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We’ve seen a lot of changes this past year. Many of us are working remotely and scrambling to get our training content online. But here’s the big question: what does your training look like? Are you showing the same slides and reading the existing lesson plan? Are your attendees sitting passively while you deliver this information? Remember, our ultimate goal is to design engaging, performance-based virtual classroom training.
Let’s unlock the three key design tips to transform your virtual classroom training:
Determine Course Content
Think about what your learners are doing back in their jobs. We use a process called Task Analysis, where we take a task and break it down into sub-tasks and steps. For example, serve a customer, solve a problem, or give feedback are all tasks your learners might find themselves tackling. All tasks start with an action verb and are followed by a noun. They are brief and measurable.
Now, you may have to share some information with your learners. When we do, we use a method known as Topic Analysis. Here, we take a topic and break it down into sub-topics and teaching points.
Unfortunately, too many times, I see manuals and slide decks that look like a data dump. They’re filled with information learners will never need to know or use. Focus on the “need-to-know” content.
Always ask yourself, “How will the learners be expected to apply this information back on the job?” Remember, people get paid for what they do, not what they know. With tasks, your training will be job specific, relevant, motivating, and performance-based.
Design Engaging Presentation Methods
Your goal is to spend approximately 1/3 of the class time presenting the content so the other 2/3 can be devoted to application and feedback. Your job, as an instructional designer, is to select the best presentation methods for your content, as well as the tools that will best support those methods.
For example, use a Fill-in-the-Blank Lecturette to present key points. Ask learners to use chat to submit the words they think should go in the blanks. Or use a Discussion and post a question or statement on the slide and ask learners to discuss it verbally or in chat.
Design Interactive Application Methods
The opportunity to practice is what sets training apart from a typical presentation or webinar. Once again, your job is to select the best application methods for your content, as well as the tools that will best support those methods.
For example, use a Case Study to present a brief scenario to the learners and use a poll to determine how they would best deal with the scenario. Or use a Critique and share a video clip that demonstrates a particular behavior. Ask participants to identify the strengths and weaknesses and share their comments in chat.
With these key design tips, you’ll be able to transform your virtual classroom training and design a memorable and meaningful experience for your learners. For even more tips on virtual classroom design, check out our workshop, From Traditional to Virtual Classroom. Learn how to determine timing parameters, create a virtual classroom course schedule, structure the virtual classroom workshop, and more!
What do you do to create an engaging and interactive experience for your virtual learners?