How to design and run engaging virtual training

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Virtual training has been the way of the future for a long time — until the coronavirus pandemic hit, and it very much became the way of the present. Suddenly, people from all around the world had to adapt their in-person training sessions to the virtual space — and the transition has been anything but smooth. Remote workers believe training is important to their career development. So how can traditional trainers help?

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make sure your online training gives value to your clients, even in a virtual environment. Facilitators and trainers are a creative bunch, and adapting to the new normal has been productive and exciting, as well as challenging!

So whether you’re a trainer that’s looking to better adjust to a virtual environment or a more experienced virtual trainer who’s constantly looking for ways to up their game — we’re here to help.

Our in-depth guide will give you all the information you need to properly manage virtual training and retain the attention of your attendees! Let’s take a look!  

What is virtual training?

Before we get into the weeds of engaging virtual training, some of you may rightfully be asking — what is this in the first place? 

Basically, it’s a form of training that takes place in a virtual environment. And no, unfortunately, current technology doesn’t allow for a Matrix-esque experience! When we say virtual training, we mean training that is delivered over the Internet and using platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to imitate the experience of in-person training. 

In most cases, these virtual trainings are live — the trainer and their attendees log into the agreed-upon platform simultaneously and interact with one another. And make no mistake — an adequately managed virtual training session is far more than a glorified Zoom call.

Great virtual training allows participants to partake in lively discussions, practice their skills, ask questions, and share their own experiences with the subject matter. 

What are the benefits of virtual training? 

There are plenty of benefits that come with organizing training in a virtual space — whether you’re leading, taking part, or hiring a virtual trainer. Let’s take a look!

  • Budgeting
  • Efficiency
  • 订婚
  • 间隔学习 

Budgeting 

In terms of cost-effectiveness, virtual training is vastly superior to in-person training. And that’s true for both money and time.

The vast expenses tied up in a staff member going away for training and their airfare, meals, car rentals, and hotels are all gone when the sessions move to a virtual space — not to mention the lowered costs of the actual training itself. Instead, all those funds can be put to better use — like improving the quality of the training. 

Online employee training also means hugely decreased training expenses per individual employee — with virtual training, you may extend the training to as many staff members as you’d like without raising the training budget. 

Efficiency

It’s not all about the money either — physical workshops simply take longer than virtual training sessions. Online training gives us the ability to compress days’ worth of training into shorter, more easily “consumable” sessions in a virtual classroom. And no meaningful content is sacrificed in the process — it all comes from eliminating the “noise” and bringing the focus back on the actually relevant stuff. 

订婚 

虽然有些人认为虚拟培训比面对面培训更被动,但现实情况恰恰相反。一方面,用于虚拟培训的在线平台具有模拟物理交互的交互工具—比如分组、聊天、投票等。 

另一方面,在线环境消除了现实世界中的焦虑,这种焦虑阻碍了很多人参与培训过程。这使得学习者能够接触到同龄人的输入,并有一个更加合作的培训环境。 

此外,所有趋势都表明,远程工作会大大提高生产率;这意味着越来越多的公司将转向这种组织结构,至少是部分转向。

虚拟培训课程为员工未来的远程工作做好了完美的准备—使劳动力更加灵活。 

间隔学习

虚拟培训可以是自助式、完全实时的,也可以是两者的结合。现在比以往任何时候都更需要;对于那些本来可能无法参加培训的员工来说,参与培训是可能的。 

通过交付更短的模块–其中一些可能不是活的–参与者可以享受按计划学习的好处。有;这也是一堆与间隔学习相关的好处,这种学习在较短的培训模块之间结合了休息时间。学习记忆可以增加多达 200%! 

切换到虚拟培训

虽然许多培训师可能意识到切换到虚拟课程的好处,但;这不是一个容易的转变—当然不像登录平台和主持通话那么简单。在进行切换时,有很多事情需要考虑,以确保所有与会者的质量水平相同(或更高)。 

Improving the training design 

Once we shift content from physically present training to a virtual environment, cracks may appear in the original learning design — some things that were perfectly acceptable for an in-person delivery just aren’t a great fit now. 

This is inevitable with such a considerable modality shift, and it’s no reason to feel frustrated — it’s simply an obstacle to overcome.

