How to Quickly Move In-person Training Online

Do you have in-person training classes you now need to deliver digitally? This isn’t a new trend, but thanks to Covid, this is becoming a high priority for our clients. We recommend you pick a few (no more than 3) of your most desirable, sought after courses to get started. You’ll learn a lot from your first three.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

#1 Re-organize your content

  • Imagine sitting through a 6-hour training on Zoom…yikes! Break up your content into 60-90 minute segments and spread training over multiple days.
  • Identify your critical content. 20-30 minutes grazing on a topic in-person is equivalent to 8-10 minutes online.
  • You might even take a step back and ask “what do learners need to accomplish?”. Then design or redesign your content. You might find extra ‘stuff’ in current courses that can be chopped out, shortening the course, and also making room for new content.

#2 Optimize your training by adding pre and post touchpoints

  • Expose learners to the content before they show up for training. This can be quick videos, PPTs, articles, infographics, case studies, and participant guides. This can reduce classroom time and your learners will come to the session with knowledge, ideas, and questions.
  • Do not assume your learners know how to use the technology. Host a mini tech training pre-session or begin new classes with a “tech talk” walking through the tool and practicing features until everyone is comfortable.
  • Keep the learning going by utilizing Slack and Discord (chat apps), Mural and Miro (virtual whiteboards), and other similar tools.
  • Host office hours before/after training. Some participants may not be comfortable speaking up on video and will prefer a more personalized interaction to ask questions.

#3 Engage your learner

  • Don’t let people be anonymous, make sure webcams are on!
  • Keep your audience size to no more than 18 to allow for interaction.
  • During training, engage the learner every 3-5 slides. Use breakout rooms, online polls, whiteboards, chat, brainteasers, knowledge checks, and feedback features (thumbs up, raised hand). Make sure you test these features well before training so you are comfortable using them.
  • Incorporate quick summaries/recaps of topics throughout the training. This provides reinforcement and can catch those up who might have zoned out. Some of the features mentioned above like polls and whiteboards are excellent for this purpose.
  • Keep text off the screen as much as possible. When you are presenting, show interesting and motivating imagery and avoid putting walls of text on-screen. Text-heavy content can be included in the materials you send ahead of time.

As long as you realize it’s the customer experience that counts, you will be just fine! Put yourself in their shoes, test drive a few courses, and refine along the way.

Kathy Wachtel