HR Connection blog

How to Make Virtual Live Courses Engaging and Effective

on Apr 7, 2021 9:15:00 AM By | Tracy Peterson | 0 Comments | Training Education Virtual
When it comes to professional development and leadership courses, it's often the case that the most memorable learning experiences come not from the curriculum but from the interactions among the participants. That's why the most successful learning programs usually have a strong, in-person component. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited that option and forced companies to rethink how to do their training. For many organizations, the pandemic-era game plan has involved a serious pivot to varied digital learning formats (such as on-demand, self-paced, and bite-sized). Amid all those changes, though, human interaction remains irreplaceable. But what can a company do when a pandemic removes in-person learning from the equation? Should the learning and development industry simply reformat its curricula as virtual instructor-led courses? That isn't the solution. To get the highest-quality learning resources they can, organizations must remember that live learning is most effective only when used at optimal times and integrated into learners' overall journeys. They must consider certain factors to ensure that all parties involved—instructors as well as learners—are positioned to succeed.   Give learners the freedom to engage The right time to offer live learning is when learners will gain value and fresh perspectives from being in each other's company. Consider the power of a simple question—especially when it draws attention to something that other participants hadn't thought of before. Such questions can take a course in new, thought-provoking directions. Here are a few examples of live learning formats that can increase engagement, even in virtual settings: Instructor-led training that encourages learners to interact and participate in polls Breakout sessions in which participants brainstorm with peers or apply what they've learned to real-world challenges Roleplaying exercises that enable learners to engage in teamwork and learn from each other's diverse backgrounds Sandboxes that provide safe spaces in which participants can experiment together   Help instructors reskill for virtual formats Reskilling in-person instructors for virtual environments ranks among the biggest challenges that organizations face today. Fortunately, there are several strategies that instructors can use to improve their success as educators under current circumstances: Engage in self-paced, online courses to develop dynamic skills for presenting to live audiences. Learn how to master the company's virtual collaboration and meeting tools. (Even little things such as muting and unmuting participants can make a big difference in a learner's experience.) Put themselves in their learners' shoes by taking courses on topics outside their usual areas of expertise.   Establish a knowledge baseline among learners Before hosting a live course, make sure that all of the registered participants have already taken prerequisite courses. Otherwise, less-experienced students could jeopardize the group's time with entry-level questions, or simply disengage when they realize they're far behind their peers. Some organizations attempt to enforce prerequisite policies by kicking off the class roster students who don't meet the requirements. A much more effective solution, though is to incentivize them, perhaps through some sort of gamification. For example, students who complete prerequisites could earn a prize, such as a digital badge they can show to their managers, peers, and networks.   Plan courses to sustain value from human interaction Learning and development professionals also need to figure out how to replace in-person training content—a difficult task because learners (and the leaders who champion learning) are by nature social animals. An environment that enables questions, answers, and camaraderie elevates the learning experience from something valuable to something memorable. But how can companies plan their live learning experiences so that these human interactions persist beyond the course? Recurring office-hour sessions and community groups are some possible solutions. In such virtual meeting spaces, learners can continue to come together to trade insights, ask questions, support each other, and satisfy their need for social interaction.   Consider how live courses fit into a blended learning strategy Remember, learning should be easy and flexible whenever possible. This is especially true in the pandemic era, as learners continue to struggle with balancing life and work. In certain scenarios, live courses and the engagement they provide fit together perfectly. But in many cases, organizations will want to choose other options (such as on-demand videos and comprehensive learning paths, for example) from their blended-learning toolboxes. Blended learning options can also be tailored to fit employees' job responsibilities and daily challenges. Companies should also consider giving learners the flexibility to learn on their terms (perhaps on a self-paced basis and in bite-sized pieces) to meet the "how," "where," and "when" criteria that work best for them.   Final thoughts It will be a while before the world can return to prepandemic life. Fortunately, in the meantime, technology makes it possible for people to connect with and help each other. By putting the proper time, planning, and creativity in their virtual live-learning sessions, organizations can give their learners experiences that are not only good for their jobs and careers but also good for their souls.
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5 Key Strategies for Developing New Managers

