Oftentimes when organizations consider using virtual classroom technology, there’s either a sense that everything must be reconsidered or there’s an attitude that nothing will be changed and it’ll translate just fine. Session Lab provides a relatable example, “The transition from radio to television is a good analogy here. When radio broadcasters began appearing on TV, they just went through their scripts and spoke into their microphones as if the camera wasn’t there. Obviously, we’ve made significant strides since then—and a similar kind of switch has to happen between in-person and virtual [training] as well.”

The reality is that virtual training can absolutely deliver a human experience; however, it doesn’t happen with just any technology or just any approach. In this article, we’ll explore seven strategies for delivering a more human experience in virtual learning.

1. Be intentional

When you consider what your desired learning outcomes are, make sure these remain top-of-mind in how you shift your in-person training to virtual training.

Important questions to ask:

  • What skills are necessary to achieve these outcomes?
  • Can learners develop these skills in isolation or do they need others?
  • How does this training reflect your organization’s culture?
  • What are the active ways learners can employ these new skills and knowledge?
  • How does this training align with your organization’s vision for the future?

2. Know your audience

Once you’ve intentionally identified the desired learner outcomes (or your audience’s “why”), it’s important to connect this to the needs of your learners.

Important questions to ask:

  • What experience are your learners bringing to this training?
  • Where is the best place for your learners to access this training? How? When?
  • What are the expectations your learners are bringing to the training?
  • Who will be evaluating the success of your learners’ training outcomes?

3. Provide opportunities for connection

The inherent factor in this strategy is to highlight the human experience in virtual training. A very necessary component of this includes connecting your learners with each other—or with subject matter experts in the topic area of training.

Important aspects to consider:

  • Ensure your learners have time for small-group work and/or discussions
  • Promote inclusion by making sure diverse perspectives are shared
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration through team-based projects or challenges
  • Invite managers, coaches, and other experts to speak on vital areas, communicate their own wisdom, and establish effective interactions

4. Make it applicable

In asking some of those important questions in the “know your audience” section, an important element that arises is making certain that your organization’s virtual training is relevant to your learners and the content can be easily transferred into real-world scenarios.

According to Wilson Learning Worldwide, human support in training yields:

  • 20 percent increased job connection
  • 13 percent rise in establishing a “learning” culture
  • 26 percent elevation in manager support and coaching
  • 33 percent growth in peer support

5. Rethink facilitation

Most of us are so familiar with instructor-led instruction that when we think about the idea of “teaching” the first thought is one individual distributing information to many passive recipients. A learner-centered approach to training, however, encourages active participation.

Important aspects to consider:

  • Reduce passive, instructor-broadcasted delivery of content
  • Focus on creating an active learning environment built on learner engagement
  • Design authentic activities and include the necessary support
  • Experts and managers can still lead sessions, just ensure your learners aren’t passively absorbing knowledge

6. Provide an efficient learning environment

In addition to considering how knowledge is being distributed to your learners, virtual training also can provide an immersive environment that is conducive to efficient learning and training. eLearning Industry notes the necessity to “understand that selecting the right tool is crucial to making your training effective.”

Important questions to ask:

  • Does your virtual training platform have features that are intuitive to your learners?
  • Is it easy for facilitators and learners to interact fluidly throughout training?
  • Is your organization trying to force a square peg in a round hole by leveraging a web conferencing tool rather than an intentionally designed virtual training technology?
  • Does your virtual training platform cultivate and provide data insights that can improve your virtual training sessions for future cohorts?

7. Measure and improve

Just like the final question in the “provide an efficient learning environment” suggests, it’s not just important to possess a virtual training platform that allows for effective engagement and interaction, your organization should also strive to accrue meaningful data that can be used for trend analysis, results reporting, and other valuable analytical insights that allow for the continued evolution of your training methodology.

Important questions to ask:

  • Does your virtual training technology help set attainable, measurable goals for your learners?
  • Can your platform identify quantifiable means to evaluate training, including talk time, number of questions asked/hands raised, quiz results, and more?
  • How easily can your organization’s platform port data into easy-to-understand, actionable insights?

The best of both worlds

Delivering a human experience through a virtual learning platform can provide your organization with the best of both worlds, promoting learner engagement while leveraging the trackable benefits such a technology can offer.

Looking for an even more digestible version of these seven strategies? Check out our “7 Strategies to Deliver Human Experiences in Virtual Learning” infographic now.

Mike Lovell

Mike Lovell is the SVP of Marketing at Class. He has dedicated his career to technology and the applications that can innovate the way people live and learn.

Mike Lovell

Mike Lovell is the SVP of Marketing at Class. He has dedicated his career to technology and the applications that can innovate the way people live and learn.

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