Managing online learning requires a different approach and it's imperative that learning and development professionals need to develop new skills and techniques to get the best out of teams. Here are six key takeaways to remember when managing a virtual team training.
- Hybrid learning over online learning: The combination of online content and physical or virtual touchpoints with trainers and classmates are key to effectively acquiring new skills.
- Rework the training program: Don’t copy the standard classroom training agenda; alternate smaller blocks of theory with exercises and assignments. Use breakout rooms to enable social learning and feedback sessions with the coach or trainer to discuss the results.
- Use the right tools: while the belief ‘a fool with a tool is still a fool’ still applies on virtual training, without proper tools, even a great trainer cannot make virtual training a success. A decent video conferencing platform that enables breakouts, an online content platform and collaboration tools are a minimum. Don’t forget to agree on a ‘cameras on’ policy with the entire group. This will help you pick up non-verbal communication of participants and to check whether everyone is on track with the course.
- Work in smaller groups: While we work with groups of up to 15 people in a physical classroom, smaller groups are better for virtual classrooms. Smaller groups also allow you to give personal feedback on exercises.
- Build up new skills as a trainer: more than in a physical classroom, a virtual trainer needs to be empathetic and have excellent facilitation skills. Also, mastering the technology is an obvious requirement.
- Embed coaching in the learning track: this also applies to classroom training; if you want to make sure that the training results in a behavioural change, touchpoints with a coach after the training are essential.
Don't hesitate to take a look at our previous blog about how we upskilled a group of VDAB co-workers by offering training & coaching with an adapted Covid-19 hybrid approach.