There’s an art to creating virtual training that is effective and engaging!
The first step is knowing your audience. Conducting a pre-session survey to evaluate participant’s knowledge and comfort with virtual training environments can help you tailor the training session to the specific group and evaluate its impact. It is important to set learning objectives and a performance outcome to inform the learners of what they will gain from the training. As a facilitator, you must keep your audience at the forefront. Make sure you are taking appropriate breaks, asking for feedback on sound clarity, volume and pace, and speaking in clear, everyday terminology, to bring authentic energy and spark engagement.
Next is creating an inviting interactive environment. Engage your audience from the get-go and have participants introduce themselves. Encourage learners to participate through all avenues including the chat, hands up feature, polling, and cursor-tracking. Online training requires participants to look at a screen for a long period of time, which can be dull and daunting. At regular intervals include interactive activities to engage your audience and keep them on their toes, such a case studies, thought-provoking questions, problem solving activities, brainstorming, knowledge check polls and more!
Elevate the learning experience by including activities that utilize the virtual classroom tools at your disposal. These may include the chat, screensharing, polling, break-out rooms and online learning games, among others. Before the session, make sure to practice using the tools so that you can help participants troubleshoot if needed. Having a second person (a producer) handle technical issues and enable/disable virtual classroom functions at specific times can also be helpful.
Lastly, providing support beyond the session is a critical component. A post-session survey can help determine what learners enjoyed and took away from the training, and also identify gaps and areas of improvement. Participant guides and job aids can support learning during the session and provide a takeaway for learners to engage in the content beyond the session. Pull through activities are a great idea to keep the content at the top of mind and improve long-term learning retention. Record the presentation and make it accessible to participants so they can revisit and reinforce their learning. Read more and apply these design and facilitation tips from Metrix to excel at your next virtual session!