Effective communication and interaction: get the most out of your blended training!
How do you keep participants focused? When should you compliment or rebuke someone? How can you stimulate group dynamics? How do you prepare a training? When working in a live training environment, a seasoned trainer will find such things obvious. But blended learning gives rise to a new question: how to go about it online?
Technology and training: new environment, new approach
To orchestrate planning, materials, and communication in a blended learning environment, you need certain skills. Of course, you should know how the learning environment works, what features it has, and – above all – how you can use these features for training-related matters. Suppose you want participants to introduce themselves to the group before meeting each other face to face. Not only should you facilitate this in technical terms, you also need to know how to encourage it in an online environment. Here’s another challenge: how do you make sure participants remain active online in between live sessions, and what supporting tools can you deploy?
How to make sure participants remain active online
As a trainer, you know exactly what to do when enthusiasm is waning during a live training. For example, you divide participants into working groups that need to prepare a plan in ten minutes. This keeps them awake. But online, you should try another tack. There, too, you need a method to keep participants active. One option is to give them a surprise assignment – for instance, have them assess each other’s assignments. Or you could address someone personally to compliment or rebuke them.
Furthermore, it’s essential to keep track of participants’ virtual behavior. If someone suddenly stops liking posts, analyze what could have triggered this change. Encourage interaction by allowing participants to give each other feedback. Or share interesting information with them in between two training sessions, such as a video or a short question, which they can easily work on at home or in the office. This keeps them involved, even during intervals when they are absorbed by their daily routines. The result: an active blended learning platform that you’ll benefit from in the best possible way!