Training Delivery Methods: Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

Content is a huge focus in the training world, though it’s really only one part of the learning equation. The magic happens, though, when strong content is shared through the most effective training delivery methods, enabling the message to be absorbed, retained, and implemented by learners.

Whether your aim is to impart knowledge, sharpen skills, or adjust behaviors, there are a lot of different methods of training delivery to choose from. But there’s no silver bullet. In fact, data continues to prove a blended approach, incorporating more than one modality to deliver your content, increases retention by up to 60%.

So, how do you determine the most effective training delivery methods for your needs? Start by considering the options available and how they align with your goals, audience, and content.

Below is a list of our recommendations.

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    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    Training Delivery Methods for Building Knowledge

    When we speak about training for knowledge, we’re referring to helping learners understand the what and the why of a concept. To tackle these topics, the training delivery methods we recommend hinge greatly on well-organized information and storytelling. These include:

    • Podcasts
      Borrowing from the popular media format, Podcasts are an excellent way to educate team members, allowing them to absorb information at their own pace in a familiar style.
    • Infographics
      Visual tools help to reinforce concepts, and the Infographic remains a popular delivery method as it clearly outlines vital data and information in a memorable and engaging way.
    • Animations
      Another popular visual option, Animations are a great way to educate learners. By imparting critical information in an entertaining way, you can increase both retention and engagement.
    • Group Discussions
      Part team-building, part training, Guided Group Discussions are a great way to build relationships among team members while educating them on key concepts.
    • Boost
      These interactive modules from Unboxed’s Training Technology team organize key concepts in an interactive, data-based tool, making it effective for knowledge acquisition and knowledge sustainment (refresher training).

    Training Delivery Methods for Improving Knowledge & Skills

    Building on those, there are several modalities that bridge both knowledge and skills, helping learners to understand the how behind the what and the why. This category of modalities includes:

    • Instructor-Led Trainings (in-person or virtual)
      Instructor Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) allows you to build upon learned knowledge by giving learners a chance to put knowledge and skills into practice through classroom activities.The bonus of vILT is it allows you to reach learners near and far with training that’s as equally engaging, interactive, and effective as in-person training — without the pricey travel costs.
    • Interactive Learning Guides
      Self-paced and fully interactive, our Interactive Learning Guides (ILG) keep learners engaged at every step. With a modern, web-like interface, video, animation, gamification, and interactive exercises, ILGs create an engaging experience for learners, making them effective for both knowledge and skills training.
    • Videos
      Taking cues from what many learners engage in on their own time, training videos are an incredibly popular choice to help learners improve their skills in addition to reinforcing their knowledge.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Sharpening Skills & Behaviors

    Moving further into training for skills, the delivery methods below allow you to focus more deeply on the tactical responsibilities of your team. These modalities also lend themselves to training for behaviors, educating learners on the action taken, and include:

    • Group Participation, Hands-On Activities, Role Plays, On-the-Floor Training, Mentor Shadowing
      Each of these training delivery methods differs in their approach but share the same goal: to allow team members to improve their skills in settings and situations where they actually use them.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Shaping Behaviors

    Behavior-specific training goes one step further, allowing you to work with team members to help them make changes in their interactions, approaches, and performance with direct feedback. There are two modalities that are ideal for this type of training, these are:

    • Huddles
      Combining the benefits of group participation, hands-on activities, and role play along with direct coaching, Huddles are an excellent training method to help shape and improve behaviors.
    • Video Simulations
      Offering the same advantages of a Huddle, Video Simulations allow geographically dispersed teams the opportunity to observe team member behavior and coach them to be more effective in their approach.

     

    Need Help?

    We recognize there are a lot of options out there, but choosing a training method doesn’t need to be a chore. We can help you analyze and understand both your goals and content to select the best option for your needs. Reach out to schedule some time with our Training Content Strategists to learn more.

    Want to know more about choosing a training method? Download our free guide!

