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

Going Global: The Winning Formula for Virtual Training Across the Enterprise

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Apr 6, 2021 11:42:51 AM

04062021 Blog Going Global - The Winning FormulaOnce the COVID pandemic shut down offices and quarantined us in our homes, virtual training exploded overnight.   According to Forbes.com, the transformation to digital has been rapid in all areas, but the progression in L&D to the virtual classroom over the past 12 months is arguably greater than that seen over the last 10 years.

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Topics: Global Virtual Classroom, Learner Engagement

Facilitators Can Nurture Emotional Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 10, 2021 7:00:00 AM

Nothing changed our workplace more, and more quickly, than the Covid-19 pandemic, and we all need coping skills to keep up. Facilitators need to be especially vigilant in order to ensure their learners are positively connected to the learning experience. 

Karen Vieth revisits  “Seven Facilitation Techniques That Nurture Emotional Engagement in the Virtual Classroom” in our Virtually There session Emotional Intelligence and Engaging Your Audience in the Virtual Classroom. on March 10. She ties EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT to EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, and discusses how important it is to the workplace, providing techniques to help facilitators nurture emotional engagement.

Read the blog below, originally published in 2019, to learn more about how effective learning involves an emotional component.

how to nurture emotional engagement in the virtual classroom

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

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: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Advanced Facilitation Learner Engagement Series

Our Top 5 Reasons Why We Celebrate Instructional Designers

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 2, 2021 12:46:37 PM

03022021 Blog Post - Instructional DesignersOn March 17, InSync celebrates Instructional Designers!

Have you thanked your instructional designer today? You really should. Instructional designers are the unsung heroes of the learning and development field. The job description for a designer has changed so much in the last decade. As we’ve introduced new instructional strategies, techniques, and technologies to our training toolbox, it’s been the instructional designers on the front line learning how to develop content in new platforms, how to engage learners with technology, and making the business case to invest (or not invest) in the latest and greatest EdTech trend.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, EdTech, Gamification & Game-Based Learning

Why Go Live? Accountability & Shared Purpose in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Feb 2, 2021 12:32:50 PM

02022021 Why Go Live? The Importance of Accountability and Shared PurposeIt’s 7:30 AM on a Monday morning. I’m logged in to a Zoom call with 22 strangers. A scattering of novelists. A few bloggers. Two high school students working on homework. Some folks recording podcasts. And at least one person working on their taxes.

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Topics: Virtual Collaboration, Environmental Engagement, Intellectual Engagement

Throw it in Zoom and See if it Sticks! (Part 2)

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 28, 2021 11:33:44 AM

01282021 Throw it in Zoom and See if it Sticks (pt 2) BlogIn my previous post, I discussed the importance of strong design for virtual delivery, and how to achieve it. This post addresses the challenges you’ll encounter when proposing these design approaches to your stakeholders.

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

Throw it in Zoom and See if it Sticks! (Part 1)

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 21, 2021 2:15:00 PM

01212021 Blog - Throw it in Zoom and See if it Sticks Part 1 (1.1)2020 was a year that witnessed a myriad of changes in the workplace, society, and how we interact, work, play, and…live. In the world of learning and development, perhaps now it’s time to catch our collective breath, and review what we’ve done. 2020 was a year when members of the learning and development community (YOU!) were leaned on heavily to re-purpose, re-develop, and sustain professional development of the workforce in the pandemic.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Microlearning, Environmental Engagement

Virtual First - A Lasting Outcome of the 2020 Pandemic

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 6, 2021 11:27:15 AM

01052021 Blog Virtual First - A Lasting Outcome of the 2020 PandemicWelcome to 2021.

It seems that everyone is taking a collective breath as we look forward with expectation of promise and insight in a new workplace environment largely mandated by long-term impacts of COVID-19. By the time the pandemic will be deemed “over”, a large fraction of the global developed workforce will have spent nearly two years in work-at-home environments, as many companies are targeting late 2021 for reopening their offices. Some others have rethought their workplace policy altogether. In October, DropBox announced its “Virtual First” strategyas an ongoing policy “remote work (outside an office) will be the primary experience for all employees and the day-to-day default for individual work.” There is also evidence that employees want some voice in when and how they work from home, seeking a model of “flexible work” that complements, rather than intrudes upon, life at home.[i]

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Topics: Virtual Training, Global Workforce, Virtual Teams & Modern Workplace

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