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Engaging learners in virtual live trainings

Jan 9, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Andrew L. Brewer, MS, NBHWC

Earlier this week I attended a very informative masterclass on Learner Engagement in live instructor trainings (LIT) given by Training Industry Magazine. The lessons apply even more for virtual live instructor trainings (VLIT) as well which is how most of us have been participating in any kind of training and development programs since March 2020. Below are the highlights that I would like to share with you.

The three primary factors going in to a live training are the design, the tools, and most importantly, facilitator preparedness. Virtual live trainings are even more demanding on facilitators as it is not as simple as taking a traditional classroom lecture and delivering it online. Facilitator preparedness is key to keeping learners engaged and excited about the content they are learning.

To prepare for the virtual live training a facilitator should think about how to purposefully engage learners. Some considerations are the purpose of the training, the logic flow of the content, and the energy and style used to present the content. Creating a memorable and effective training comes down to the quality and relevance of engagement and interactivity.

Best practices indicate that two thirds (TWO THIRDS!) of class time should involve application of the knowledge and opportunities for feedback. In the popular parlance of medical training this is known as show one, do one, teach one. Facilitators needs to think about how to design innovative ways to deliver lesson information through the online medium beyond the text heavy slide format, ways to include interaction germane to the objectives such as breakout labs and group work, and including opportunities that allow learners to present their work and give feedback.

No matter the size of the audience there is always a way to encourage interaction. At Northwest AHEC we work with our facilitators to integrate polling, Q&A, chat, and even create opportunities to interact during breaks such as drawings, pop quiz prize giveaways, and even chair yoga and breathing exercises. (We hope that you will join us for one of our many virtual live instructor trainings this year!)

Delivering an effective and memorable event virtually can be a challenge. Facilitators can implement a variety of methods to get learners involved, excited, and engaged in their learning. Taking time to practice and prepare is instrumental in delivering an optimal enriching experience.



Tags: interaction, training, virtual

Andrew L. Brewer, MS, NBHWC

Written by Andrew L. Brewer, MS, NBHWC

Instructional Technologist at Northwest AHEC, Nationally Certified Health and Wellness Coach

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