How To Make A Virtual Training Transition A Success
Visual Generation/Shutterstock.com

What Are The Best Practices To Follow For An Efficient Transition To Virtual Class Environments?

There is much overlap between face-to-face learning and virtual instruction. However, there is a misunderstanding regarding the transition to virtual training delivery. Many training departments find the idea daunting, expensive, and time-consuming. Rather than let these misunderstandings obstruct your team from developing a more efficient training program, you can follow a few of these tips below to streamline the process.

We believe the process of transitioning and implementing virtual training is more accessible and more rewarding than you think.

Select Effective Virtual Instructors Before Implementing Virtual Training

Many in-person instructors make exceptional virtual instructors. At the same time, there is a significant learning curve for online teaching. Not every virtual trainer needs to have extensive online experience. However, there are essential qualities they should possess as a candidate:

Be Tech-Savvy

Your virtual trainers will, at a minimum, need to be able to utilize their computers. It’s not a stretch to forecast what they’ll be fielding students’ questions about their computers, so a minimal ability to troubleshoot will be advantageous.

Embody Empathy

Students that are new to virtual training face several struggles. From the lack of in-person interaction to staying motivated to tech issues. Instructors can head off many problems by tapping into their own experience with attending virtual education or remote work. Placing themselves in their students’ shoes keeps engagement up and prevents the monotony that can be inherent in training. If your instructor can connect with students on a human level, offering both a virtual ear as well as actionable advice when needed, virtual training programs will be that much more effective.

Training The Trainer For Virtual Training

Whether your company opts for an experienced virtual instructor or decides to upskill trainers who only have the in-person experience, a certain amount of training the trainer must take place.

Instructors must understand how to use the virtual training platform. Otherwise, they’ll delay and possibly even derail their efforts. If your instructor lacks experience on the platform you’re using, you must spend time bringing them up to speed. This precious time directly impacts the effectiveness of your online course.

Enhance Virtual Training With New Teaching Techniques

Maintaining engagement is critical in virtual training. Because your instructor won’t be able to see students’ faces, they should request that students regularly update their status with emoticons. Alternatively, instructors may utilize an engagement monitor to keep a pulse on student involvement.

Instruct your trainers to routinely change class activities, as often as every 10 minutes. Once your instructors are comfortable with the virtual training software, they should be able to quickly switch between participatory labs, interactive Q&A sessions, and one-way lectures and demonstrations.

Virtual Training Might Be Remote But That Doesn't Mean It's Emotionless

A big part of maintaining engagement is bringing energy to the classroom. Select instructors who are naturally extroverted and encourage them to amplify their enthusiasm for the sake of maintaining commitment.

As part of an instructor’s training, ask them to record teaching sample sections of their course. Your team should review the material and be comfortable providing feedback on their delivery.

Practice Makes Perfect

Beyond feedback on delivery, give your instructors ample opportunity to practice before they give their first live course. Including mock students who provide the instructor actionable feedback is a good idea. The above may help instructors improve the course experience before going live. Part of an instructor’s practice could be attending other courses taught by more experienced instructors. They should engage in active note-taking to learn new teaching techniques from your top instructors—this is one time it’s okay to copy!

eBook Release: VILT: Why Virtual Class Readiness Matters For Your L&D Team
eBook Release
VILT: Why Virtual Class Readiness Matters For Your L&D Team
Learn if your business is ready to implement VILT and how it can help your L&D achieve efficient training delivery.

How To Evaluate Virtual Training Platforms

Finally, no matter how well you train your instructors, their success is predicated on the platform you select. Evaluating the right platform for your training program is simpler when broken down into 3 categories:

1. Student Needs

Placing student needs first will not only enhance their learning but also make your instructors’ lives easier through fewer questions and requests to troubleshoot. Range and depth of access is easily the most critical factor in your students’ success:

  • Point of access
    It is essential to consider whether or not students need remote access to the online training platform.
  • Hands-on labs
    Critical for high-quality technical training, hands-on labs are the only place for students to experience a realistic, hands-on learning environment. Often, a virtual training lab is the easiest way to add this vital piece to your training.
  • Localization
    Not every platform supports localization. If you plan to include international students, take care to research and choose a training platform that enables ease of navigation for all students.

Assessing and addressing student needs is critical when evaluating a training platform.

2. Trainer Needs

To ensure student success, provide your trainers with the tools they need. Not every platform comes with the same features, so it is critical to consider the features instructors request before committing to a platform.

Do your instructors want to screen share, give live assessments, chat, or use breakout rooms? Poll your instructors early on in the process so that you ensure your platform choice supports trainers’ curriculum.

3. Training Department’s Needs

While it’s essential to support students and trainers, don’t forget to set your support team up for success. Items to consider include:

  • How many students will be in each class?
  • How many classes will run at the same time?
  • Where are students and trainers located?

The answer to each of these will play a factor in determining the best virtual classroom and virtual lab solution. It will also define what level of support your training program is going to require. Remember: training demand varies quarter to quarter, and sometimes even weekly. During your research phase, ensure each prospective platform allows for flexible usage.

Navigating A Smooth Transition To Virtual Training

Finding the best trainer for each course is only half the battle. Once hired, you’ll need to train them up to speed. At the same time, as you are building capacity internally, you need to identify the platform that will best support your staff and students. It’s easy to get lost amongst all of the moving parts that go into transitioning to virtual training delivery. For more tips on effectively and efficiently switching to virtual training, check out this interactive eBook to see if your organization is ready to make the switch.

Close