As more and more people embrace hybrid working, training and learning sessions have had to adapt in a swift fashion. Learners have certainly not changed – they still possess a strong thirst for knowledge and are eager to enhance their personal and professional skills. However, traditional learning has gradually been rehashed to suit people’s new needs, with many classes being hosted on virtual platforms.
As with any learning, designing the experience is one of the most crucial steps of the whole process. For virtual learning experiences, in particular, it is important to balance a well-thought mixture of methods and techniques.
If you are designing and developing the session, you need to be equipped with the right knowledge and abilities to actively educate and engage your audience.
Here, with Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we take a look at some, we explore some of the best practices for delivering powerful virtual experiences to drive team development and spur your employees’ curiosity.
- Set up a safe space
First of all, you should bear in mind that many people still do not feel overly familiar with webinars or virtual training classes. For this reason, it is vital that – as a coach – you aim to be as authentic and human as possible to build trust and credibility. For instance, you can throw in some ice-breaker questions at the start, asking how they are and whether they are looking forward to the session. This will help you significantly when trying to instil the right level of intimacy with your learners and establish a safe space.
You will also want your people to feel comfortable during the training class. If you are using a virtual platform such as Zoom or Teams, some individuals may find turning on their cameras both daunting and distracting. Let them keep their video off, as it will allow them to concentrate solely on the content and other people’s contributions.
- Favor conversations and interactions
In a virtual setting, it is easy for participants to lose focus and drift away. Therefore, make sure to keep engagement levels high by encouraging interaction and conversations.
To make room for greater accountability and involvement, it may be wise to divide people into sub-groups from time to time. Dozens of employees might be attending a virtual training session, and discussions may soon become chaotic – and unproductive – if everyone tries to chip in with thoughts and comments. Certain digital platforms allow you to split attendees into smaller groups, enabling space for reflection, processing, and support.
What’s more, you can spur interaction by setting up anonymous quizzes. Not only will it be a good way to monitor participants’ performance during your coaching session, but it is also a useful tool to pinpoint potential areas for improvement in your own delivery.
- Visual appeal
Another way to create a successful virtual learning experience is to minimize the amount of text on the screen. Indeed, humans struggle to listen and read at the same time, as our conscious mind cannot deal with more operations at once if they have to be processed by the same parts of the brain.
At the end of the day, you want your learners to listen to you rather than read lengthy sentences on a screen. They can do that in their spare time after the session. Instead, make sure to fully use images and visual connotations that immediately convey information while you talk. This way, you will be able to deliver a more powerful, straightforward message for your learners to enjoy and digest.
- Share resources and implement lecture capture
Virtual learning sessions allow you to share content, documents, and valuable resources. Not to mention, you can record the entire class, too, making it easy for your learners to go over specific topics they would like to recap and consolidate. As the trainer, it is essential that you make the most of these useful, effective features to tailor a solid and successful learning experience.
When recording your session, you may also consider implementing lecture capture, which is habitually adopted in colleges and universities. Lecture capture provides people with the possibility to rewind the training session and post comments at any point of the recording where they require clarification. In turn, you can reply and offer further explanations, addressing any gaps or misunderstandings.
Ultimately, there are many ways to make your virtual learning experiences both impactful and memorable. From establishing a safe space for learners and favoring interaction to taking full advantage of visual information, resources, and recordings, your learners can satisfy their desire for knowledge and enhance their skills. With these tips, it is up to you to deliver successful classes and enjoy the coaching process.