Essentials for Virtual Training


Whether you are designing for facilitating classroom or virtual training solutions, the final destination for trainees should be accelerated, sustained transfer of learning. When faced with the challenge of converting classroom to virtual, following these 6 essential virtual training steps will ensure you achieve the same learning outcomes as effective instructor-led training programs.

1. Reevaluate learning objectives – Tips To Write Measurable Learning Objectives For Online Training

  • It is always easier to assess whether participants are “getting it” in the classroom. For virtual training, you may have to make a few adjustments.
    Step 1: Review the original ILT objectives to determine if knowledge increase, comprehension, application, or analysis was desired learning outcome.
    Step 2: Decide if the learning objectives can be achieved with the virtual platform selected
    Step 3: Consider revising learning activities to achieve the same outcomes as classroom-based sessions

2. Choose the right format

  • Make sure the design is compatible with all platforms: phone, PCs, laptops, tablets
  • Make it accessible – Accessibility considerations for Training: Consider screen captioning, close captioning, and adaptive technology

3. Structure the training

  • Take care of administrative items up-front
  • Provide agendas with scheduled breaks
  • Include participant guides
  • Add detailed instructor scripts for facilitator guides
  • Consider a co-facilitator or a Virtual Learning Producer

4. Increase engagement opportunities

  • There are significant challenges with keeping the attention of learners in virtual training. However, there are just as many strategies to keep them engaged for the duration. Learners should engage in some activity every 3-5 minutes: Virtual Training for Modern Learners:
  • Consider including prerequisites
  • Use plenty of polls, surveys, breakout sessions, teach backs, video, and whiteboards
  • Ensure plenty of breaks
  • Ask more open questions

5. Personalize the experience

  • Add instructor bio
  • Include personal images or trivia during breaks or transitions
  • Increase opportunities in the program design for storytelling and personal anecdotes

6. Sustain the learning

  • Create social media forums and learning communities – Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning: where learners can access additional resources, provide feedback and learning insights, complete assignments, and connect with experts or facilitator
  • Provide coaching sessions post-training
  • Ensure the session can be recorded
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