TOP TRAINING COMPANY BEST PRACTICES
When your company decides to convert some of the Instructor-led Training (ILT) courses in your training program to Virtual Instructor-led Training (vILT), a couple of key roles your learning and development team will need are Instructional Designers and vILT Trainers. But if vILT is new to your team, consider engaging a contract instructional designer and vILT trainer who specialize in virtual training. Here's how they can help.
A contract instructional designer will pull together all of your current training content -- PowerPoint® presentations, manager guides, participant handbooks, videos, tests and other materials. The person will work with your subject matter expert to review the materials and conduct a needs assessment to identify the knowledge, skills and behavioral gaps to be addressed by the training. This will help to determine if the original learning objectives are still valid or will need to be adjusted for the new courses.
The ID will also be able to identify the content that is suitable for a virtual course, which content should be eliminated and if there is new content that needs to be developed, as well as how the content should be presented.
When it comes to virtual training, contract instructional designers understand how important it is to maintain learner engagement when the trainer can’t see the participants. They know how to employ a variety of elements in the training, designed to make it more interesting and hold the attention of participants:
- Use of graphics, images, videos and other media to make the training visually appealing.
- Show don’t tell by using real-life examples that are relevant to learners so they can see the practical value of the information being presented.
- Leverage the collaboration tools provided with the technology for small group, interactive sessions.
Facilitating training in a virtual environment is much different than in a classroom setting where the trainer can see people’s reactions and body language, and respond to the energy in the room. That means a facilitator who excels in-person may need to learn new skills when moving to online training.
One of the biggest changes when going virtual is mastering the technology. When using a platform like WebEx, GoToMeeting or Adobe Connect, the trainer will have to manage a PowerPoint® presentation, video or other multimedia, screen share, run breakout sessions, monitor questions in the chat pane and post polling questions for participants, all while presenting the training material.
To ensure learners are engaged and paying attention, the vILT trainer needs to check-in regularly with participants by asking questions to be answered in the chat window or through the polling function. They should also encourage participants to ask questions to make the course more interactive. If the group is large and needs to be muted, questions can be typed into the chat window, or the session can include a formal Q&A component with the mute function turned off.
A contract virtual trainer has the skills and experience to manage all of these elements. You can also plan a vILT train the trainer session -- the contract virtual trainer will work with your in-house team to teach them the skills needed for virtual presentations.
To learn more about converting an ILT course to online, download the ebook "Taking Training Virtual: 11 Steps for Moving from ILT to vILT".