Engaging virtual audiences can be challenging, whether you’re a novice or an experienced instructor. Kassy LaBorie, an instructional designer and principal consultant at Kassy LaBorie Consulting, offers valuable strategies to break away from static lecture-style training. Implementing these strategies will help instructors using ReadyTech ensure the delivery of meaningful and impactful virtual training. Here are ten master strategies to consider:
- Platform Proficiency: Master the ReadyTech online training platform inside out, understanding its capabilities, nuances, and virtual training tools. Utilize an Assistant Instructor for additional platform expertise and contact your Customer Success Manager for extra training or support.
- Collaboration with a Producer: Don’t handle everything alone. An Assistant Instructor can enhance your session, providing support for you, the participants, and the technology. Pre-session preparation with your Assistant Instructor is crucial, and conducting thorough debriefs after each session helps improve future training experiences.
- Readiness Check: Ensure that you, your participants, and your technology are ready for the training session. Use a Facilitator’s Guide to stay on track and assume participants may not be familiar with the ReadyTech platform. Provide a quick tutorial to familiarize them with the virtual training environment and have backup plans for unexpected technology issues.
- Impactful Communication: The way you sound sets the tone for how participants feel during the training. Deliver your content with a welcoming and caring tone, making participants feel valued. Address individuals by name, engage all students in the conversation, and incorporate their comments and ideas into the session.
- Thoughtful Engagement: Practice “purposeful silence” to allow students time to think and process information. Respond to students’ ideas or questions submitted through chat, calling on them to elaborate rather than simply reading their comments aloud. Leverage ReadyTech’s Chat and Whiteboard features to facilitate interactive discussions and visual explanations.
- Foster Student Interaction: Encourage students to answer each other’s questions, promoting group learning and collaboration. Utilize ReadyTech’s Breakout Groups feature to divide the class into smaller groups for case studies and lab exercises, facilitating student engagement.
- Effective Time Management: Manage time effectively, adhering to course objectives and flow, while also adapting to participant needs and expectations. ReadyTech’s Lab Timer enables instructors to set time limits for virtual training labs, allowing students to track their progress.
- Purposeful Openings: Begin the class with a clear purpose and respond to that purpose throughout the session. For example, start with a slide posing a question about the topic’s importance or ask students to share their related challenges. Use ReadyTech’s Public Chat feature to facilitate ongoing discussions and reference the conversation throughout the course.
- Facilitate Hands-On Learning: Move away from traditional lectures and design hands-on activities for students to complete individually or in small groups. Encourage students to share their own experiences instead of presenting bulleted lists on slides. Hands-on training is essential for effective learning.
- Breakout Group Success: Breakout groups are ideal for promoting student collaboration. Provide clear instructions and address any questions before launching the breakouts. Check-in on students during the breakouts to offer assistance if needed.
Creating an engaging and meaningful virtual class requires careful planning and execution. By following these ten master strategies by Kassy LaBorie, instructors using ReadyTech’s Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) software can deliver effective and impactful training sessions from start to finish.