How to switch to a fully online blended learning approach
The corona crisis has forced people to work from home. Trainers who used to organize on-location sessions need to embrace online training now so as to retain their customers. It requires some improvisation. The good news is that given the circumstances, everyone will understand – if you’re not yet familiar with the nuts and bolts of online training, your customer will accept that. Because in the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat. This is the time to switch to a fully online blended learning approach. How to go about it?
Remote blended learning: important questions
First, it’s crucial to determine your starting point. If you’ve exclusively held face-to-face training sessions until now, you will have to organize a ton of stuff. If you had already adopted a blended approach (a combination of face to face and online), you should mainly focus on converting the face-to-face part in a physical environment to an equivalent in an online environment.
Certain skills and tools are required to work fully online. When it comes to tools, you should find the right combination between synchronous (live webinars) and asynchronous (a blended learning platform). A live webinar is crucial, because it allows you to give direct feedback and practice soft skills. But since it’s not always possible or necessary to align schedules, you can also combine synchronous and asynchronous – for example, you can record a webinar so participants who are absent can watch it afterwards on the blended learning platform (where you store documents, videos, and assignments). Or, you can offer online materials so they can properly prepare for webinar sessions in their own time.
An important question is which program you should use for webinars. There are many such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Go2Meeting and many others, each with strengths and weaknesses. Your requirements determine which tools and blended learning environment best suit your needs. So, carefully consider your criteria as well as the possibilities!
You should also decide on the right method. What methods can you use for a virtual training? And how do you turn a training in an online environment into a success? Participants who spend the day sitting passively behind the camera will likely lose focus. You need to make sure your online and on-location training sessions are equally dynamic. To achieve this, you can, for example, consider the way in which you have participants collaborate during a webinar. And don’t forget to have sufficient breaks!
Getting started: 3 practical tips
- When organizing a webinar, make sure one person solely focuses on the technology part (and leaves all content-related matters to someone else). This way, you’ll avoid technical obstacles that distract from the training session.
- Activate people during an online live session. When they participate remotely, it’s paramount that you do this from time to time. For example, have them answer a question or complete a(n) (collaborative) assignment. You can also introduce a game or an unexpected task.
- Make sure participants can watch a webinar afterwards. They should also be able to work independently on assignments so as to prepare for the next live session. A blended learning platform offers them excellent opportunities to stay in touch with each other. It makes geographical borders fade, increasing their involvement!
Do you want to know more about a user-friendly blended learning platform that helps you set up dynamic training sessions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to discuss your opportunities.