Virtual training is very different from live teaching. In a virtual classroom, the instructor loses the ability to make traditional direct contact with each learner. They can’t walk around the classroom and assess how each attendee responds or carries out the required exercises. There is no easy way to look over a learner’s shoulder and correct or coach them, or explain the finer points of a question they are trying to answer. Some people are concerned that this loss of direct interaction can lead to a reduction in the efficacy of the training. However, this is not necessarily the case though. It is important, however, to adapt the way training is conducted through digital platforms.
Structure and guidelines
One part of the solution is to provide clearer directions and guidelines upfront. Structure is always important in training, but with in-person training, especially with an experienced instructor, there is some leeway for a free, two-way flow of communication, to “play things by ear,” and respond and correct as necessary.
With virtual training, the structure must be laid down from the very beginning, with clear guidelines and more detailed explanations. Breakout sessions and the feedback that follows them should be broken up into shorter periods, and carefully managed, scheduled and organized. At the beginning of the training session, the facilitator should begin by outlining the structure that the proceedings will follow, breaking everything up into specific timeslots. This is not new – in-person trainers do the same thing, but in virtual training, this structure needs to be followed more strictly.
Learngistics specializes in facilitating and supporting both virtual and live training events and learning programs for corporations. Contact us for more information and to see how our virtual producers can help you access and optimize your virtual training.