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

Lesson Learned: A Revisit with the January 2020 blog- Virtual Facilitation is DIFFERENT Than Traditional Facilitation

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Aug 5, 2020 10:31:14 AM
Lessons Learned about Virtual Classroom Facilitation

In August, we celebrate virtual classroom facilitators. And this year, you all REALLY deserve applause. You’ve been teaching marathon sessions that weren’t designed for the virtual environment, often in platforms you haven’t used before.

So, KUDOS to you, and thanks for all you have been doing. I know it hasn’t been easy.

When I wrote this blog back in January 2020, none of us had any idea how the world was about to change.  Virtual facilitation isn’t a ‘nice to know’ skill anymore – it’s critical! InSync’s clients tell us they expect near 100% of their training to be conducted virtually for the foreseeable future.  So, with thousands of hours of Zoom, Webex, Adobe Connect, and MS Teams training on the horizon, it seems a good time to revisit the basics.

No - virtual facilitation is NOT the same as face to face training. Own it. Embrace it. Your learners are depending on you.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Learner Engagement, Lessons Learned Series

The Foundation of Intellectual Engagement in Modern Learning

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jul 15, 2020 2:45:00 PM

07152020 Blog - Adult Learning TheoryLearner Engagement – defining and enhancing it have remained critically important in the modern classroom for years. If content design and delivery do not capture attention, demand participation, and encourage ongoing application, training programs inherently become less effective.

Exclusive research conducted by the InSync Training team focused on the long-standing question, “What is learner engagement?” and uncovered a surprising answer: it is not one single thing. Rather, learner engagement actually includes three separate learner factors: their environment, their emotions, and their intellect. We know that when instructional designers thoughtfully organize content and create activities that consider and generate these three types of engagement, learners benefit.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Modern Learners, Learner Engagement

COVID 19 Has Changed The Way We Use Virtual Classrooms… What are the Long Term Effects?

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jun 2, 2020 7:00:00 AM

June 2020 Newsletter BlogI remember January. Traditionally, January and February are the slowest months at InSync Training. Organizations tend to spend these early months finalizing the training plans for the rest of the year. As always, we wondered what this new year would bring.

Then in February, we started hearing about Covid-19. Aka #TheVirus.

March brought uncertainty to the market… Would we still travel to conferences? How long would we need to worry? Are our children safe in school? Organizations were in a reactive mode - rescheduling or canceling events for the next several months. Many of those events were automatically moved online with little thought to long-term redesign.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Teams & Modern Workplace

Set the Blended Learning Tone – Hit the Ground Running

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on May 5, 2020 7:30:00 AM

05052020 Blog Set the Blended Learning ToneNot only do current global circumstances demand training go digital, but, over the last few years, industry experts have promoted the value of virtual blended learning. This virtual model offers a number of critical advantages, like:

  • Adaptability of programs (designers can update individual content pieces as information changes)
  • Personalization of learning experiences (based on the needs of specific learner groups, they can engage in certain blends – or segments of programs)
  • Application of knowledge (learners can apply new information within the context of work between live sessions)
  • Practicality of design (designers can match each learning objective to an authentic treatment, and order the components in a logical progression)

How can you hit the ground running with your digital blend so it effectively achieves its goals, supports learners’ needs, and instills confidence in its efficacy? Start with solid design and purposeful communication.

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Topics: Blended Learning, Gamification & Game-Based Learning, Microlearning

Lesson Learned: Instructional Design is Even MORE Important in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 3, 2020 7:43:29 AM

The Art of DesignIn 2020, we are sharing the lessons we’ve learned about the virtual classroom over the last twenty years, and we’ll link back to our more detailed content around these topics, in case you want to learn more! Take a peek at the entire Lessons Learned series by clicking here.

For decades, the virtual classroom has been used to simply present information in a webinar-type format. Because of this, there is some debate around the concept of the virtual classroom being a space where true learning can occur.  

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Lessons Learned Series

Lesson Learned: Virtual Classroom Producers Can Maximize Training Value

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Feb 3, 2020 10:48:00 PM
Lessons Learned about Virtual Classroom Production

In 2020, we are sharing the lessons we’ve learned about the virtual classroom over the last twenty years, and we’ll link back to our more detailed content around these topics, in case you want to learn more! Take a peek at the entire Lessons Learned series by clicking here.

In 1998, I envisioned that the role of the producer in the virtual classroom would be to “make the talent look good.” My reasoning was, the virtual classroom facilitator lost the ability to take the pulse of the class using body language and eye contact, so the producer added a second set of hands that help manage learner engagement and increase the quality of virtual lessons. 

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Production, Producer, Lessons Learned Series

Lesson Learned: Virtual Facilitation is DIFFERENT Than Traditional Facilitation

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 16, 2020 12:26:49 PM
Lessons Learned about Virtual Classroom Facilitation

In 2020, we’ll be sharing the lessons we’ve learned about the virtual classroom over the last twenty years, and we’ll link back to our more detailed content around these topics, in case you want to learn more! 

When organizations started to adopt the virtual classroom in the 1990s, the focus was on the technology-driven benefits it could provide - Reduction in travel cost, less disruption to learner schedules, and the ability to share subject matter expertise in a much more immediate and relevant way.

We could train everyone, when they needed it, and save money at the same time.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Learner Engagement, Lessons Learned Series

Hindsight is 2020 - 20 Years of Driving Digital Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 6, 2020 11:51:00 PM
InSync Training 20 Year Anniversary Logo

On January 3, 2000, I created a company named InSync Training. To answer a commonly asked question, the name WASN’T a play on the name of a popular boy band of the time - back then, virtual classrooms were called ‘synchronous classrooms,’ so I felt the name would be compelling. 

At that time, the U.S. economy was coming out of the Dotcom era, and organizations were investing heavily in web-based technologies in all aspects of their operations (including learning and development) without any real understanding of what all this new tech would do for them. It was just assumed that the virtual classroom was the right choice for all modern training. I entered the marketplace with the vision of providing foundational, proven practices for training professionals to use and maximize virtual live instructional technologies in delivering training programs.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Facilitation, Lessons Learned Series

Virtual Learning 101: Technical Disasters

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Dec 12, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Virtual Classroom Technical Difficulties One of the most common questions my team and I receive about virtual learning events boils down to technology: how do you make sure glitches don’t cause learners to disconnect?

I love this question! It means that stakeholders, designers, and facilitators care about the experience learners have in a session. Plus, it also speaks to program success – people who want to prevent technology from derailing training from achieving the bigger goal of improving performance and developing participants’ skills.

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

Virtual Learning 101: Learner Engagement and Session Scheduling

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Nov 19, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Virtual Learning Fundamentals A few weeks ago, I responded to a number of fundamental questions about virtual learning. And in the process of reviewing the inquiries my team frequently receives when working with modern learners, new clients, and in established programs, I realized that much confusion remains around this learning environment.

Like the answers I recently provided to three common blended training questions, these answers also focus on practitioner core competencies and technology basics.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Global Virtual Classroom, Learner Engagement