For instance, you may find that virtual environments lend themselves to more inductive teaching methods — like providing challenges that lead learners towards conclusions rather than a traditional didactic approach. 

In a virtual “classroom,” more interactivity is required to keep attendees engaged because of the physical distance — and your instructional design has to reflect that. 

A one-for-one transition is not advisable

As we’ve mentioned, your training design will have to change for the online format — and that likely means your 5-hour training will change from its original in-person form. Again, these are two entirely different mediums, and adapting training from one to another will require adjustments. 

The transition from radio to television is a good analogy here. When radio broadcasters began appearing on TV, they just went through their scripts and spoke into their microphones as if the camera wasn’t there.

Obviously, we’ve made significant strides since then — and a similar kind of switch has to happen between in-person and virtual meetings as well. 

Virtual instruction requires more interactive activities, more visuals, and a more dynamic presentation compared to the static slides of in-person training.

It部门;将内容缩短为更小的时间段,并增加更小但更频繁的休息时间,这是一个好主意—盯着屏幕看比跟着演讲需要更多的注意力;就发生在你的面前。此外,需要更多的指导反馈和参与者提示,以保持每个人的参与,并确保课程顺利进行。 

利用平台工具进行创新

认识到虚拟培训需要更多参与是一回事—实际上,启用它是另一回事。与虚拟与会者互动的最佳方式之一是利用 旨在促进在线参与的工具!

但是;同样重要的是,不要将它们用作噱头;仅仅为了it而使用平台工具是错误的想法。相反,每项练习都需要深思熟虑、富有实质性,并且与主题相关;有明确的学习目标,可以创造性地完成。 

使用投票、协作写作、问答功能和聊天室进行小型小组讨论都很好—但要确保这些特性中的每一个在正确的时间都有特定的用途。

您需要习惯于不断使用注释工具来指导学习者;收件人(&M);箭头指向、旋转、突出显示等。所有这些都为您的虚拟训练带来了必要的活力。 

虚拟环境中的混合学习

通过混合学习方法,虚拟教学达到了最高效率。换言之,实时提供在线教学非常好;但它应该与工作后和工作前的学习活动相结合。 

阅读文章或博客,查看信息图表,完成额外作业,甚至收听相关播客—丰富的虚拟活动可以作为虚拟培训课程的有益补充。

Realistically, most learners would rather spend their time productively than traveling to venues for in-person training — and that time is completely freed up with this learning medium.

Plus, preparation before and after training sessions allows instructors and learners to spend their time more productively during the class time itself — evaluation, analysis, discussion, example review; this is all stuff you would have far less time for in a physical venue. 

Providing support to instructors

For companies that can afford it, providing instructors with a technical assistant is an excellent way to free up their time and increase the overall efficiency of their virtual training. This would lift the stress that comes with managing the technical aspects and logistics of virtual platforms.

These assistants could also bookend the sessions — establish class netiquette, welcome participants, give a brief platform tutorial, close the session, etc. 

Any session delivered virtually can encounter technical issues. Having someone in the room whose job it is to fix those issues while the trainer focuses on leading the group can be very helpful! You might also benefit from having such an assistant handle some aspects of admin or group sign-up. 

Design your training sessions the easy way

Making virtual training engaging and fun

While paying enough attention to the design of your virtual training is important — keeping attendees participative and engaging in practice is just as crucial. And while a virtual setting is conducive to learning, it also comes with more distractions and less oversight. With that in mind, we’ll go over some of the tactics you can use in your training to ensure maximum participation. 

Set the tone right away

Before you kick off your first session, the learners need to realize that this will be an interactive experience — one that will require their active attention. Set expectations and rules right away.

For instance, encouraging learners to close other browser tabs and switch off push notifications is great for keeping everyone focused on the content at hand. Remind them that your time together is limited and how you’d all do your best to make the most of it. 

It may be a good idea to provide this information in a pre-event email and then repeat it during the first session to cement the tone and ensure focus. 

Use video

If you were to take just one piece of advice from this guide, we’d encourage you to pick this one — always have your video camera on. And that goes for your attendees as well.

