Designing Virtual Instructor-Led Training? Here's 5 Tips To Get Started

Corey Bleich
4 min read

Even before a global pandemic drove hundreds of millions of people to remote work, the number of people working remotely has increased 140% in the last 15 years, and with good reason. Since this trend won’t be reversing any time soon, more businesses are turning towards virtual instructor-led trainings. This type of training keeps your workforce informed, engaged, and highly skilled. These are our tips to get started with your own virtual instructor-led trainings.

What is virtual instructor-led training?

Virtual instructor-led training can combine all of the benefits of on-the-go training with an experienced facilitator. It could be anything from an entire class led online, with activities completed together. Or it can be a combination of asynchronous study and an instructor-led class.

Think jumping on a Zoom call to teach and learn about a specific topic with a selected group of employees and instructor. Classes can be a small team, or they can be large enough to encompass full departments.

Remote work has increased 140% in 15 years

What are the benefits of virtual instructor-led training?

The benefits of virtual instructor-led training are real. It’s a great way to meet the need to train a remote workforce whether that’s on updated systems or new regulations, or as part of your company’s ongoing development efforts.

Virtual instructor-led training is:

  • Convenient: It can occur wherever workers are
  • Affordable: No overhead or space to maintain
  • Fast to get up and running: Classes can be designed and implemented quickly
  • Economical: Classes can use resources and teachers you already have on staff

Tips for designing virtual instructor-led training

When you are designing virtual instructor-led training, it’s important to be methodical in your approach. Here are our tips as you’re getting started.

1. Focus in on the most important topics

One training won’t necessarily be able to cover every topic, so prioritize what’s most important. For example, new manager trainings cover a lot of ground, but there are certain topics that must be front and center (e.g., creating an inclusive workforce).

It can also be helpful to consider which topics work best for instructor-led training vs. eLearning. The former is synchronous and can be helpful for questions that have no one clear answer. The latter is good for more straightforward topics.

Think about which topics you must cover, and which would be nice but not crucial.

2. Design for a variety of employees

Participants in a virtual instructor-led training will be working on a variety of devices.

From smartphones to desktops to tablets, design your class to be easily understood and navigated on a variety of screens and sizes. If you have presentations, fonts and graphics should be simple, and videos should be formatted to look good on even the smallest screen.

Similarly, make sure that your activities, meetings, and other associated tasks are accessible for all students. It’s not just considerate—it’s the law.

3. Engage with participants

Consider your delivery. It makes no sense to just read from the screenshare participants have in front of them when you could just as easily deploy an eLearning course. Instead, when considering best practices for remote training, make your virtual instruction engaging and worth logging on for at that specific time.

Add interactions and activities mindfully

When adding them, add interactions and activities mindfully, though.

Rule number one should be this: don’t waste employees’ time. Don’t create activities just to give employees something to do (they probably have that covered). Consider activities that will add value, make their jobs easier, or add a skill.

These activities can be something as simple as breaking into rooms for group chats and brainstorms about topics, or they can be real-time problem-solving of actual issues in the workplace. Whatever you choose, make sure it is the best possible use of your employees’ valuable time.

4. Set up expectations ahead of time

Now down to the nitty-gritty of what you can expect when employees log in for class. Unlike asynchronous learning, where jammies, barking dogs, and eating during class is acceptable, there should be some clear expectations for participants in virtual instructor-led trainings.

Consider the following questions about video conferencing etiquette:

  • Will participants be muted?
  • Is chat enabled?
  • What rules are important to state up front (i.e., will eating be allowed?)?
  • What’s the procedure for participant speaking? Will you limit them to chat or allow participants to raise their hands?

It can also help minimize technical issues and confusion about software if you send participants all of the materials ahead of time. Request that participants review the materials ahead of time, and be available for technical questions (if possible) before each virtual class.

5. Add opportunities for feedback afterwards

Whether you are just starting out with virtual instructor-led training or are an old hand, opportunities for feedback are a vital part of this process. Create anonymous post-lesson surveys with space for comments to give participants a chance to weigh in on what worked, what didn’t, and what they’d like to see more of.

Then, what good is asking for feedback if you don’t use it to improve future virtual instructor-led training? While not every bit of feedback is beneficial, take what is and use it to make your trainings more engaging, applicable, and helpful. Many instructors won’t have experience leading virtual classrooms; there will be a learning curve. Embrace it and be open to change.

We can help develop virtual instructor-led training

EdgePoint has helped companies transition from all in-person training to entirely eLearning or some combination of the two. This includes designing high-quality, tailored virtual instructor-led trainings or helping businesses tweak the resources they already have.

No matter what type of training you’re looking for, get in touch today to see how EdgePoint can help.

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