You’ve heard me saying how effective online training is and how it can be as engaging and interactive as face to face training. You’ve no doubt heard about other organisations who have moved most of their training online successfully and you might even have the software that would allow you to do it. However, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t move your training online (yet).
1 - Your Content Isn’t Ready
If your face to face training consists of one ‘trainer’ talking at their audience for the entire time, perhaps with some slides, then by all means, put it online. If however, you’re looking for training that’s a bit more engaging, interactive and impactful, then you’re going to want to think through your activities first. How will you manage flip chart activities? What about pair work or group work? What will you do with all those scenarios you’ve prepared or quizzes you’ve created? If you’re familiar with the tools available to you in your chosen software, then some of these might not be too difficult to convert. However, have you thought through what needs to happen in the background to set up these activities and does your design allow the time to make them happen?
2 - Your Trainers Aren’t Ready
Even with the best designed training plan, you need to be confident that your trainers can facilitate virtually. Even if your trainers are brilliant facilitators in a face to face classroom, they need different skills to be able to manage interactions virtually. They need to be able to manage the technology, but even more importantly, they need to be able to encourage useful conversations without everyone talking over each other or awkward ‘can you hear me’ moments. They need to be able to ‘read the room’ to identify when participants are ready for a break or when they are confused and need to spend a bit longer on a topic. They need to be able to do all of this at the same time to create a safe, engaging learning environment for everyone.
3 - Your Learners Aren’t Ready
Many organisations assume that because everyone has access to the software, a headset and an internet connection, they’re all good to go. Most learners haven’t learned how to learn in an online environment and may have very mixed feelings about it. They won’t necessarily know what to expect and might even think they can have it on in the background while they do other work. Once they’re in the virtual classroom, they need to know where everything is, so they can feel confident using the technology and can feel safe that they know when others can hear them and when they can’t. They also need to have the confidence that online learning is going to be as effective for them as face to face training. That they’ll meet other people and learn from them. That they’ll be able to ask questions and get involved in activities to help them practice. That they might even enjoy it.
If you’d like some help to get you and your team ready for online training, get in touch.