How to Plan Software Training Rollouts in the Virtual World
When thinking of planning software training, you want to start with broad conceptualizing and move to practical models.
The Importance of Software User Adoption
The clients' point of view determines the ultimate value and success of a piece of software. Regardless of whether you have the fanciest innovation backing it up, if you don’t profit from it or even understand it, it is useless.
Complexity Hinders Software User Adoption
The training then should focus on benefits and not features and simplicity versus complexity. In planning for training, decide how to present the training in a way that avoids the issues of overcomplexity.
Software is complex, and as changes, updates, additions and features get added, software training that avoids unnecessary features for the role being trained is the best use of software training time. Feature sheets, tool explanations, and other guides can be added to software training to round out the training experience and give further explanation to the complexity of the software.
Planning Virtual Training for the software that delivers good results
From a structure and planning standpoint, live virtual classrooms falls into broad categories:
Virtual Instructor-Led Training (vILT) is most closely related to in-person training as they are both instructor-led and involve real-time interactions with learners. However, with vILT, while the instructor and learners need to be online simultaneously, teaching and learning occur in different places.
Recorded screen presentations delivered asynchronously, are an easy way to distribute overviews of the software in general or provide a detailed walkthrough of a particular process or feature.
eLearning provides purely digital content that learners can progress through at their own pace and convenience. These types of training programs may include video tutorials, screencasts, readings, pre-recorded webinars, or some combination thereof.
eLearning is different from an asynchronous presentation because, in addition to showing a user a particular feature or process, it actually let's the user practice in a safe environment and ensures that the end user is fully aware of the capabilities of the material being trained.
Live virtual classroom implies that the learner will actively participate in gaining the information. Doing so will require a certain amount of discipline to learn on their own. Something must initiate that desire to learn; perhaps it will be the customer's goals for the software.
Regardless, virtual options can increase engagement and knowledge retention. From the trainer to the trainee, time and money can be saved using immersive and cost-effective methods.
One advantage to live virtual classrooms is that trainers can quickly make changes to training aids and the actual software product to mirror more closely what will happen in real-life scenarios.
Another advantage of live virtual classrooms is that it can teach more complex concepts. Historically, learning has been tied to the existence of a physical location. In that way, distance affects learners because it keeps them from having to experience what they are learning. Proximity limitations can bound the amount of information that learners can absorb.
With Virtual Instructor Led Training, learning is tied directly to the tools and environments the learner possesses. Therefore, there is no barrier to measuring the intensity of a lesson. Online platforms can offer innovative technology designed specifically to make users feel as though they're training in a training facility or classroom. Training aids can be changed to take the learner on new learning paths that don't require them to physically be near a learning facility.
This approach allows users to train more in less time. What may have begun as a goal of 25 minutes can turn into technology training environments that can allow people to learn in less than a minute. With virtual training, students can train repeatedly for less than a minute before returning to their regular jobs or training later. Doing so cuts down on costs and enables individuals to train more frequently, more intensely, and more regularly than if they were to travel a few miles to their nearest venue or training facility.
Software developers can also take advantage of virtual training platforms to increase the number of people who can access their tools. For example, teaching a machine-learning algorithm to monitor manufacturing facilities and interpreting the data can be significantly expensive. Training the algorithm in virtual environments where everyone can access it at a relatively low cost can both save money and increase the training capacity.
Great virtual training methods accomplish all of the following:
Provide an Immersive experience
Reduce travel and personnel costs
Save equipment run costs
Are safer for a high-risk situation
Improve engagement rate
Enhance creativity and innovation
Reduced employee pressure
Offer real-world practice environment
Finally, mix it up! To keep your audience engaged, ensure you use images and video, use the breakout room feature and interactive features such as the whiteboard.
Consider using images and 3D models of objects.
Include music and sound.
Include text, audio, video conferencing, e-mail, discussion boards, and newsgroups. Also consider breakout rooms for team building activities.
Want to get started, but not sure where to begin? Get our FREE download 'New Technology User Adoption Checklist' for top tips and tricks to improve your Software User Adoption.