As organizations adapt to remote working as the new normal, Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) is on the rise. However, VILT comes with a huge challenge of learner engagement. Trainers constantly need to look out for ways to generate and retain learner attention, curiosity, and interest.
How to Make Virtual Training Interactive?
Here are 7 tips that I personally recommend to driving engagement in VILT sessions.
- It always helps to generate curiosity and interest amongst learners before the actual session. So, send out a teaser or a small learning nugget to learners ahead of time. A short video that talks about the content or an infographic about ‘what is in it for me’ will kindle interest in the learners and will make them want to know more. Remember that binge-watching after seeing a promotional snippet?
- In times of increasingly short attention spans, visual engagement becomes extremely important to convey meaning and intent. Work on the visual appeal of the slide deck – use tools like Prezi to present neat and aesthetic visual material.
- It could happen that there is not much that can be done with the session content and monotony becomes a threat. Introduce some interactive and lighter fillers to address this challenge. Play a video or present a set of images and follow it up with questions. It may deviate from the content slightly, but you have grabbed the attention you needed.
- Include logical breaks in the session. Use inbuilt polls to take a pause and gather insights. Share the responses right away with the group. They would know what the group is thinking, and the collaborative learning environment will come alive.
- Reflection and collaboration are often the most effective ways to involve learners in the content. Use your online meeting tool’s breakout rooms feature to create small groups and enable learners to collaborate. The timed discussion could focus on a quick problem to be solved or a scenario to be analyzed. Once the groups are back from breakout rooms, you can ask the group leaders to present their findings and conclusions.
- Avoid performance grading during VILT sessions. In my experience, this inhibits participation. This is one thing which should be avoided at any cost to encourage maximum participation.
- Do you think the training is over once the VILT session is over? Well, no. Remember the good old forgetting curve? It is applicable for VILT too. Create micro learning nuggets and push them for learning reinforcement periodically, after the session is over.
In order to make virtual training interactive, when arranging for VILT, learners should be the center of all your planning and activities. You are sure to accomplish the learning objectives when you understand what the learners need to keep them engaged and committed to the learning experience.
What are some things that you have you been doing to make your virtual training sessions interactive? Please comment below.