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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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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Galileo Maintains Renowned Culture While Moving Training from In-Person to Online with Spoke®

Since 2002, Galileo relied on a two-day, in-person training session to prep their counselors for the coming camp season. But as their team grew to 2,000 plus members, so did the tactical challenges. After trying another industry-leading LMS, Galileo realized they needed a partner who also practiced and supported innovation to support their dynamic learning and teaching environment.


Backstory

Galileo logoGalileo Learning is a summer day-camp provider that offers children pre-K through 8th-grade confidence-building challenges and one-of-a-kind summer fun at over 70 locations in the Bay area, SoCal, and Chicagoland. Their mission: to develop innovators who envision and create a better world.

The curriculum is hands-on, iterative, and designed to reinforce the mindset, knowledge, and process needed to innovate in the modern world. In pre-K, campers may build a functional catapult or design their own space vehicle, all with simple materials. By 8th grade, they may program their own video game, design a fashion line, or build something entirely of their own invention.

“Something powerful happens at Galileo that doesn’t happen at other camps. Kids have fun, but they’re also encouraged to explore and fail without fear, which is the essence of innovation,” says Tom Bowen, Galileo’s Director of Professional Development & Training and Director of Technology.

Opportunity

Only the most talented instructors, counselors, and interns are trained to facilitate Galileo’s innovation approach. Since 2002, they had relied on an all-hands in-person training model of up to 2-days to impart new methodologies and curriculum, exchange experiences and ideas, and strengthen the vision and relationships that facilitate their mission.

Galileo Spoke News Post

The yearly meeting was enjoyed and cherished, especially by returning staff, but as Galileo grew to over 2,000 counselors, so did the tactical challenges. Aside from the time and travel costs, the lectures and break-out sessions had so many attendees that it was difficult to ensure that each trainee’s learning objectives were being met. And, while memories of conference camaraderie lingered, once camp was in session, there was no easy way to revisit key points and best practices covered in training.

“We needed a modern solution that could help us move our training from in-person to online without losing the incredible culture we’re known for. We also needed a way for counselors to access role-based content and answers to their questions on demand. We were concerned a traditional learning management system couldn’t deliver what we needed. I guess we wanted the best of both worlds: the convenience of an online community and an immersive cultural experience – a tall order, ” Tom explained.

“We needed a modern solution that could help us move our training from in-person to online without losing the incredible culture we’re known for. We were concerned a traditional learning management system couldn’t deliver what we needed.

After trying another industry-leading LMS, Galileo soon realized they needed more than “bells and whistles” to support their dynamic learning and teaching environment. They needed a partner who also practiced and supported innovation.

Partnership

Wiser and more determined than ever, Galileo connected with the Unboxed team and soon became convinced that Spoke, Unboxed’s collaborative and social learning management system, met their criteria.

Members of Unboxed’s Spoke team met with the Galileo team to identify and prioritize their goals – and to address obstacles to adoption. For example, the returning group of counselors was a little anxious about losing the connections they made at the annual conference. It was a powerful bonding experience that they were hesitant to give up for an online application.

The Unboxed and Galileo teams partnered together to work towards the solution: relevant content and connections could be developed and accessed on Spoke Community; while the more interactive and improvisational training exercises would be held in-person at each location’s discretion.

Galileo Spoke Training

And to “hook” the skeptics who were missing the action and excitement of the annual get-together, Unboxed recommended tapping into Spoke’s gamification features like Spoke coins, badges, levels, and a competitive leaderboard to spark competition and keep learners motivated.

“It was the perfect solution. And even though we bombarded the Unboxed team with new information and questions as we learned more about Spoke’s capabilities, they were always patient, professional, and as excited as we were. I soon discovered that was typical of the “white glove” service Unboxed delivered.”

“[Spoke] was the perfect solution. And even though we bombarded the Unboxed team with new information and questions as we learned more about Spoke’s capabilities, they were always patient, professional, and as excited as we were. I soon discovered that was typical of the “white glove” service Unboxed delivered.”

Solution

Galileo realized that making gamification the launching pad for Spoke was a stroke of genius. Plus, Spoke’s simple and modern user interface made it easy to navigate and explore all the content, news, eLearning, videos, classroom training, job aids, etc.—all in one place.

Galileo Spoke Devices Lockup

But the real magic happened in the Spoke Community. For the first time, it was easy to connect with and learn from one’s peers, from SoCal to Chicagoland. Now, if a new instructor wanted her kids to build a go-cart and had no idea how to design the steering column, she could simply search or ask for help on Spoke and advice would come in from across the Galileo ecosphere.