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    4 Tips to Keep Your Custom Training Programs Fresh

    So, you have a shiny new training program custom-built for you. Hopefully, you designed it with an eye for growth. Even so, if there’s one thing you can count on with custom training programs and off-the-shelf alike, it’s change.

    Just like you, we continue to learn with every training program we build and support. In this article, we’ll share some best practices and suggest some tips to make maintaining your training program more resource- and cost-efficient.

    Let’s get started!

    training maintenance

    Relax – Change is Normal

    First things first – it’s totally normal to need to update your customs training programs to keep them fresh. Your audience is constantly changing, tackling new projects and procedures, and counting on you to help them stay ahead of the curve.  That’s in addition to changes because of:

    • New products and services
    • Updated information or data
    • Expanded audience (new roles, departments, etc.)
    • Corporate branding changes
    • Audience survey results

    Does coordinating all this take time and resources? You bet. Can it be confusing? Sometimes.

    That’s why the best plan is to have a plan. And a partner that cares about the quality and cost-effectiveness of your program — from an agreement, through pilot, launch, and maintenance.

    1. Start By Asking Great Questions

    So what happens when you need to update your custom training programs? Who owns the edits – you or your vendor? What about the more technical stuff – like videos and animations?

    Once you have a list of required changes, break it down into manageable parts. Let’s unpack some key questions and explore some options.

    1. What types of changes are needed? Do you need simple text and graphics updates, or something bigger like new video footage and updated animations? Identify and group them by type.
    2. What’s the general scope of each set of changes? At this stage, just guesstimate. We like to use t-shirt sizes like extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.
    3. Which changes are urgent and which can wait? Decide which changes you need to fast-track, and which can be bundled into a larger program update.
    4. Which changes can be handled in-house? You may be able to handle some revisions with your internal team. If any changes require specialized skills or software tools, make sure you have those resources available when you need them.
    5. Where do you need outside help? Identify the gaps, whether due to timing conflicts, team capacity, or in-house skills and technology and look for a vendor who can help you move quickly. If you choose a vendor other than the one who created the original content, there may be a learning curve.

    2. Plan Your Strategy

    There are many ways to freshen up your training program, and your approach will likely vary depending on timing and resources. As you plan your strategy, keep the following option in mind:

    • In-house Maintenance – You can always keep updates in-house, e.g. text edits, image swaps, etc., as long as the right resources and software are available.
    • Bundled Changes – Maybe you’re applying changes after a pilot program or know you’d like to engage with a vendor on a regular basis (say, twice a year or annually) to make revisions. Bundled changes are the way to go! Your team can keep a running list of changes, and you can work with your vendor to ensure availability and understand the scope.
    • Ad Hoc Changes – This option is perfect if you don’t have a set pilot or when you know the changes will be unpredictable and urgent. Or maybe it’s a “both-and” situation, and you’ll need ad hoc changes in addition to your bundled revisions. Protecting a team with a retainer can be expensive, but it ensures that those high-value changes can be made at any time.

    3. Estimate Your Cost

    How much will all this cost? Honestly, it depends on the scope of the changes and the approach you take. (Check out this article that dives deeper into how much custom training costs.)

    You’ll probably need some cost estimates in the early stages of planning. If you know which services and deliverables will be required, the chart below may help.

    Training Deliverable Relevant Cost
    Job Aid, Workbook, or an Interactive Learning Guide $
    Instructor-led or Virtual Instructor-led Training $$
    Animation $$$
    Live Action Video $$$

     

    4. Follow Best Practices

    Once you’ve identified and prioritized your program changes and estimated costs, follow these best practices to ensure your updates go smoothly.