on Jul 26, 2019 10:02:00 AM By | Jessica Miller-Merrell | 0 Comments | Training Employees managers
One of the most important services HR leaders provide is training for new managers. This type of training varies tremendously, depending on the new manager’s previous management experience or, in the case of an internal promotion, the knowledge he or she already has of company rules, regulations, and processes. It can be difficult to develop individual management training based on currently available resources, but by focusing on certain areas it’s possible to offer excellent training for both internal and external candidates who are new to supervisory roles.
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Don't Fall Behind on Learning–Close the Skills Gap Today

on Jul 10, 2019 9:59:00 AM By | Adam Miller | 0 Comments | Training Education skills gap
As technology evolves, the skills gap—the disparity between the skills employers need to succeed and those workers actually have—keeps getting wider. If your company isn't already addressing this gap, start now—no matter how big or small you are, or what business you're in. If you don't, you might be left behind.
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Online vs. Live, In-Person Training

on Jun 14, 2018 10:37:40 AM By | Strategic Human Resources, Inc. | 0 Comments | Training HR Online
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Ask These 8 Question to Fix Employee Turnover

on Nov 3, 2017 2:44:26 PM By | Ira S Wolfe | 0 Comments | Training Retention Leadership Turnover Employee
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Millennial Entrepreneur talks business, mentorship and dessert

on Jun 2, 2017 10:56:43 AM By | Raquel DeSouza | 0 Comments | Training Original Content Leadership
  As a certified WBENC organization, the Employment Enterprises team has attended plenty of WBENC events to connect with fellow businesswomen. VP of Workforce Solutions, Colleen Clokus, and Business Development Director, Amy Harkins, recently went to the ORV-WBC Catch the Wave conference where they met Millennial business-owner Katie Wormald. [pictured center-left]
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The Art and Science of Coaching

on Mar 22, 2017 7:10:00 AM By | Sarah Payne | 0 Comments | Human Resources Insights Workforce Training
People at Google love data. They measure everything. A few years back, they launched a research initiative called Project Oxygen in order to measure and improve key management behaviors at Google. This initiative is highlighted in a 2013 Harvard Business Review piece by David A. Garvin, professor at Harvard Business School.
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The Pros and Cons of Developing Talent Internally

on Feb 21, 2017 8:09:00 AM By | Amanda Groves | 0 Comments | Training Retention
Balancing between training current employees to fill future positions and investing in staffing processes to land top-tier external candidates is tricky. Even if you’ve already found (and hired) your next top performer, it’s important to know the pros and cons of developing talent within your company.
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Hire for Culture, Train for Skill

on Feb 15, 2017 7:41:00 AM By | Ian Feaver | 0 Comments | Recruiting Company Culture Training
In a world where culture and values are the keys to engagement and business success, the adage, “Hire for attitude, train for skill,” may be out of place. This month, The Royal Albert Hall hosted the annual Institute of Directors Convention. International Rescue Committee’s CEO David Miliband, fashion designer and entrepreneur Anya Hindmarch, and NHS England CEO Simon Stevens took to the stage to share their experiences of breaking boundaries in business. The event closed with explorer extraordinaire Sir Ranulph Fiennes who shared anecdotes and imagery from the various expeditions he has carried out over his incredible career. Then, he revealed his secret to success: “Getting the right characters was critical. You can teach skill but you can’t change character.”
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Training and Supporting New Supervisors

on Jan 27, 2017 6:51:00 AM By | Stephanie Hammerworld | 0 Comments | Performance Training
It is quite a big leap to make the transition from team member to leader, and many new supervisors are not prepared for the challenges that await them. HR is a big part of the promotion process when the decision is made to move someone into a supervisory role, and it is important that we’re supporting new supervisors and giving them the tools to succeed as leaders. This includes training, ongoing support and mentorship.
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