Engage Employees With Effective Remote Learning

Virtual training presents challenges, but you can still lead engaging sessions for your organization that feel more like face-to-face learning.

Ramp Up Your Remote Training

With everyone sitting in front of their own computer screen, separated from other participants, virtual training can quickly become boring and ineffective. In part, this is because there are multiple different learning styles — including visual, auditory and aesthetic — and catering to each of these in a digital environment is challenging. Fortunately, you can make these sessions just as engaging as in-person learning by using a blended learning approach.

Effective Blended Learning for the Virtual Classroom

Here are a few quick tips for better, more engaged remote training:

Keep it short and relevant

People have a maximum training attention span of about 30 minutes, so try and build your session as a series of bite-size chunks broken up with media and engagement. The training must also be relevant to the audience. If they connect with the topic, they are more likely to retain the information.

Provide a clear structure

It is important for participants to understand what they will achieve and how this will be accomplished. Checking in regularly and referring to this structure helps them understand their progress and helps the trainer maintain a consistent focus.

Focus on participation

Use teamwork sessions, feedback, quizzes and the chat platform in these virtual learning environments to give participants a way to connect with one another and take part in the learning process.

Think outside the virtual classroom

Although training offers opportunities to teach and engage, consider supplementing each active training session with additional reading material, videos and/or webinars, and checkpoints to assess progress. This helps participants stay engaged between sessions and allows you to understand what is being retained and what may need additional attention.

Three Challenges in the Digital Learning Environment and How to Overcome Them

Blended virtual learning offers significant potential, but it may not always be seamless. You will not be able to prepare for every hurdle, but you can work to get ahead of some of the more common challenges.

  • Technology Issues

    From software glitches to internet connectivity problems, technology issues are part of the virtual environment. Offering clear instructions in advance of the training and encouraging participants to test their equipment and connection can help mitigate these issues.
  • Distracted Participants

    Due to the nature of virtual classrooms, it is easy for participants to multitask while the training is in session. The best way to encourage focus is with the tips we mentioned above, including bite-size, relevant content and engagement between participants.
  • Lack of Preparation

    Arriving unprepared is as much of a challenge for in-person training as it is for virtual. Encourage preparation by providing prework, such as up-front reading or multimedia.

Above all else, remember that there is a person behind every screen, and the last thing they want is an hour-long presentation with nothing but slides to read and a lecture to keep them company. Offer variety, focus on engagement and watch your digital classrooms transform into more effective educational environments.

NSF offers interactive training courses for the medical device, IVD, pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and cosmetics industries.

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