    • Make a plan and follow it – There’s no set rule for how often you need to update your training program. We recommend that you set up a formal schedule of when to review your program and make any needed updates, but also be aware of how often you may run into the need for ad hoc changes. The more you know, right?
    • Collect feedback – Ask your trainers and employees what they think about the program. Review surveys and polls; you might even run a new survey before each scheduled update to gather feedback from multiple areas.
    • Rotate different sections of your program – If your training program encompasses multiple departments or disciplines, you may want to rotate the updates, depending on complexity. For example, Sales and Customer Service may be on your regular schedule, while changes impacting field technicians may be alternated.
    • Document your process – If the processes you’ve created work well for you, document them. Use what you come up with throughout your updates and training program iterations.
    • Include maintenance in your original agreement – If you can, plan for change early. It’s inevitable. Don’t wait until you need changes to start working on a maintenance plan. Whether you’re creating the entire program in-house or partnering with a custom training provider, include a maintenance plan from the beginning.

    Meet Unboxed

    Whether you need a new custom training program built from the ground up or need some help updating your existing programs, the Unboxed training team is available to discuss, strategize, and help coordinate updates when you’re ready.

    Just don’t wait until training program updates become the 900-lb gorilla in the room.

    Social Learning Tools: Debunking the Myths

    There’s a lot to consider when creating an effective eLearning course. Which platform do you want to use to build it? Does it need to be mobile responsive? What type of interactivity do you need? Do you need eLearning voice over? The list goes on and on.

    When it comes to deciding if you should use eLearning voice over, consider what are the goals you want to achieve and if audio will enhance the learning experience. Voice over is an important element that can help your training feel inclusive and boost engagement and retention.

    When you’re ready to think over whether or not you need voice over in your eLearning, consider the following.

     

    Think About Accessibility

    Arguably the most important piece of the puzzle is whether or not your training needs to be accessible.  If accessibility is a consideration, eLearning voice over is a must. Consider this, roughly 19 percent of the U.S. population has a disability according to the U.S. Census Bureau – that’s nearly 1 in 5 people.

    That means, when you consider your workforce, you’ll want to take special care when developing your training to make sure it’s as effective and inclusive of different learning styles and needs as possible. Having narration or eLearning voice over for learners who have vision loss or dyslexia can help ensure everyone has access to the training in a way that’s best for them. For this audience, the audio is exceptionally important because it could be the primary way they’ll consume the information.

    Not just that, it’s also required by law in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Even though this law only applies to U.S. Federal Agencies, it is becoming a standard consideration across the L&D industry. So while creating accessible content entails a lot more than just adding audio, it is an important part of the process and one you can’t ignore.

     

    Consider Modern Learning Trends

    Today’s average learner consumes more information than ever before, using all sorts of technologies and platforms. (think curated news feeds,  AirPods, Google Assitants, etc.). But what does that mean for training?

    Your training needs to cater to how modern learner prefers to consume information.

    Consider how many of your friends and colleagues listen to podcasts. How does that compare to the number who read newspapers or watch the news regularly? Chances are, podcasts are way more popular. Why is that?

    The landscape is changing. The modern learner is tired of old school methods of consuming information. Instead, they prefer to multi-task and consume information on-the-go. By incorporating eLearning voiceover or narration, you’re catering to those who prefer to consume information by listening.

    If you can weave short podcasts or other engaging voice over into your eLearning to help it feel sleek, contemporary, and engaging. Your learners will be able to listen to the training during the morning commute or when they’re driving from site to site. It’ll be more efficient for their schedules, more effective, and much more memorable—and being memorable is how you boost retention.

     

    Using eLearning Voice Over to Simplify the Complex

    The last thing to consider is the complexity of the information you’re teaching. If you’re covering complicated topics or providing detailed directions, using audio can help to simplify and humanize your content.

    Think about it. Would you rather read a long drawn-out paragraph about a complicated topic or would you prefer to hear it explained while looking at a visual? Reading long chunks of content is exhausting and the modern learner just isn’t going to do it.

    Instead, consider creating a visual to convey part of the information and using voice over as an added layer of detail. It will seem a lot less daunting toy our learners than a big paragraph and we guarantee, if the voice over is written well, it will boost retention.

    The more ways you use to convey information, the more likely it is to stick.

