Top 10 Synchronous Learning Best Practices For Instructor-Led Training

Top 10 Synchronous Learning Best Practices For Instructor-Led Training
Summary: Having an instructor at-the-ready to guide and assist employees during their online training offers many advantages. Not only does it give them the opportunity to stay on-track and motivated to learn, but also enables them to receive the immediate feedback they need to acquire and absorb information effectively. In this article, I’ll share the top 10 synchronous learning best practices for instructor-led training that all eLearning professionals should consider when developing a synchronous online training event.

Synchronous Learning Best Practices For Instructor-Led Training

Designing instructor-led online training experiences can be a time consuming and stressful process, primarily due to the fact that there are so many elements that must be integrated to achieve the desired performance goals and objectives. The good news is that below you will find a list of synchronous learning best practices for instructor-led training that can help you design, develop, and implement an amazing online training experience for your audience.

  1. Develop a set of rules and expectations beforehand.
    Employees must be aware of what is expected of them during the online training event. For example, how much they will be asked to participate and how they are expected to communicate with their corporate trainer(s) and colleagues. In addition, you may also need to stress the importance of a distraction-free environment. For instance, you can ask them to resist the temptation to check emails or instant messages during the online training, or encourage them to access the online training event in a quiet room.
  2. Opt for stories and activities instead of text-heavy presentations.
    The key to a successful instructor-led online training event is to keep it “text-light” and “activity-heavy”. Include plenty of stories, scenarios that offer real world benefits and activities that encourage employees to interact with you and their colleagues, so that they feel as though they are in control of their own online training experience. Try to steer clear of lengthy lectures or text blocks, so that they are engaged and motivated to absorb the information, rather than running the risk of boring them.
  3. Refresh their engagement every 5 minutes.
    Every 5 minutes you need to draw your audience back into the online training experience. They may be dealing with distractions that they have absolutely no control over, or they will start to think about all of the items on their to-do lists. To keep them engaged and interested, you need to pique their interest or remind them of the benefits of learning the subject matter every few minutes. To direct their attention, pose questions that make them reflect upon the topic or ask them to complete an online activity.
  4. Encourage employees to ask questions and share insights during the online training session.
    Let employees know that they are free to ask questions or share their thoughts during the online training event. In fact, you may even want to periodically address specific members of your audience by name and encourage them to offer their feedback or insights within the comments section or chat window, or tell employees that they can leave their questions in the comments and you will answer all of them at the end of the online training session. They need to know that there is a support system in place and that any pressing concerns or questions will be addressed at some point.
  5. Stress the importance of employee participation.
    Prompting employees to participate helps them to feel as though their input truly matters and that they are valuable members of the online training process. From time to time, take a moment to remind them that their participation is a necessary part of the process and that they will get the most out of the online training experience if they truly interact with the content.
  6. Divide employees into small groups to boost collaboration and interaction.
    Divide your audience into small groups of 2 or 3 employees and ask them to complete an online training activity or hold an online discussion. This allows them to collaborate and benefit from one another’s personal experience, while giving every employee the chance to offer their input without feeling judged. This is especially the case for employees who may be more hesitant to participate in larger group settings.
  7. Fine tune your tone and pace based upon employees needs.
    Your tone, pace and narrative voice should correspond to the needs and background of your employees. For example, if you are working with a group of experienced professionals, you may typically use more industry specific jargon and be able to cover more ground in a smaller span of time than if you were dealing with new hires. Regardless of your audience, however, you will want to speak clearly, with enthusiasm, and a steady pace, so make sure you don’t rush through the online training content.
  8. Learn as much as possible about the tools you have at your disposal.
    Research the eLearning authoring tools and other tools that you have on hand and figure out beforehand how to use them most effectively. For example, if you are using a Google App to host your virtual instructor-led corporate training event, you will want to learn as much as possible about its features and go through a test run to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
  9. Remember that less is more in the world of instructor-led online training.
    Ideally, you want to keep your online training class size as small as possible, to make sure that everyone gets a chance to participate. Ten employees is usually the goal, as it gives every member the opportunity to interact with you and to get the attention they need to develop their skills and assimilate information.
  10. Develop supplementary online activities to enhance the online training experience.
    Develop a list of links to videos, websites, or articles that employees can access if they would like more information about the topic. You can also design a downloadable handout that they can print at their leisure, if they prefer printed learning materials. This ensures that you cater to all learning needs, and gives every member of your audience the opportunity to benefit from your virtual instructor-led training session or event.

Keep these synchronous learning best practices on hand in order to create an instructor-led training session or event that offers employees the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to build their skill sets and improve their on-the-job performance.

Want to learn more about potential benefits of a virtual classroom to your organization? Read the article 6 Tips To Design Interactive Virtual Classroom Training to get more tips on how you can successfully design interactive virtual classroom training.