Even if they’re not fully invested in the beginning, the trainees will want to seem engaged and attentive — and if their cameras are on, there’s less chance they’ll succumb to other distractions from the training. 

Of course, not everyone is prepared to switch their cameras on at a moment’s notice. That’s why you should notify everyone about this video requirement in advance; they’ll have no excuse not to be camera-ready then, and they’ll be able to prepare their setup. 

This is equally important for the instructor as well — turning on your webcam will allow trainees to read your facial expressions and non-verbal clues for a deeper understanding of the subjects you’re covering. 

In the first session, you should also explain why turning on everyone’s video is important for collaboration and engagement. After all, you have no real authority at the start of the lesson, and people need logical reasons to listen to you.

最后,感谢第一批单独打开视频的参与者—积极的强化也会鼓励其他人。 

鼓励参与

成功的培训课程需要互动,这意味着要立即为参与和参与设定基调。确保你立即设计参与的机会,最好是在最初几分钟内。这将使每个人都站在同一个角度,他们;我们也将更加开放地接受接下来的接触。 

如果您想维护参与者;在整个课程中,每10分钟进行一次互动。如果这听起来太多,那么;真的不是—我们;我们不是在谈论复杂的任务或正式的参与。

小规模、零碎的非正式参与将使每个人;s的注意力集中在这节课上。当他们希望你在整个培训过程中提问时,与会者会更加专注。

例如,您可以鼓励参与者在聊天中分享他们对当前主题的体验—或者只要举手;我以前也做过类似的事情。在每一节的末尾,你可以让学习者分享他们从这节课中获得的最大收获。 

耐心等待回应

在每一个虚拟培训小组中,你都会不可避免地遇到难以吸引的学习者。耐心对待他们对整个团队的成功至关重要—如果您没有;如果没有收到对参与查询的响应,请确保等待有人响应。

相反,如果您只是忽视了缺乏参与的问题,继续前进;d正在开创一个危险的先例—人们会意识到他们可以被动地观察而不回答你的问题。 

When you’re dealing with an unengaged audience, let them know you’re happy to wait for a couple of minutes for them to type out their responses. Also, ask if the question was clear and reframe it to clarify further. Finally, consider if you need to make the question simpler — sometimes, answering a vague or complex question via chat or a crowded call can be difficult. 

Also, once people respond — you should acknowledge their responses to encourage further interaction. A common technique is using first names to reward participants with attention and show you care about what they have to say — “John is saying he’s a beginner,” etc. 

Feedback loops 

As you can see, it’s essential to show learners that their responses are a crucial part of the training process. With that in mind, creating feedback loops that integrate these responses into the training is a great way to give them significance. 

For example, you can ask learners to rate their knowledge on a given topic before you begin covering it. If a majority of people have little to no experience with the subject matter, you can say something like, “I’ve noticed many of you guys are starting — that’s awesome, and I’ve got some useful tips for you!” 

You can find all kinds of logical places where similar feedback loops could increase learners’ engagement with your work and slowly shape how you go through the training. 

Maintain the focus on yourself

In many cases, attendees feel less engaged with a virtual training session if they look at an endless array of slides. While it’s necessary to point to visuals you’ve prepared throughout the lesson — make sure you begin and end each training session with yourself in focus instead of other content. Doing this will help you establish a more personal connection with your trainees. 

保持对话语气

谈到与观众的联系—如果您想让他们参与进来,请记住:;没有什么互动形式比人际对话更吸引人了。这一点;这就是为什么;保持你的风格和语调对话是很重要的。

您的目标是让学员感觉自己;我们正在和你聊天,而不仅仅是等待你的独白结束。 

当然,虚拟培训的很大一部分是由你的讲解组成的。然而,有一些方法可以使它更具会话性。例如,预测观众;s对您的回应;相应地重新说话和行动是一种很好的学习技巧。 

例如,如果您;重新讨论一个复杂的话题,假设人们开始在理解和专注中点头,然后回过头来点头。或者,如果您;如果你想用一个笑话来缓解情绪,也可以尽情地笑。这种方法认可你的听众,并保持一种更具对话性、不太正式的风格。 