    Don’t believe us? Read this article about a study where learners were divided into groups: those who watched a silent animation, then heard the narration, those who heard the narration, then watched the animation and those who watched both at the same time. As you can imagine,  the group who did both simultaneously did best.

    Is accessibility important in your training? Do you need your training to be easy to access on-the-go? Do you need to convey complex information? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, eLearning voice over is a must.

    Need help strategizing or building the training itself? We can help. With over a decade of experience, we can help identify the perfect blend of modalities for your training needs. We even have relationships with professional voiceover artists who can bring your content to life. Give us a call!

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    What is an LMS?

    An LMS is a technological platform to aid in the training and development of a business team. With features like anytime, anywhere training access, LMSs have become the standard in good training and development for sales teams the world over.

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    Social Learning Tools: Debunking the Myths

    There’s a lot to consider when creating an effective eLearning course. Which platform do you want to use to build it? Does it need to be mobile responsive? What type of interactivity do you need? Do you need eLearning voice over? The list goes on and on.

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    6 Training Trends for 2018 (and 3 you’re still not doing right)

    Save the Date

    Join our very own Dave Romero and Nikki Shaw for a fun, interactive webinar with Training Magazine where they’ll go more in-depth with these hot 2018 training trends.

    Bonus: During the webinar, they’ll share actionable tips to help you get started with each trend. You won’t want to miss it!

    As we turn the calendar into 2018, training leaders are looking for the next big things in learning and development. So, for the third year in a row, we’ve assembled our list of the top training trends to watch for in 2018.

    We’ll also mention a few trends from years past that many organizations are still getting on board with.

    2018 training trends

    First things first, let’s talk about what’s NOT on this list.

    There’s plenty of industry chatter about augmented and virtual reality, predictive analytics and machine learning. While those are exciting, buzz-worthy technologies, it’s not an L&D trend typical organizations will see in 2018. Advanced training tech is definitely coming, but its mainstream debut is a few years off.

    (You totally thought the focus of this article would be augmented and virtual reality, didn’t you?)

    So, here are 6 training trends you can get on board with now to improve your training toolkit in 2018.

    Convert classroom training to virtual

    #1 : Convert classroom learning to virtual

    Good news! Classroom training isn’t dead! It’s just moving to a virtual modality.

    As technology infrastructure catches up, increased interactive functionality for multi-person webinar platforms is now a reality. Virtual instructor-led training (vILT) is quickly gaining traction as classroom training’s more cost-effective, less disruptive but equally effective cousin.

    Why? Because both employers and employees see the benefit of logging on for a couple of hours to attend a group webinar and virtual discussion over investing time and money in travel to a central classroom to achieve the same goal.

    Training Magazine reports that:

    • 86% of virtual classroom participants rated the experience as “just as engaging” or “more engaging than” traditional classroom training
    • 100% of participants were highly satisfied with virtual classroom experiences
    • Virtual learners scored an average 90% on a skills mastery test—one point higher than traditional classroom participants

    Instructor-led classes are still the No.1 modality for employee training with 78% of respondents polled for inLearning’s 2017 Workplace Learning Report utilizing it. But not all content needs to be taught in person. By analyzing which training topics lend themselves to virtual teaching methods, you’ll save budget to invest in in-person training where it counts.

    Virtual instructor-led training is lighting up our radar as one of the hottest and most attainable training trends for 2018.

    Bonus: Embrace these virtual instructor-led training best practices to make your virtual training engaging and effective.

    Manager Validation in learning and development

    #2: Manager validation

    “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

    Do you envision a culture of learning for your organization? Does your C-suite? A strong leadership component is key to promoting learning and maximizing the value of your organization’s training program. After all, you can’t just conduct training without accountability. It requires leaders, managers, and supervisors who support the initiative and find engaging ways to encourage participation.

    SHRM confirms that to create a true culture of learning, CEO buy-in is critical. In vibrant learning cultures such as UPS, American Express, and the Container Store, C-suite executives and leaders are committed to learning. They model behaviors that communicate their belief that, “being smart is no longer about how much you know or how adept you are at avoiding mistakes. Instead, it’s about being a critical thinker, a motivated learner and an effective collaborator to further the business.

