Virtual instructor-led training (or VILT) is a no-brainer for organizations. After all, it’s a cost-effective way to train students all over the globe, while using live instructors in a virtual classroom environment. But what’s the best way to deliver strong, smooth and engaging VILT? Read on.

Establish a connection with students
In a VILT environment, you can’t always see students and they can’t see you. This means that students are unable to read an instructor’s body language, and instructors can’t detect a student’s confused look. As a result, it is important to consistently check in with students about your pace and delivery. Also request feedback, for example, by using emoticons to indicate students’ level of understanding and comprehension. And be sure to listen carefully to this feedback and adjust your teaching accordingly.

Develop rules
Between Instagram, email, YouTube and Facebook, it is quite easy to tune out an instructor during VILT environments. But don’t let students get tempted by these distractions. At the beginning of class, politely ask students if they would consider turning off their devices during the class.

In addition, we all know how difficult it is to focus for extended periods of time. So break your VILT class into 60-minute intervals with a 5- to 10-minute breaks between. Add product demos and student polls to help change the rhythm of the VILT experience and increase student engagement. To encourage collaboration, divide students into breakout groups and assign them to work together on activities within their groups.

Don’t fly solo
Add a moderator or assistant instructor during your VILT class to ensure it goes smoothly. A moderator can help in several ways, such as managing technical issues, keeping time, and scanning the chat feature for students’ questions and comments.

There’s no question that VILT is a useful way to teach and deliver content. But the key to success is keeping your training fresh and engaging.