The demand for virtual learning professionals and technology was already on the rise before it became a necessity. Thanks to an emerging trend of global and distributed workforces, combined with the cost benefits of virtual instructor-led training, many businesses found themselves well-prepared when it came to training employees that are working from home.
Thanks to the features offered by modern web conference software, virtual training sessions are quickly blurring the lines between real and virtual training. In fact, virtual training is proving to be even more efficient than traditional classroom-style training in many aspects.
For instance, the instant messaging feature offered by web conferencing software has proven to be more efficient at addressing student doubts than students screaming their questions during the lecture. With this feature, students can ask their questions without interrupting the instructor and the instructor can address these questions in a systematic way.
However, with unique advantages, virtual instructor-led training also presents organizations with unique challenges. One of the most pressing challenges associated with virtual training is engaging learners.
If your organization is also struggling with this challenge, try these tips to better engage your remote learners during a virtual training session:
Use lots of real-life examples and case studies
One of the easiest ways to engage learners, in any training scenario, is to make them see the practical applications of the training they are receiving.
In fact, if presented in the right manner, a case study can be used to prompt learners to use their own analytical and problem solving skills to figure out a way to solve the problem mentioned in the case study.
While interaction is an important part of traditional classroom-style training sessions as well, in a virtual training setting, it calls for conscious efforts from the instructors.
This means encouraging introductions by the learners at the beginning of the training session. Strategically scheduling breakout sessions, group activities, and group discussions throughout the duration of a session is also a great idea to encourage engagement.
Another great idea to encourage interaction is to associate a social learning element with your training. There are many ways to do this, from assigning group assignments to creating a forum for students to share ideas and viewpoints with each other.
Include visuals and multimedia in training content
Visuals are a great way to engage learners. If you grew up in the 90s, you probably have some very pleasant memories associated with the times when your teachers rolled in the school TV and DVR set.
The same applies to a virtual training situation. By including videos and other visuals in your training curriculum, you will not just be able to explain concepts with more efficiency, but will also be able to engage your learners better.
Send learners prep material
When you send learners additional reading material or lesson prep material, they will be better equipped to understand the concepts you will be delivering during a lecture.
This sort of preparation will not just boost the learners’ confidence, it will help them focus better when you are explaining concepts that were only touched upon in the additional reading material shared before the training session.
Moreover, with additional preparation, your learners will be able to come up with better, smarter questions and queries that act as catalysts for more productive and engaging discussions during the training session.
When instructors make conscious efforts to engage their learners, treat them with lots of real-life examples and video training content, and help them prepare for their lectures, they are able to deliver more productive and engaging training sessions.