    “…being smart is no longer about how much you know or how adept you are at avoiding mistakes. Instead, it’s about being a critical thinker, a motivated learner and an effective collaborator to further the business.”

    To maximize adoption and success rates, training should be consistent, mandatory and standards-based.

    Training Magazine suggests that management team prep sessions―where managers review exactly what the training entails plus follow-up strategies to maximize learning―can increase management engagement in the learning process and therefore enhance training results.

    Keep learners accountable for staying on-message and implementing the skills and behaviors they’ve learned. Manager follow-up in 30, 60, and 90-day increments to reinforce training topics through a huddle, ride-along, deep-dive session or coaching confirms training success and improves the overall vitality of your organization.

    Focus on the learner experience

    #3: More focus on learner experience

    As modern content consumers, we’re spoiled. Google lists 400,000+ results per search, YouTube automatically plays related videos, and Netflix suggests 97% content matches based on viewing pattern algorithms.

    Modern learners are beginning to expect a training experience like what’s available in everyday life. So, coming in at number three on our list of training trends is a focus on elevating the learner experience – in both the content and the technology that delivers it.

    There’s a newfound intolerance for clicking through 20 sites to find what you need: SharePoint? Samepage? Slack? Unique URLs? The dreaded Intranet?

    ENOUGH! Learners know it could be better. You know it could be better. We’ve seen it be better.

    In 2018, we’ll see a shift in the traditional LMS to enhance the modern learning experience. Integrating disparate systems will enable a one-stop-shop for employees to find the tools, training, and communication they need to be successful in their roles. Your new, integrated LMS will enable training to be adopted and implemented on a grander scale by making it more highly visible, accessible, and engaging.

    Rewards-based learning―fostering a culture of learning that rewards people as they develop new skills and behaviors―is also beginning to be understood and embraced.

    Communicating training goals, initiatives and deadlines to engage employees is still a huge issue. “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t ring true.

    But if you build it and include social, gamification, communication, training, and tools, you’ll create a centralized hub where learners can connect to share insights and make informed decisions, inciting higher participation and engagement.

    Created vs. Curated training content

    #4: Created vs. Curated content

    As creators of engaging training custom-built for your company’s culture and goals, do we believe that off-the-shelf content has its place in your training playbook?

    Well, it just might.

    Because it’s true: You may not need custom-created training for standard compliance topics such as communication skills and ethics. But keep in mind that value-added content that truly changes behaviors is still a highly-coveted advantage in your training tool belt.

    Custom-built content—created to showcase and reinforce your organization’s unique culture, brand, and goals—remains the gold standard. When employees experience your company’s culture reflected in real-world scenarios that help them hone the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for success, training sticks. High-quality training engages learners by pairing fast-paced, interactive content with the right dose of humor to keep their attention and increase overall learning and completion rates.

    Microsoft Virtual Academy and Linkedin’s Lynda.com will be disruptive players in the L&D space with innovative strategies for commoditizing standard content―some of it’s even free―on a platform that organizations could leverage for cost-savings.

    By spending a little less money maintaining required compliance courses, you’ll have more budget for behavior-based, custom-created content where it counts most.

    Measuring training effectiveness

    #5: Measuring Training Effectiveness

    Demonstrating ROI continues to be a challenge, yet the C-suite demands it. While measuring the effectiveness of your training is important, it’s a complex metric. No wonder it made our annual list of training trends in 20162017, and here again in 2018.

    Since the elusive Training Effectiveness topic keeps coming up (and we predict it always will), we suggest embracing what we have today. Quantitative ROI data is still roughly five years off, but qualitative data is readily available now. Embrace it and focus on the value it can offer.

    Qualitative feedback is the No. 1 way it’s being done. Positive feedback from managers affirming a productivity increase ranks as No. 2, and satisfaction among training attendees is No. 3.

