The online training mode is lauded for offering flexible and personalized learning experiences to employees. Big and small enterprises have adopted eLearning as it is a cost-effective way of delivering just-in-time learning to employees.
However, it has been observed that online training can turn lifeless sometimes. For instance, virtual classrooms tend to be boring sometimes. This also makes them lose interest in training. During the pandemic, virtual classrooms made employees feel isolated, left behind, demotivated, and detached from their online training courses.
Thus, many online instructors, L&D teams, and eLearning project managers tried to enquire about how to make virtual classrooms interactive and engaging.
So, here are 11 ideas for giving a new life to virtual classrooms and creating engaging online training sessions:
- Build community-
In virtual classrooms, employees tend to feel bored, lost, and isolated. They might think no one will notice if they miss training sessions. That’s why building community is very important.
Building a community can bring the employees together and make them feel a part of the larger organization. Discussion forums, community forums, social media pages, etc can help everyone come closer to each other.
2. Decide where you’re going to communicate-
Let your employees know which communication channel you will use to connect with them. You should have a robust communication channel where you can hold a virtual class, discuss eLearning projects, assignments and assessments.
You can use Adobe Connect as it supports web conferencing, online meetings and collaboration, and virtual classrooms. You can search for Adobe Connect pricing, features, and uses on the internet to make an informed decision.
3. Set rules for virtual classrooms-
You should set rules for virtual classrooms to ensure that employees remain focused and devoted to their online training programs. It will create a suitable environment for learning. For instance, you can ask employees to mute their microphone unless they are asked to speak, raise their hand virtually to take permission to speak, keep their videos on for attendance purposes, etc.
4. Plan your training sessions-
Online instructors must plan online training sessions to set agendas, action plans and establish their expectations from employees early.
They should also plan when and how they are going to cover topics of eLearning courses and let the employees know about the deadlines. Planning helps in the timely achievement of goals.
5. Create individual learning sessions-
Individual learning sessions make employees feel valued, which will further increase their motivation and zeal to learn and complete their training ahead of time.
Online instructors can conduct such one on one learning sessions to clear doubts, discuss important topics, eLearning projects, and assessments with employees. Supporting them this way will increase their success rate.
6. Use interactive tools-
The use of interactive tools like polls, quizzes, mini-games, etc will turn the employees from passive to active learners.
7. Use multimedia-
You can integrate various multimedia such as articles, videos, podcasts, and images into virtual classrooms. You can use these multimedia to provide comprehensive knowledge about topics that employees find difficult to understand. It is also an excellent way to teach new topics and share the links with employees who can revisit them any number of times.
8. Gamify your training sessions-
You can gamify training sessions and make virtual classrooms more fun and exciting. You can conduct short quizzes, assignments, and group projects. The employees who perform well can be rewarded badges, virtual coins, flashcards, gift cards, etc. You can even provide them with promotions and other incentives.
9. Think-Pair-Share (TPS)-
You can conduct Think-Pair-Share activity, where employees are given a topic or a question on which they have to think and share their ideas with colleagues in groups. This activity builds their thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.
10. Digital escape rooms-
In digital escape rooms, employees can be trapped and made to solve a particular problem that is relevant to their training to unlock the door. This can be designed to test the knowledge gained by employees so far. For instance, digital escape rooms can be built for employees where they have to fix a technical problem in the system. By using such tools, employees no longer see training as burdensome.
11. Virtual lunch-
Every organization must try to organize a virtual team lunch with employees where they can interact with their team members, HR professionals, online instructors, and other important members of the online training team.
During virtual lunch, you must try to get feedback from the employees, discuss their progress and pain points. Such sessions need not be formal. You can just plainly talk with them about anything, say their career plans, about their hobbies and interests.
We hope the above information would help you redefine and repurpose your online training strategy. Using the above ideas, you can add a whole new life into virtual classrooms and nurture healthy collaboration and communication.