使用分组组

有时,参与者获胜;在一个更大的群体中谈论一些事情并不舒服—与小团体的分组会议是确保每个人都参与的一个极好的方式。

只需确保每个小组都有详细、明确的说明,说明在分组会议期间要做什么。您还可以在每个小组中随机(或不随机,取决于您的偏好)选择一位领导,以减少活动或讨论的尴尬程度。 

如果您;我们要把人们分成分组讨论,在参加小组讨论之前,给他们一些时间单独思考这个问题也很有用。例如,单独准备几分钟,然后有更多的时间进行小组讨论,然后有更多的时间进行全班讨论。

只要这些课程结构合理,您就可以;我会发现,分组培训是虚拟培训中一种非常强大的子形式。 

使用虚拟破冰船

就像任何其他新的社会群体一样—在线培训课程总是可以使用破冰船。而且;这对于管理这些团队的培训师来说尤为重要。如果你的训练以 有趣的破冰船,您;我会减少很多一开始很难摆脱的尴尬。 

就相关主题进行琐事游戏—或者鼓励人们以有趣的背景出现,这些背景在过去几年已成为虚拟工作环境的主要内容。

这种轻松愉快的东西可以成为一个很好的谈话开端,它肯定会让每个人都感到轻松。 

提升您的视觉内容

如果有;有一条规则:;对于每种媒介都是如此—it部门;高质量的内容总是赢的。虽然我们的大部分指南侧重于与观众建立联系并保持他们的参与,但您的视觉内容也在其中发挥了很大作用。 

确保您的幻灯片;看起来不像微软Office 97制造的东西。幸运的是,互联网上充斥着现代演示视觉的想法。此外,确保每张幻灯片的主要内容都浓缩在页眉中。 

其他规则与为面对面活动创建引人入胜的演示几乎相同;保持文字清晰,突出重点,避免冗长的段落被压缩成要点;我还是会解释的。

不时地填补一些空白也会让人们保持积极性;偶尔的模因也会保持一种非正式的情绪。 

混合同步和异步任务

许多最好的虚拟培训课程都是以引人入胜的方式实时提供的,但并非所有的学习都是在课程期间完成的。许多培训师和促进者正在取得成功 使用异步学习 缓冲虚拟培训课程并支持进一步学习。 

Try adding tasks that participants can complete ahead of the session to get them in the right mindset for learning. Ask a set of questions they should answer ahead of the virtual training or even set a practical task. Simply suggesting that your group take some time to reflect on a certain point

When using asynchronous tasks in your virtual training, try to include a virtual space where your group can share results and reflect together. A shared Google Doc or online whiteboard to work and collect results ahead of training can be a great way to supplement your training materials!  

Create a community 

One ingredient of any learning experience is the cohort of people undertaking that learning together. Whether it’s at school, university, or in virtual training, people often gain value from their peers as well as from the sessions. 

Create a community where your trainees or participants can hang out, discuss tasks and simply get to know each other better.

Sharing knowledge and talking about challenges as a cohort can massively increase the value of your virtual training. And remember, it doesn’t need to be a fully featured community platform to be useful. A private LinkedIn or Facebook Group can be just as effective as any other space!

虚拟培训师和主持人有很多共同点。虽然方法可能不同,但这两种职业都希望通过一个过程来指导团队,并帮助他们实现目标。 

What skills do virtual trainers need to be successful? 

While modern technology makes organizing virtual training sessions easier than ever that doesn’t mean anyone can be a virtual trainer. There are certain skills that any budding virtual trainer needs to master to make their online training sessions professional, polished, and above all else — engaging. 

Multitasking 

As you might have gathered from some of the tips we’ve shared above — a great virtual trainer needs to keep the reins on multiple things at once. It’s quite easy to focus too heavily on the presentation at hand and lose focus when it comes to the other aspects of online teaching.

