Working Remote: 10 Ways to Train Employees Virtually

Published April 13 2020 by Sydney Stoner

If you have heard us talk about our Training methodology in the past you will have heard us talk about the Live Training component. We usually recommend having this training in a classroom setting. However, with the ever-changing environment we are currently in, that is not currently possible. Considering this, our training team has come up with our top 10 tips for converting your classroom-based training into a virtual classroom.

  1. Feedback is crucial
    1. Make sure to engage with your participants early and set expectations from the start. Have a poll in the beginning that asks them if they are ready to participate. It may sound cheesy, but it makes them realize that they will be asked to engage throughout the session, and they cannot just sit back and multitask.

  2. Web based training will work differently
    1. Get participants to use the tools early
      1. You may even want to have a slide to start you off that explains how the various tools work: Where is the chat located, how do you use the Q&A function, Can they raise their “hand” if so where is that located.

  3. Everything requires instructions
    1. In a traditional classroom setting you would start the session asking people to take their seats, turn on their computers to the software, and maybe even hand out a copy of the slides so people can take notes. While it may be different online there are similarities. You will want to attach instructions (or send them ahead of time). You’ll also want to make sure everyone is able to login to the system so they can be ready for any hands-on activities.
    2. We highly recommend having 1-2 other people on the sessions with you. They can help with any technical issues as well as watch the chat/QA box for you.

  4. Write out scripts
    1. You will want to practice your session beforehand and write out what, how and when you will say things
    2. Some people may be very new to this environment so you will want to help them learn how to use the tool.
    3. If you have someone helping with the QA make sure you have already worked out how they will let you know there is a question, or make dedicated stops where you read the QA box for yourself.

  5. Your visuals are more important than ever
    1. While you may be demoing the system for most of the session your presentation is extremely important.
    2. You will want to change the screen frequently. Your learners may think their screen is frozen if you stay on the same page for more then 5 minutes.
    3. If you have them, use annotation tools
    4. You will also want to limit the amount of on-screen text and instead keep their attention by using images

  6. Time works differently
    1. In a normal classroom session, you may separate people into ‘breakout sessions’. However, this activity which usually lasts 15 minutes in person could easily take up 30 minutes as people get stuck on using the technology.

  7. Design first then select your tools
    1. First identify the type of training you are creating then start to work through how you want it to look and feel. Is it more presentation based, or will you be spending most of the time demoing the system? How would you have gone about engaging your learners in a classroom?

  8. Choose your activities wisely
    1. Once you identify the objective you can start to determine what tool you should use. This may also change depending on if you are using Zoom, GoToWebinar, WebEx etc.
    2. However, we have a few examples we can share:
      1. If your objective is to apply a skill, you would have demoed the solution in a classroom, and now you will share your screen so they can follow along
      2. If the objective is to confirm knowledge you would have possibly given out a quiz in a classroom. Now you will use a poll. 
      3. Lastly if you were testing their knowledge of a software you would have had a hands-on activity and the presenter would have gone around the room to check on people’s work. Now you may ask them to do the activities after the session and send in screenshots of the finished result. Or you could have a secondary session where people can come on to ask for help.

  9. Don’t be afraid of the silence
    1. Something to keep in mind throughout this is that visual cues in a classroom are extremely important. The presenter is the focal point how they use their body language, gestures even eye contact. Participants are free to talk to their neighbors and get help easily.
    2. In a virtual classroom this gets flipped the presentation is the focal point. A stable internet connection is a must and learners usually only hear the presenter. While webcams are nice, they can also be an issue depending on the network. Learners also have very little help with getting set up and must rely on the chat function for discussion.

  10. Don’t forget to follow up
    1. Lastly, follow up is extremely important. If you gave ‘homework’ during the virtual session, make sure you ask for it and send reminders to complete the assignments by the due date.
    2. You will want to send out a survey directly after the session to get feedback about the session and if they need additional training
    3. Lastly as mentioned earlier you may want to set up secondary sessions for those that have completed the session for them to ask additional questions.

We hope these tips help you as you make the switch from in person to virtual training. If you have specific questions around your own training, you can contact us at virtualtraining@alithya.com. Our team will be happy to answer any of your questions around training. 

 

As an E-Learning and Media Specialist Sydney works with Fullscope's training department to create all of the Dynamics365 University courses and custom video content for clients. Sydney has extensive experience training and helping customers increase user adoption amongst their employees.

Contact us