another Recorded Webinar! How To Use Virtual Classroom Recordings

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Nov 5, 2019 8:00:00 AM

11052019 Newsletter blog image 2

When should we record live virtual classroom sessions, and how can we design quality, engaging recordings for on-demand audiences? 

I’ve never been fond of recording all virtual classes and making them available on demand. I’ve always felt that devalues live virtual instruction. After all, if there is no difference in the learner experience for someone to attend a live program versus a recording, then why deliver any live content?

Nevertheless, whether it’s an information-dense webinar or a hands-on, collaborative virtual lesson, most organizations have thousands of hours of recorded sessions in their training libraries.

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Topics: Webinars, Virtual Classroom - Best Practices, Virtual Learning

Virtual Learning 101: Answers to Three Common Training Questions

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Oct 22, 2019 8:00:00 AM

67049633_sMore organizations than ever have transitioned from traditional face-to-face training to virtual classrooms. And since no training element stands alone, most blends include live online components of some kind.

But, even as technology becomes more ubiquitous in corporate learning, decision makers and practitioners have questions about its efficacy.

My team compiled the questions they most commonly hear in their day-to-day work. When I reviewed them, I recognized that the answers speak to core best practices and the value platforms like Zoom, WebEx, and Adobe Connect contribute to enterprise training.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Best Practices, Global Virtual Classroom, Virtual Learning

Laying the Foundation for Virtual Classroom Facilitation and Design

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Oct 1, 2019 9:45:06 AM

47200126_s-1There must be an instructional solution between a one-hour webinar and a six-week certificate…

The virtual classroom allows us to create learning experiences that weren’t available 20 years ago. We can space out lessons over days, weeks, and even months so that our learners can reflect on everything they’ve learned and practice those skills before returning to the virtual classroom to learn more. This is an instructionally sound approach, supported by research, that allows individuals to apply what they’ve learned and see a path forward towards mastery.

For example, InSync’s primary training audience consists of professional facilitators, instructional designers, and virtual classroom producers. Most of these individuals are experienced in supporting traditional classroom environments and have a need to add mastery of the virtual classroom to their existing skill sets. For this group of professionals, multiple-week blended learning experiences with rigorously assessed final projects makes sense. 

This intensive model works for most types of training when the intent is creating a path to mastery.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation

7 Ways Facilitators Can Nurture Emotional Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Sep 5, 2019 9:00:00 AM

This is the third installment in a three-part series that explores actionable approaches virtual classroom facilitators can use to improve learner engagement through purposeful facilitation.

Heart_Words-1

We often frame corporate training as a compulsory process: complete these requirements and move on to the next task. It's a reinforcement of a "Push" learning culture that is content-centric, and not a personal experience.

Effective learning involves an emotional component. Employees want to do well on the job. They hope to have the skills required to meet their goals. They stress about balancing their professional responsibilities while upskilling. The training function has an obligation to recognize these emotions, and facilitators can improve virtual training experiences by addressing them in their delivery approach.

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Topics: Advanced Facilitation Learner Engagement

5 Ways Facilitators Can Stimulate Intellectual Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Aug 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Intellectual learner engagementThis is the second installment in a three-part series that explores actionable approaches facilitators can use to improve learner engagement through purposeful facilitation.

Can the virtual classroom actually achieve the same learning results as a face-to-face approach? Or is it a ‘second best’ solution?

I believe that, if our approach is authentic and well-designed, facilitators can ensure that virtual learning is REAL learning. And help learners recognize this as well.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Advanced Facilitation, Intellectual Engagement, learner engagement, Advanced Facilitation Learner Engagement

8 Ways Facilitators Can Foster Environmental Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Aug 20, 2019 10:00:00 AM
Environmental Engagement

This is the first installment in a three-part series that explores actionable approaches facilitators can use to improve learner engagement through purposeful facilitation.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one witnesses it, does it make any noise? If an individual hates the virtual classroom, does it have an impact on the success of the program?

Of course it does.  The learning environment and the learner are both changed by contributions from the learner, interactions with the other learners, delivery of content, and interactions with the facilitator. In the case of the virtual classroom, this environmental engagement begins with comfort with the capabilities and requirements of the virtual classroom.

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Topics: Environmental Engagement, learner engagement, Advanced Facilitation Learner Engagement

Are You A Virtual Trainer? How to Engage your Learners at an Advanced Level

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Aug 8, 2019 1:48:07 AM

InSync_HiringInfographicCompetent virtual facilitators have quite a few enviable skills.

They’ve been trained on the nuances of how to teach virtually and have mastered their virtual classroom platform. (Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect, etc.) They consider the principles of adult learning throughout every delivery. They manage the entire experience. And so much more!

The infographic associated with this post provides a pretty detailed list of the qualifications and responsibilities of a good virtual facilitator, in a “job posting” format. (Download here and feel free to adapt for your own use!)

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Classroom - Best Practices, Modern Learning

What’s in a Name? Digital Learning

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jun 18, 2019 10:00:00 AM

digital learning Would it surprise you to learn that, on Wikipedia, the following three phrases are equivalent?

Online Learning --------------> eLearning ------------------> Educational Technology 

I agree that these three terms are often used interchangeably but not always consistently.

Having so many ways of saying the same thing is understandably confusing the people not in the learning and development community. I think it’s also confusing to those of us designing, developing, and delivering content every day.

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Topics: Modern Blended Learning, digital learning

Change the Perceived Paradigm and Prioritize Learning

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jun 11, 2019 10:00:00 AM

109806883_sThis weekend I read an article, How to Work with Adult Learners: What to keep in mind when teaching your peers.

Applying adult learning principles to peer-based interactions is interesting to me, so I thought I'd give it a quick read. The author was speaking to individuals who are preparing for presentations in meeting type settings. It contained typical advice for individuals new to creating presentations:

  • Adults want to know the "why.” 
  • They want their prior knowledge to be respected. Relevance is of the utmost importance. 

Good stuff.

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Topics: Modern Learning Culture, Modern Workplace, Advanced Facilitation