Spoke not only facilitated the exchange of knowledge, it created friendships and strengthened the culture. Soon Spoke was no longer viewed as a “second-best” substitute for in-person training, but rather an enhancement and extension that could grow and change with the culture.

Results

For Galileo, it was always important to measure counselor acculturation and training progress, so they appreciated Spoke’s ability to provide metrics and insights into areas like course performance, social participation, and counselor engagement.

Galileo Spoke Dashboard

The benefits of Spoke were almost immediate. Everyone loved the gamification and social elements, and that provided the “gateway” to more logins, higher engagement and, eventually, more training completed.

“We were super excited when Spoke revealed a 15-20% increase in new staff engagement. And while Spoke was busiest before camp started, with staffers completing on average 54 courses each, counselors continued to log in and benefit from Spoke during camp sessions (8.6 per user on average).”

“Honestly, we couldn’t imagine working with a better partner than Unboxed. The entire team consistently has our back. We have a partnership where we have the opportunity to influence the product, and that feels really good as a customer.”

“Honestly, we couldn’t imagine working with a better partner than Unboxed. The entire team consistently has our back. We have a partnership where we have the opportunity to influence the product, and that feels really good as a customer.”

Learn more about Spoke and Galileo Learning.

 

Social Learning Tools: Debunking the Myths

Social media might be a modern invention, but social learning certainly isn’t.

For almost 100 years now, educational theorists have recognized social learning’s power to extend and reinforce traditional learning methods.

Put simply, social learning is the modern day water cooler – or the modern breakroom where employees share on-the-job knowledge and creative solutions.

As our employees are increasingly spread across multiple cities or are working remotely, social learning is becoming even more important to company culture. According to the 6th Annual Learning in the Workplace study, 93% of employees ranked “on-the-job experience” as essential to how they learn, followed closely by social learning at 90%.

And, in a smaller study on top-requested LMS features by employees, 24% self-reported a desire for discussion boards on their LMS, while 23% also wanted the option to upload and share content with their peers. That’s roughly 50% of learners asking us for social learning tools to extend their formal learning!

So, if social learning is so desirable, why are some companies reluctant to adopt social learning tools into their organizational culture?

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The Biggest Barrier to Social Learning

Remarkably, the Masie Learning Consortium has discovered the number one barrier to social adoption is organizational culture. If you’ve been around the corporate training world for while, this probably doesn’t surprise you. It can be difficult to sell the value of social learning up the ladder.

And let’s be honest: most LMS’s social learning functions have been subpar for a long time, hampered by bad user interfaces that make good, helpful content hard to find. But that’s not the case anymore. Modern LMS platforms with social learning tools, like Spoke, make it incredibly easy for both moderators and learners.

So, in the spirit of dispelling myths, here are four common misconceptions and fears we hear from training professionals about social learning – and why there’s no need to be afraid anymore.

Social Learning Drives Formal Learning

Misconception:

“Our eLearning and ILT courses are really effective, so we don’t need social learning.”

Reality:

Informal learning tools extend and reinforce formal learning experiences.

Remember the old Cone of Experience model? It states that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they see, and so on. If your training still relies on the Cone of Experience, then it’s definitely time to explore a new model.

The truth is, we know that “chunking” information into bite-sized courses increases retention rate and that this mode of formal micro-learning has to be reinforced with informal learning practices, like social learning.

In Chip and Dan Heath’s Made To Stick, they refer to this as “talking shop,” or sharing personal workplace experiences. In marketing or training terms, we call this storytelling. People love to share experiences, and when we encourage those conversations, they result in greater learning.

Here’s how Jeff Cobb explains it in Leading the Learning Revolution:

“As much as 80% of our learning happens in an informal manner, and a great deal of it is based on our interactions with other people. Why does it matter? It is very often in the context of this 80% that we make decisions about more formal learning opportunities. If you are not there, not engaged, not providing value, then the chances that a prospect will come to see you or your organization as the source to go to for more formal, paid learning experiences diminishes dramatically.”

In other words, our informal learning experiences drive our desire to seek out further formal learning content in our organizations. When we don’t provide social learning tools, our learners seek out ways to connect elsewhere.

If it’s my money, I’d rather provide social learning tools to my teams, watch them flourish, and then analyze the discussion to learn how I can provide better training experiences.

Moderating Social Learning Tools

Misconception:

“I don’t have time to moderate discussion boards and police wrong answers or bad behavior.”

Reality:

It’s easy to designate moderators and enable safe content filters.

Good leaders all have one skill in common: they know how to delegate.

