5 Tips To Incorporate Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training

5 Tips To Incorporate Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training
Summary: Peer pressure often has a negative connotation. However, positive peer influences help corporate learners open up and explore new perspectives. In this article, I’ll share 5 tips to incorporate peer-based coaching in online training.

How To Incorporate Peer-Based Coaching In Online Training

Human beings have a natural herding instinct. We are influenced by the behavior, attitudes, and inhibitions of the people around us. On a positive note, this peer influence leads to the development of healthy, functional societies. We can also use positive peer engagement to improve the performance of corporate learners. Corporate learners can share the knowledge they have acquired, and use it to correct one another. However, to avoid creating antagonism and negative reactions, peer-based feedback needs to be monitored and structured. At all times, an online facilitator should keep an eye on proceedings to steer it in the right direction.

1. Start With Comprehensive Online Self-Assessments

If you’ve ever walked into a library or opened a search engine window, you’re familiar with the sense of overwhelm. With so much information within reach, it can be hard to know where to start. And sometimes, not knowing where to begin stops you from getting started at all. Peers can be a useful resource in online training. They can offer corporate learners lots of helpful information and impart new skills. However, it helps if they know exactly what kind of help they’d like to receive from the peer-based coaching partnerships. Include thorough eLearning self-assessments, so that corporate learners can identify their own strengths and weak points. Corporate learners can share their results with each other, so that they all know who is good at what. That way, they know who to approach with a specific challenge. Everyone can fully benefit from the merits of their peers.

2. Meet Everyone At Their Level

While your corporate learners will all participate in the same online training course, their skill sets differ. Some of your corporate learners will be digital citizens who have spent their whole lives online. Others will be more traditional learners who are only just discovering the world of online training. In this sense, while your corporate learners will be peers in the online training course, their knowledge base will be far from equal. Put structures in place to allow for this. For example, it’s not advisable for an IT department employee to comment on work by peers with no computer experience. This kind of feedback is likely to be unhelpful, and possibly even demoralizing. Make a conscious effort to sub-divide your corporate learners based on skills. This way, the tips they get are from actual peers, rather than more advanced learners.

3. Give Constructive Feedback

In online training courses, there are plenty of opportunities to respond and share thoughts. Corporate learners can tell online instructors what works and what doesn’t. However, communication doesn’t need to be unidirectional. It doesn’t have to be restricted from online instructors to corporate learners and vice versa. Corporate learners can actually review one another’s work, especially on individual assignments. In many ways, responses from a peer are more helpful because their hierarchy is flat. There are no power structures involved, and the feedback comes from a layman’s perspective. Encourage corporate learners to display their work on a forum where their colleagues can all see it, such as online discussion boards, blogs, or social media groups. Then, invite peers to respond. If you’re worried about judgements or personal attacks, lay out some rules of engagement. The rules will ensure that the feedback is actually helpful. This kind of peer response is quite viable for social-media-driven tasks.

4. Track Peer-Based Interactions

Your peer feedback shouldn’t be an end in itself. Ideally, you’re not going to let your corporate learners loose on each other unsupervised. You should use a system to track the comments, assistance, and responses they are giving each other. This data represents a goldmine of useful online training material. Gather it, sort it, and channel it back into the online training course. Peer feedback shows you where corporate learners are struggling and what they’re doing to improve. All this is information you can use to improve your online training course as a whole. Keep the feedback cycle flowing, so that it feeds into itself, making the online training course better for everyone. Whenever possible, keep records of peer feedback. You can collate it in the form of chat logs, audio files, or even webcam recordings of online discussion sessions. Some LMS platforms even allow you to monitor social and informal learning activities, and then render data visualizations.

5. Offer A Diverse Peer-Coaching Online Resource Library

Peer-based coaching can always benefit from an online resource library that centers on essential skills and knowledge. Corporate learners have the power to access the online resource library during their coaching sessions or autonomously. In addition, they can suggest helpful online training materials to fellow corporate learners who are in need, as well as expand the repository by adding links of their own. Another way to enhance peer-based coaching is to create personalized online training contracts. Corporate learners get to choose their own goals, online training activities, and time frames. Then, use peer coaching and the online resource library to accomplish their learning objectives.

Learning from peers is a great way to progress in online training endeavors. It offers a safe, sincere form of assessment, which helps highlight strengths and weaknesses without offending anyone. It has no hidden agenda, since corporate learners are all at the same level. To get the most from peer-based coaching, start by encouraging corporate learners to discover their personal vantage points. Design a way to group learners by skill set, and set guidelines for constructive interactions. Whatever data you gather, use it to make the online training course even better. Peer responses aren’t just about cheerleading and criticism. They help both the giver and receiver of feedback to fine-tune their communication skills. This improves the online training experience all around.

Peer-based coaching helps corporate learners connect and collaborate in order to achieve their goals. However, it can also give you the feedback you need to improve your eLearning course design. Read the article 8 Innovative Ways To Facilitate Peer-Based eLearning Feedback to discover 8 innovative ways to facilitate peer-based feedback in eLearning. You’ll discover how gamification, group collab projects, blogs, and other online tools can offer you the insights you need to fine-tune your online training strategy.