    The high cost of employee turnover, as well as the potentially brand-impairing effect of excessive customer service complaints, are strong arguments supporting the qualitative ROI of your training budget.

    Up-cycle Flash-based training content to video

    #6: Up-cycling Flash-based training into modern formats

    About 90% of eLearning built in the past 20 years is Flash-based. Now that the final countdown to retiring Flash support has begun, modernizing existing Flash-based training  is trending in 2018.

    The driving motivator: security threats from major Flash loopholes that will no longer be patched.

    While it’s good news for pirates who can more easily breach your systems and access sensitive information, it could be devastating to your organization.

    If you’re still using Flash, you’re already behind. Mobile training technology is here, and the timeline for adoption is now. Embrace it.

    3 past learning and development trends you're still no doing right

    3 Past training trends you’re still not doing right

    Some L&D trends started 10 years ago, but in our experience, a lot of companies are still not doing them right. What’s the low-hanging fruit that you could reach to maximize your training toolkit? We have some ideas.

    Micro-learning

    With our 8.25-second attention spans now lower than that of the average goldfish, micro-learning (training divided into small chunks that learners can more easily digest) is effective, highly-rated, and continues to gain traction. Learners retain information when it’s presented in highly-specified 3 to 5-minute chunks as opposed to that 47-page PowerPoint your former training manager developed in 2006.

    The concept of micro-learning is so big that one company is even trying to trademark it. Ridiculous, right? But it speaks to the point. It’s past time to get onboard with micro-learning!

    Mobile Adoption

    It’s an expectation. Our smartphones are by our sides, in our hands and on our nightstands 24/7. Millennials (estimated to compose 75% of the workforce by 2020) especially love their mobile handhelds. 87% affirmed that their smartphones never leave their sides, even in sleep.

    MarketsandMarkets forecasts the Global mobile learning market to grow from $7.98 billion in 2015 to $37.60 billion by 2020―a 36.6% Compound Annual Growth Rate.

    Mobile training adoption is slow, but it’s happening. Business demands will soon make it a requirement. Many companies are struggling to roll mobile out, coping with the security issues that “bring your own device” mobile technology presents and managing content distribution across them.

    A modern learning program provides learners with the ability to learn at their own pace, on their own time, and in their own space. By curating a learning experience that leverages mobile, self-directed options, there’s evidence that you’ll increase adoption levels. 70% of modern workplace learners report increased motivation to train via mobile modality.

    Video

    Incorporating video doesn’t sound revolutionary, but in training terms, there’s not enough of it, and it’s not being done as well as it could.

    With skyrocketing bandwidth comes enhanced possibilities for video. And the fact that it’s compatible with in-person learning, vILT, and online courses makes it a modality to invest in wisely and often.

    Do you suffer from video training production phobia? Let it go! According to Kaltura’s State of Video in the Enterprise report, 95% of businesses confirm that video helps train their employees better and faster.

    What Training Trends Are You Watching in 2018?

    While machine learning, predictive analytics, and AR/VR adoption are coming, they won’t go mainstream in 2018. For now, focus on embracing training trends that help you modernize your L&D program to engage learners and maximize results.

    So, what other training trends will you be watching in 2018? Share in the comments below, or contact us.

    Training Trends Webinar

    Want more? Join our very own Dave Romero and Nikki Shaw for a fun, interactive webinar with Training Magazine where they’ll go more in-depth with these hot 2018 training trends.

    BONUS: During the webinar, they’ll share actionable tips to help you get started with each trend.

    4 Virtual Instructor Led Training Best Practices for Max Engagement

    As technologies evolve and people become increasingly comfortable connecting virtually, companies are looking for ways to take their existing training content into the digital space. That’s where virtual instructor-led training (vILT) comes in. But what exactly is vILT, what are the benefits, what is its #1 challenge, and what virtual instructor led training best practices can you follow to maximize engagement?

    Let’s take a look.

