10 Simple Steps to Powerful Virtual Training
Virtual training has long ceased to be something out of the ordinary. More and more facilities, both public and private, find a place for virtual training in their educational systems. There is nothing wrong with that; on the contrary, this type of training is effective in terms of developing required skill sets or strengthening certain abilities.
Building a training strategy is a grueling and meticulous procedure—all elements should be chosen and mixed in order to provide an effective combination. Moreover, the training should be informative and engaging for the staff members and provide a solid ROI for the organizations and businesses.
Here is some advice on how to design an effective virtual training, plus the most common and efficient techniques to utilize in order to craft a digital education.
#1 Do Your Research
One of the most critical facets of creating a virtual training—one that often is left out or forgotten—is knowing the subject matter. Do not get yourself cornered; if you are not insightful enough on a specific topic, find an expert who can consult with you on all issues and answer all your questions. Explore the length and breadth of the subject to decide upon the essential information that should be delivered. Thanks to this seemingly simple step, you can craft an informative and compelling virtual environment.
#2 Think in Advance
It is essential to develop a thought-out framework for your virtual training. First, it helps you to stay on the same path with employees and organize the structure of the future training. Determine the perfect duration of the training session; do not forget to combine theoretical and practical components to ensure better memorization. According to companies’ experience gained over the years, it shows that the most effective trainings are proven to be, at the most, two hours long and has at least 70 percent practice. That said, virtual trainings are not all about practice; they might (and should) contain basic or advanced theory on a subject. Moreover, creating learning materials beforehand gives you a few advantages. For instance, you can verify how effective your virtual education will be and fix all the flaws to deliver a necessary experience to the trainees.
#3 Know Your Audience
When crafting the practice portion, you should always consider who your trainees are and what exactly they need and demand. In addition to the mindful training goals you pursuing, ask your employees what they would like to achieve or what skills they are interested in obtaining. Based on the information you gather, you can include fundamental exercises and essential examples to intensify the knowledge base, help to effectively develop chosen skills without devoting additional resources, and prepare trainees for future work.
#4 Spread the News
All your attempts to build an effective corporate training might be for naught if your staff members are unaware of your new education program. Tell your employees about the upcoming training, ask their opinion about it, and invite them to participate in the testing. Get the beehive buzzing by sending newsletters or conducting presentations for all presumable participants. It certainly will increase the staff’s attendance of the training itself and help to strengthen your corporate culture, as well.
#5 Follow the “KISS” Principle
This means keep everything inside the virtual training stupidly simple. User interface and navigation must be intuitive and straightforward to be clearly understood by all employees, even those who are not technology savvy. Every staff member should realize how to use the training, where to click, how to log in, etc. By accepting this rule, you make the virtual training easy to access and more effective.
#6 No Information Overload
This step derives from the previous one. The effectiveness of virtual training may be in danger if you overburden it with the content. It is necessary to conduct field testing and study the subject matter to discover the ideal time and amount of information used in a specific type of training. Generally, you should keep it simple and to the point. However, a few practical examples or humorous anecdotes to better illustrate your topic may be appropriate while you avoid verbose complex explanations so you don’t bore your employees.
#7 Make It Multi-Platform
Virtual training should be available as much as possible. This means you should deploy your e-learning to as many platforms to allow a broader audience access to it. Moreover, giving employees an opportunity to look through training recordings to recall the activities performed and assess their performance will make your education more productive and valid. In addition, you can make the training available for those who are in a remote location or who have missed the event.
#8 Raise Provocative Issues
All types of training become more successful when mentors or instructors—or even the training itself—drive challenging discussions. What you should keep in mind is that you, as an expert, control the educational process and guide it in the right direction by delivering the necessary pieces of information and raising contradictory discussions. Put the question squarely—engage trainees in a discussion by asking their opinion, make them think about it, and allow them to interact with the instructor and other participants. Getting engaged will make them feel important and help them remember the training better.
#9 Highlight What’s Important
Emphasize the essential information by making excerpts of the valuable content that must be remembered. You may want to make a presentation and include it in the practice or send it right after the virtual training. It facilitates memorization of the information and helps to recall it during the working process. Moreover, you can arrange screening sessions from time to time: for example, once every few weeks of virtual training or once a month or even after covering a specific topic. Think about it: After finishing explaining and practicing a lot of material, draw the necessary conclusions and name a few key points so your staff members will know what is essential and what information they should bring up after the virtual training. Furthermore, do not forget to explain to your employees how they can benefit from the training and what skills they can obtain by participating in it.
#10 Support the Community
To engage employees even further in the training process, it is better to encourage them to communicate and collaborate with each other via social networks that are both popular (such as Facebook or Twitter), as well as corporate. It is an important point in your virtual training since people can discuss issues that concern them and talk over the training or personal performance. Also, you may use social media to improve the training: For instance, stimulate staff members to ask their questions during the session by creating a post or tweet and then read them aloud and discuss with the group.
By following these simple tips, you can create an experience that will be persuasive, informative, and engaging.
Anastasiia Bobeshko is the chief editor at Program-Ace, a Ukrainian-based research and development company that develops fully immersive custom trainings, serious games, and 3-D simulations (@Program_Ace_Ltd). Bobeshko has a passion for the nascent fields of virtual training, simulations, and serious games. Excited by their possibilities, she loves to explore new ways to help businesses integrate corporate education and enhance existing training sessions. For more information, visit email@example.com and www.linkedin.com/in/anastasiia-bobeshko-838b14bb