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Converting from In-person to Virtual Training? Here are a few considerations.

We're going to be doing virtual training for a while. If you're just getting started, here are a few things to keep in mind.
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Several weeks ago I asked how comfortable people were with virtual training delivery. The vote tally broke fairly evenly with about 51% saying they weren’t very comfortable with virtual training delivery and 49% saying they were indeed comfortable.

This week, we at Endurance Learning began offering a short virtual session on some key concepts to keep in mind as you deliver virtual training. If you’d like to sign up for one of these sessions, there is space remaining in our final four offerings (click here for more information).

To help those of you who are working hard to put together virtual programs, we’ve come up with a document that may help you figure out which feature of your web conferencing platform will best help you design an activity to engage your learners.

Identify what features your platform offers

Before you can begin to design activities into your virtual session, you need to know what’s possible. Based on some research we conducted with free trials of some of the most popular web conferencing platforms on the market, we developed this matrix that offers a glimpse on which platforms offer which features:

Platforms and Activities

Connect your learning objectives with your activities

One of the biggest similarities between in-person and virtual training is that regardless of media, you need well-crafted learning objectives. Once you have your learning objectives, then you can begin to think of the activities that help your learners to show you that they “get it”. Below is a list we came up with to begin helping you match up virtual activities with features available on various virtual training platforms. If you’d like to download the chart of engagement strategies, you can add your own objectives and activities in the blank spaces toward the bottom of the sheet and think through which virtual training platform features could help you accomplish those activities and objectives.

Activities and features

If you would like access to a library of more than 50 virtual training activities, I can’t recommend Interact and Engage by Kassy LaBorie and Tom Stone enough.

Be sure to practice

Virtual training platforms have some pretty cool features – polling, breakout rooms, on-screen drawing tools – when they actually work. Before you decide to launch a session in front of real learners, be sure to pull some of your colleagues together to help you test out the technology.

Are features such as on-screen drawing enabled for all participants? Do you know how to set up a poll in advance? Are you sure that your learners can see your poll? It’s helpful to test these features and grow comfortable (and confident) in their use well before you get in front of your learners.

If you’ve been working on virtual training recently, what are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned? If you haven’t yet dipped your toes into the waters of virtual training design yet, what questions or anxieties do you have?

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