记住(&M);您的成功取决于您的对话和参与度,同样取决于您的表现;我向学员介绍了信息。 

这一点;这就是为什么成功的培训师能够促进活动,观看小组聊天,并监控各个屏幕上是否有人同时举手或做出其他显著手势。

这种多任务处理不会;不要自然而然地来到每个人的身边—但就像其他技能一样,它也是可以学习的,而且;随着时间的推移,你会变得更好。 

变得更加精通技术

通过面对面培训课程,培训师经常花时间熟悉场地以及他们掌握的任何技术或道具;我将用来做演示。

毕竟,你需要展现一副沉稳、专业的面孔,才能在观众中树立权威;当您;在飞行中重新掌握技术只会削弱信心。

虚拟培训课程也是如此;讲师需要将虚拟教室的所有细节都掌握在手中。了解如何使用所选平台上的每一种工具对于基础课程规划至关重要。It部门;如果您;重新执行多任务—在虚拟白板、您自己的屏幕和与与会者的互动之间轻松切换需要练习和掌握软件。 

这也让你在出现问题时保持冷静和镇定—这是不可避免的。与会者可能无法找到群聊天室或连接到平台。您自己的Internet连接可能会中断—您可以做各种事情;t预测。

但是;s熟悉该平台和各种技术,将能够应对小灾难而不会不知所措。 

Making everyone comfortable

As obvious as this may seem — you need to develop a rapport with all of your attendees. They need to be as comfortable as possible in every group interaction, something that can be especially tough in a corporate virtual training environment. 

At the start of the training, you need to pay special attention to making everyone comfortable — recognize that they may be new to virtual learning and put any non-tech-savvy newcomers at ease.

If you’re someone who’s used to hosting in-person training events, you may need to adjust your rapport for an online environment. 

It takes a specific kind of social intelligence to overcome the unique challenge of forging a bond with attendees in a virtual space. Make sure you can establish a human connection with them regardless of your physical distance; they need to feel like they’re talking to a real person and not just a virtual instructor. 

If you’re having trouble with developing this skill, think of your job as something similar to a TV personality — someone engaging a remote audience but with more interaction.

This is where the importance of audience engagement really shines through. The more you encourage attendees to ask questions and discuss the subject matter, the more comfortable they’ll get with the virtual classroom. 

Teaching

Speaking of the classroom — you need to remember that there’s a reason why we call it a virtual classroom, and not just any virtual room. At the end of the day, the most important skill for virtual trainers is the same one you need for in-person training: teaching.

Especially in an online environment, it’s easy to get caught up in your own lecture — particularly when the attendees are unseen or quiet. You need to remember that you’re not a lecturer to a passive audience — you’re a teacher, someone who’s supposed to facilitate their learning process. 

同时,你需要掌握一种微妙的平衡,即承认观众的需求,而不是对每一条聊天评论或问题都做出反应。你需要通过分批回答类似的问题来保持培训的流畅,而不是陷入困境。 

培养真实的风格

我们的所有技能;以上提到的并不是大多数人天生就有的;他们进行准备和练习。因此,您;我需要通过不断的经验来培养他们,尽管详细地准备课程对课堂的成功同样至关重要。 

有时;写出整个脚本很有用—你可以偏离它,根据需要即兴创作,但把它作为课程的粗略结构记在心里总是有用的。

如果您;您是一名新手培训师,don;别担心—随着时间的推移,通过实践;将培养自己的真实风格;如果你对自己感到满意,那么你就赢了;不需要尽可能多地考虑每件事;我会很自然地来找你。 

提高你的辅导技能

虚拟培训师和主持人有很多共同点。虽然方法可能不同,但这两种职业都希望通过一个过程来指导团队,并帮助他们实现目标。 

学习便利化 培训师在研讨会和会议中使用的技能也很有启发性。您;我可能会发现,你正在做很多建导师所做的事情,同时也学到了很多让团队保持参与的新技巧和窍门! 

使虚拟培训更具吸引力的活动

遵循上述建议并提高您的技能是开始制作真正吸引人的虚拟培训计划的一个好方法。有时,通过活动和游戏分解培训材料,让参与者更直接地参与进来,可以提升你的课程。

以下是一些活动,您可以使用这些活动为您的下一个虚拟培训计划增添趣味,更好地吸引学员!

For breaking the ice

Helping your virtual trainees get to know each other and break the (digital) ice can help ensure they’re engaged and ready to go. Particularly with cohort-based training, it’s important to create space to get people interacting and comfortable with one another early on in your program.

Stand up if is an effective virtual icebreaker that is easy to play and needs no additional materials or resources. Start by asking a question of your participants such as, “Have you ever played a musical instrument?” If this is true for you, stand up. Run through a few questions yourself before encouraging participants to chime in with their own questions.

