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Introduction: How to transition to Virtual Instructor-led training
Virtual Instructor-Led Training grants learners the freedom to continue learning outside of a traditional classroom. This is particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing norms. By transitioning to vILT, training becomes accessible to all learners — whether customers or employees, anywhere in the world. Virtual Instructor-Led Training also allows us to harness scientific methods that can improve learning and learner experience.
Moving to vILT is cost-effective and can prove to be a good Return On Investment. Research findings indicate that 51 percent see an efficiency gain, 46 percent a positive impact on the quality of critical business processes, 20 percent improved employee retention, with 53 percent seeing a decline in training costs.
vILT reduces your organization’s training expenses as sessions can be conducted remotely with a significant reduction in costs compared to traditional classroom training. Reducing costs is a motivating factor for many companies.
Effective vILT supports lesson objectives with a combination of content and presentation. This blog provides a four-step process to ensure your transition is a success.
Step 1: Adapting ILT to vILT
In order to create an excellent learning experience, instructor-led training (ILT) material needs to be remodeled for a virtual classroom setting. Identify the components that make up your existing training material. This allows for curating the content and helps determine what to keep, rewrite or eliminate. Establish training goals and break down a course into smaller chunks or learning sessions. A vILT session should be no longer than 90 minutes.
Step 2: Set up VILT Interactions
Perhaps the biggest challenge of a vILT session is to ensure that the participants are as engaged as they would be in a classroom session. Interactions can play a key role in resolving this challenge.
Here are a few methods to boost engagement interaction in vILT:
- Audience polls — ask more questions and create discussions using chat and timed break out sessions
- Whiteboard brainstorming sessions
- Live Q&A
- Visually appealing images and videos to drive key points
Providing opportunities for collaboration, be it through whiteboard brainstorm sessions or chat discussion boards can aid in social learning.
Step 3: Strategic Learning and Development Assessments
Knowing your learners can help create better content and hone teaching methods and practices. Include a pre-assessment in your course. This ensures that learners meet prerequisites to take the course and if not, they can be directed to a preliminary or foundation course.
Even during the course of a program, assessments become an integral part of keeping track of learner progress. Live micro-assessments during the training session will allow the instructor to find out which key concepts are most difficult for learners to grasp. Not only will the current set of learners benefit from this analysis, but by using this to hone the content, future batches of learners can have a shortened learning curve with key concepts.
Step 4: Training the trainer
This could perhaps be the most important step of all. In a VILT class, the effectiveness of the instructor is important for success. Much like face-to-face instructors, online instructors need to be strong in content, communication, interpersonal interactions, and assessment. The instructor needs to be savvy with the tools and technologies that are used for training. Because of this, it is essential that instructors are trained beforehand. vILT typically uses modern technology and tools such as virtual lab, conferencing software, chat, and polls among others. Without fully understanding how these tools work, it may be difficult for an instructor to hold the learner’s attention.
The personality and skills of the instructor and the connections that they create with their students become critical to ensure a healthy teaching environment. You can maximize the learning potential by choosing experienced and competent virtual instructors.
With these simple steps, moving to virtual training can be made simple. Large groups of participants can be trained remotely, without losing the positive defining characteristics of a traditional classroom learning experience. To find out more, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.