Moderating each and every social interaction in your LMS shouldn’t be your sole responsibility (even if you are a one-person army). And, with a social learning LMS like Spoke, features like moderators and profanity filters means it doesn’t have to be.

As a training strategist, I always recommend identifying influential subject-matter experts (SMEs) and designating them as your social community moderators. Here’s how you can do it.

First, like your favorite social media platforms, Spoke calculates how engaging posts are to your audience, and how many people have found the post content helpful. This makes identifying your company’s top influencers easy, and you can always see who’s at the top of the list (check out the screenshot below).

social learning tools - top influencers leaderboard

Next, identify the right top influencers and key SMEs for each training topic and give them moderator permission in the LMS. Spoke allows you to designate moderator permissions without giving people full-admin access, so you never have to worry about too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen.

And finally, if you’re worried about profanity or illicit content, both you and your moderators can enable the safe content filter to give that extra peace of mind.

Moderators can also deprioritize discussions they don’t want to trend, or if needed, they can turn off commenting functions for individual posts. On Spoke, we also ask every user to agree to community guidelines when they first join the platform, which reduces the risk of unwanted behaviors.

Finding The Right Answer is Easy

Misconception:

“It’s impossible to find good answers to topics, because they’re buried in old discussion threads.”

Reality:

Global search and linking news stories to courses and discussion topics make content super easy to find.

If you’ve spent time comparing LMS platforms, you know many of them boast social learning tool suites, but it’s little more than a text-heavy, hard-to-navigate message board. A truly modern social learning LMS extends and reinforces training by building “deep hooks” into formal content and elevating the learning experience.

To develop these deep hooks, you need a platform that allows you to create what we call horizontal link structures between content.

For example, in Spoke, it’s easy for a manager to post a news update announcing new sales packages and include a link to relevant course content or discussion threads. This moves learners seamlessly between news, course, and discussion content, eliminating the old problem of “siloed content.”

To make discussion posts easy to navigate, Spoke’s interface replicates well-known social media user experiences by building threaded conversations to keep everything all in one place. Users can also upload their own image and video content to a post for things like practicing a sales pitch or showing how you properly executed your planogram.

And, the cherry on top? We added a sorting function so you can search discussions by trending topics, and a search function so you can look up a topic like “retention” and see the most relevant discussions across the company.

Social Learning Tools with global search

And finally, for all the techies in the room, Spoke uses an advanced algorithm that calculates engagement, recognizes top influencers, and looks at up-votes to display the content that is most relevant to your learners.

If you want to see all these tools in action, check out our short, two-minute introduction to Spoke Community.

Social Learning Tools vs. Enterprise Social Networks

Misconception:

“We already have Slack, so we don’t need social learning features in our LMS.”

Reality:

Using enterprise social networks (ESN) for learning creates confusion about where to find the right answers.

If you’re already using an ESN like Slack or HipChat, then you know it’s a great workaround for quick, internal email. But there’s a two-fold problem with relying on ESNs to solve your training department’s social learning problem.

First, humans are not naturally great at organization or communication. Shocking, I know!

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), simple miscommunications cost small business around $42,000 a year, and up to $62 million a year for enterprise companies. ESNs were supposed to solve the problem of getting too many internal emails, but they simply added another communication channel into our work stream that actually makes finding answers even harder to do.

Now, instead of using ESNs as a silver bullet to solve our communication woes, companies are facing the single source of truth problem. Increased communication channels mean increased confusion.

Is that Excel file pinned to my Slack channel, or did I email it to our group chain?

Did Maryanne post that troubleshooting solve in the LMS or in our technician’s group channel? 

To solve this, drive users to a single source of truth for answers to their questions – and what better place to send users looking for answers than to your LMS?

When you migrate informal learning to your LMS, you increase your week-over-week login rate, which means you drive new workplace behaviors for your learners. And as we all know, creating behavioral change is the road to true personal growth.

Time To Get Social!

Let me end with a short story.

In 2010, employees at a major, global retailer asked the management team if they could start a local Facebook group to share sales tips, connect with co-workers, and coordinate shift swaps. The official response was that social media groups were against corporate policy. So what happened? The employees started their own Facebook groups and the management was never invited.

The moral of the story is, when your employees are asking for social learning tools, figure out the best solution and give them what they’re asking for, or, run the risk of them developing an informal system of learning on their own.

Get started creating a robust culture of social learning today, because informal learning is a critical component in delivering true behavioral change in the workplace.

Take a look at Spoke or schedule a demo, and come see what a truly modern social learning platform can do for your organizational culture!

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.