    Around-The-World

    VILT Benefits

    The benefits to business are obvious. By moving existing training content to online or app-based platforms, your company can:

    • Connect learners globally,
    • Reduce training costs, and
    • Complement your blended learning strategy.

    Plus, unlike self-paced e-courses, instructors can still interact with learners in real time, facilitating discussions and answering participant questions.

    But let’s take a step back. What exactly does a vILT look like?

     

    Three parts of a vILT

    The three main components of a vILT are:

    1. The platform
    2. The training content
    3. The people

    Three-Components-of-vILT-best-practices

    The platform

    Two software platforms commonly used for vILT are the Cisco Webex Training Center and Adobe Connect. Both platforms create an online space where instructors and learners can interact and offer tools to increase engagement, including: virtual whiteboards, polling, “raise hand” and chat functions, and breakout rooms for smaller discussions and activities.

    The-Platform-vILT

    The content

    Then you have your course materials which consist of the audio and visual content the instructor uses to teach the course, including: videos, text, audio clips, and images. Those materials are often contained in a PowerPoint presentation as a convenient way for instructors to organize and share information.

    In addition, a facilitator’s guide outlining timing, talking points, discussion prompts, and activities can be very useful in keeping your session on track. Job aids, infographics, and other supplementary materials can be used as takeaways to reinforce learnings.

    The-Content-virtual-ILT

    The people

    You have your learners, of course, and your instructor/facilitator who is teaching the material and/or facilitating discussions and activities.

    You may also want a producer—someone who is tech savvy and has in-depth knowledge of the platform you’re using to launch tools, move participants into breakout rooms and help monitor the time.

    The-People-live-session-training

    So, what is the biggest challenge with vILTs?

    The big challenge

    The greatest challenge with vILTs is also the greatest challenge with ILTs—keeping learners engaged. But with vILTs it is especially easy for participants to hide in the back of the virtual classroom where no one can see or hear them. Plus, instructors must compete with all the distractions at learners’ fingertips like email, texting, and Internet browsing.

    Distracted-Learner-vILT

    Which leads us to…

    Virtual Instructor Led Training Best Practices

    Follow these 4 virtual instructor led training best practices to keep learners focused and engaged.

    1. Make your training part of a larger blended learning journey. One of the advantages of the vILT format is that learners can complete self-paced training and review materials before and after the live session. You don’t need to cram everything into marathon in-person sessions. Micro-learning has been proven to be 50% more engaging and makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient. Break your content into smaller bite-sized pieces and focus your vILT on interactive discussions and activities
    2. Develop a set of rules and expectations up front. This may include asking participants to close email and browsers and refrain from using their phones. Let them know ahead of time how they are expected to communicate, for example chatting in questions or using the “raise hand” function.
    3. Make sure you utilize platform tools to their greatest advantage. For example, polls can be used as a quick and easy way to keep learners engaged while gathering valuable feedback. Breakout rooms are extremely useful with large groups to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. But don’t make the mistake of using tools just because they’re there. Make sure all aspects of your training are thoughtful and intentional. That’s because.
    4. No technology can replace an enthusiastic, engaging instructor who cares. Think back to school. What were your favorite classes? Most likely they were taught by teachers who kept the content entertaining and expressed a genuine interest in their students. The same goes for virtual classes. The best instructors use storytelling and compelling audio-visual content and, when possible, establish one-on-one relationships with their learners. This can be challenging with large groups, but whether it’s a quick phone call, email, or post on an intranet message board—try to find the time to connect with participants.

    “vILTs really benefit from instructors and L&D departments who think outside the box and find ways to connect with participants outside of the live session.”

     

    A vILT can be a great, cost-effective addition to your L&D department’s offerings. Participants love the convenience and business loves its low impact to the bottom line. And by following these vILT best practices, you can overcome its greatest challenge—learner engagement—to see positive, measurable results with your training.

    To learn more about how to think strategically in this digital space and develop custom, design-forward, and engaging content, take a look at our custom vILT solutions and give us a shout! We’re happy to walk you through our process.