Virtual training may be similar to in-person teaching in some respects, but it is also significantly different in a number of key ways. As you prepare for your virtual training sessions, there are five main factors you should keep in mind: engagement, minimizing distractions, refactoring learning and working with a virtual producer to manage the technical aspects.
Keeping your trainees’ attention long enough to get the information across is probably the biggest challenge you will face. Thankfully, you can get around this by modifying your teaching style a little. Keep people engaged through discussions, frequent questions and requests for feedback, and by breaking your course up into smaller pieces. You may need to take more breaks than you normally would.
When you bring a learning group together in a training room, you have a fair amount of control over the environment, and you can ensure that it is free of possible distractions. With virtual classes, it is quite a different situation. You don’t know where your learners are connecting from and what distractions they may have around them. Prior to the training, you would have to set some ground rules about what spaces your participants choose. Ask them to choose quiet rooms where they can shut themselves off from their daily hustle and bustle for a few hours.
You need to adjust teaching methods, interactions, and the planning and scheduling of your courses to fit virtual platforms. A central consideration in this regard is the phenomenon of Zoom fatigue. Unlike with physical training venues, you will not have much to worry about as far as health and safety is concerned. Zoom fatigue is one exception. It is a condition that arises from extended overuse of video conferencing platforms and consists of exhaustion, lapses in concentration, and even mild depression. Guard against this by using many of the same measures you would use to prolong engagement: break the sessions up, take frequent breaks, and ask for feedback from your trainees. If anyone in the session is struggling to maintain focus, feeling unusually tired, or experiencing eye strain, call for a short break. Keep your sessions more concise than you would for in-person training.
Dealing with both ‘teaching’ and managing the platform
Aside from keeping learners engaged, your biggest challenge will probably be trying to juggle teaching and technical matters. There is an easy way to fix this: leave the technical aspects to a dedicated virtual producer. That way, you can just get on with the training and trust that everything will run smoothly. Learngistics’ virtual producers will be able to step in and help you prepare for your training sessions, and then manage them for you during your online presentations.
Learngistics specializes in facilitating and supporting both virtual and live training events and learning programs for corporations. Contact us for more information on our virtual classroom solutions and the services our virtual classroom producers can offer.