When learners come to our face to face classroom they have certain expectations about the experience. That experience depends upon their perception of your organisation when they signed up for the course. As trainers there are also strategies that we implement based on what we know about how people learn. These may be similar – or modified in the online environment.
Tip 1 Look the part
Yes, your appearance is important. Dress professionally. If you wouldn’t usually train in the classroom in your favorite Star Wars t–shirt then it is not OK for your virtual classroom delivery. If in doubt talk to your marketing team about your organisation’s brand.
Tip 2 Background is important
Your background is important. Ensure you have a professional background. Your bedroom with an unmade bed is not OK. (You wouldn’t have your face to face class in your bedroom, would you?) Especially if you are still in your PJ’s. If in doubt use one of the backgrounds provided in the platform you are using.
Try a professional office background like the one provided below:
Tip 3 Find your quiet space
Find a quiet space for your session that doesn’t include conversations with kids, partners and animals. These may be used as props and to add value to the learning experience, but a two year old tugging at your arm asking to go to the bathroom is not endearing in a leadership presentation.
Tip 4 Familiarize your learners with the technology
Support your learners with the technology. Tell them what they need in terms of technology for successful participation. (Working on a phone is not ideal) Start your session with a tour of the environment so your participants know how to contribute in the chat, break out rooms etc. While you may know it intimately others do not. Consider running a “Technology Familiarization” the day before the course commences.
Tip 5 Chunk your training delivery
Chunk your learning. It is estimated that learners can focus for 8 minutes in a lecture. This is reduced to 4 minutes online.
Check out this short video on how chunking content helps people to retain the information.
Tip 6 Keep learners engaged in your delivery
Keep learners engaged and accountable. Include discussions in break out rooms and collaborative activities the same as you would in a face to face classroom. There are also many tools and apps that can be integrated into your online environment to make delivery more exciting and engaging.
Tip 7 Consider shorter training delivery sessions
A full day delivery in the online can be a stretch for the learners – even if you break it up and have them work individually on projects for some of the time. Consider restructuring your delivery into smaller chunks. It is more educationally palatable as well.
Tip 8 Blend your online training delivery with practical workshop or workplace assessments
If your course includes practical assessments that cannot be completed online consider having learners come to the workshop in small groups – to be COVID safe.
Tip 9 Invest in your technology to support your e-facilitation
Two screens so as to separate different parts of your delivery, such as the chat works well. A touchscreen so you can write on an electronic whiteboard is also great.
Tip 10 Retrieval of information from the previous session
Just like in face to face delivery it is important to link sessions to the previous one and get learners to review and retrieve that information. A low stakes online quiz works well.