In our recent webinar, Creating Engaging Content in a Virtual World, we got an overwhelming number of recommendations for virtual training strategies from the audience that we want to share with you! With in-person training an impossibility at the moment, here are 20 ideas to consider for your upcoming VILT content: 

Virtual, Instructor-led Training Tips 

  1. As the instructor, talk less and get the students to talk more. All of the stories shouldn’t be YOUR stories. 
  2. So simple with such an impact…SMILE. It goes a very long way.
  3. Lead by example: if you’re sharing stories or asking for participation, give an example first.
  4. Provide workbooks with exercises, fill-ins, and places for them to share their responses
  5. Leverage break out rooms in Zoom or Webex Training; they enable smaller group learning, ownership, and engagement of a specific learning item. I then provide an opportunity for the participants to share back with the large group what was learned, making learning exponential.
  6. Assign “homework” that can be completed outside of the live session
  7. When using collaboration spaces like Microsoft Teams, pin “helpful resources” 
  8. Say hello/good morning! Don’t start off with a task or to-do list. 
  9. Use polls to find out what to focus on in a session and have multiple topics prepared – students can also use stamps or emojis to “vote” on topics
  10. Try not to lecture for more than 15 minutes at a time and follow up with a lab break that gives students an immediate opportunity to apply what they just learned. 
  11. Start with music (but keep in mind bandwidth issues and ensure that you have the proper licensing)
  12. Use non-verbal feedback like “give me a thumbs up” or post a “yes” checkmark if you are with me
  13. Be vulnerable. Vulnerability doesn’t have to be A Great Big Thing. It can be as simple as saying “hey technology is weird, especially if you’re logging in from home! let’s do this together.” This vulnerability makes you more of a ‘real’ person and helps build solidarity and relationships. 
  14. Make sure that you provide clear instructions on how the platform works at the beginning of the session.
  15. Set clear expectations and explain the purpose of the course or forum at the beginning.
  16. Use poll questions as a teaser for upcoming content and to test students’ knowledge of content that has previously been covered
  17. Always have welcome slides that provide tool instruction and background information (please turn off your mobile phone, close your emails, etc.)
  18. Use a “producer” to allow the course instructor to focus on the content. This also gives participants a point of contact if they’re having an issue. 
  19. Start and finish the course by communicating and recapping the training objectives and goals. 
  20. For smaller groups of live training, encourage folks to turn on video’s becoming more acceptable and it helps gauge engagement.

If you missed our webinar, or want to view it again on-demand, you can find it here. And if you’re looking for similar engagement tips for virtual, on-demand training, keep an eye on our blog for another post soon!