Stand up if #ice breaker #sharing #opening #energiser #online #远程友好型 

short, fun, energizing team activity

For checking in

Checking in at the start of a virtual training session can be instrumental in helping everyone warm-up and be present. Getting a sense of where everyone is at can also help the virtual trainer make the session productive and comfortable for everyone involved.

In this virtual opening activity, start by placing various weather icons on an online whiteboard ranging from sunny to a raincloud with lightning. Next, have participants place their names next to the icon that best matches their mood. This simple, visual approach makes it easy for participants to indicate how they’re feeling without feeling exposed. It also means that the trainer can adjust their session appropriately and follow up with participants if necessary!

Weather Forecast #openness #feedback #opening 

On a board there is a Sun, a Sun with a cloud, and a cloud with a thunder. Participants write their name on a postit and put it in the area that matches their current mood.

For energizing the virtual session

Zoom fatigue is real. Even in the most well-designed virtual training programs, lengthy sessions can leave participants low on energy. Using a remote-friendly energizer is a great way to give participants a jolt of energy and mix things up.

Touch Blue is a simple energizer that can be played by participants whether they’re at their desk, on the sofa, or attending from the kitchen! Start by calling out an attribute such as blue, warm, soft, or heavy. Everyone has to find an object with that attribute and present it to the room. Play quickly and encourage creative responses to get your virtual trainees moving around, energized, and engaged!

Touch Blue #energiser #fun #远程友好型 

Touch Blue is a classic energiser that is quick and easy fun for remote teams too! Challenge participants to find objects on their desk that match the attributes you select and have fun doing so!

For improving participation

In online training sessions, it’s not uncommon for people to stay silent. Finding ways to engage participants and help them participate in a virtual setting can be tricky, but doing so can massively improve the outcomes of your training!

From Silence to Vibrance is a simple activity designed to help reframe silence and invite participation from a virtual group. By addressing the issue directly, encouraging positive behaviors, and helping those quieter participants contribute, you can help everyone engage in your virtual training and speak up when necessary.

From Silence to Vibrance #managing difficulties #group development #online #engagement #team dynamics 

Sometimes a number of people are silent and there is not necessarily a dominant person in the group. This often happens in cultures where being assertive is not valued.

For presenting material

Many virtual training courses require the transmission of material to participants. While this is a necessary part of the process, it isn’t always the most engaging part of the course. Finding ways to help your participants actively engage with the material can be a major part of ensuring learning sticks.

此方法旨在帮助参与者积极响应培训材料并总结他们刚刚学到的内容。通过要求参与者经常参与并总结材料,您可以鼓励更深入的学习,同时确保没有人在学习过程中迷路!

互动讲座:总结 #远程友好型 #虚拟的 #交互式讲座 #无材料 #突破点 #聊天室 

在演示或(颤抖)演讲,可能需要2分钟或10分钟,可以是无声或有声的。

用于集体头脑风暴

围绕培训主题或集体挑战产生想法是吸引虚拟参与者的一种好方法。但是,我们如何利用在线设置使过程更加直观、有趣,并且减少对缩放的来回调用?

莲花 是一种快速有效的创意生成技术,在使用在线白板时效果非常好。首先,创建一个中心概念或主题,将其发布在在线白板上。接下来,邀请参与者集思广益,讨论主题,使其脱离中心主题,并围绕原始主题悄悄添加主题。

鼓励参与者继续从所产生的东西中成长,并为他人添加新的想法;s的想法。结果可以很好地表现团队;s认为您可以作为进一步讨论或构思的基础!

莲花 #构思 #概念 #创建 #设计 #创意生成 

莲花法是一种创造性的练习。它是一个从一个中心主题出发的创意生成框架。从主主题中衍生出八个概念主题,每一个概念主题都被用作中心主题来生成另外八个主题。勘探

结论

过渡到在线培训并试图从人群中脱颖而出可能是一个挑战。利用上面的一些技巧开发更具吸引力的虚拟培训可以帮助你赢得客户,塑造下一代的学习体验。 

Anything to add? Did you find this guide useful or have any insights you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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