Instructor-led training (ILT) is a direct mode of training conducted by the instructor for learners. It is similar to a traditional classroom, often involving a group of learners but sometimes one-on-one. An instructor is an expert on the topic of training. This medium of instruction allows learners the opportunity to engage and interact with the instructor and peers and is therefore advantageous.
However, this gold standard of training has become difficult to continue in these current circumstances, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A transition to Virtual classrooms has become necessary. This blog covers 5 common mistakes and how to avoid them while moving from ILT to vILT.
Table of Contents
- Not establishing training goals
- Training content is neither engaging nor interactive
- How to keep virtual training engaging and interactive
- Tips for Virtual Classroom Instructors
- How to avoid cognitive overload
Not establishing training goals
Establishing training goals is an important facet of any training program, whether ILT or vILT, or blended. Training goals ensure that content and delivery do not lose sight of the purpose of instruction. Break down training goals to fit short learning sessions or small learning activities. The brevity of content in this way is a form of microlearning, which has been showing to lead to better learning outcomes (Boring, C., 2020. Microlearning: An Andragogical Case Study on Knowledge Retention, Learner Satisfaction, and Behavior Change). More on this in Tip #4, below. It is also important to note that training goals should not only focus on the needs of the enterprise but how the learners can benefit from engaging with the training. Clear training goals also allows the learner to understand what the performance expectations are, post-training.
Training content is neither engaging nor interactive
In a traditional classroom setting, even a bland session with a progression of visually unappealing slides still forces participants to remain seated and present. This is because they are a captive audience and have little choice. However, in a virtual environment, it is easier and more tempting to “zone-out” or disengage with the session and check emails or avail a million other distractions. This makes it all the more important for the highest attention to be paid to audience engagement.
How to keep virtual training engaging and interactive
- Do not let the learners fatigue. As you would in a traditional classroom setting, build in a break every 45–60 minutes. Keep every session no longer than 90 minutes
- Add multimedia elements: attractive video and audio clips, infographics, animations, mini-games, and objective polling questions.
- Utilize online platforms to foster a collaborative environment — facilitators have various options for breaking a large group into several smaller ones to work on activities, brainstorm, etc. Encourage participants to communicate and collaborate within these smaller groups. Brainstorming sessions to solve problems can also help to foster a creative and collaborative environment
- Use a community space on social media — Pre-class activities such as reading, questionnaires, and expectation-setting. Post-class exercises and quizzes to keep participants thinking about the training.
Pro-tip: To keep learners engaged and satisfied with the training, they should be allowed to use their newly learned skills as soon as possible in a rewarding environment.
- Not managing the training session effectively: the instructor-moderator paradigm
The Instructor: Virtual Instructor-Led training is the closest equivalent of traditional classrooms in the digital world. Despite this, the primary challenge arises when instructors cannot see learners’ faces, pay attention to non-verbal cues, and understand levels of engagement from participants. Instructors can work better if trained to adapt to a virtual environment.
To know more about the other 2 common mistakes — click here