Developing an interactive virtual training program

Workplace training is an integral part of a company’s success. A good training program ensures employees are in line with company goals, increases efficiency, develops employee skill sets, lowers the occurrence of mistakes, reduces employee turnover, and optimizes the onboarding process. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the look of the workplace. More than ever, companies need to be able to train employees remotely. Creating a remote training program isn’t easy! Today’s workers expect more than text and video. Static online courses are a part of the past! There is a demand that virtual training programs be interactive. The following are some tips, tricks, and strategies for developing an online interactive training program.

What is an interactive virtual training program? 

With an interactive virtual training program, the student(s) and instructor are in different locations and communicate through the cloud/internet. The training program allows learners to be active participants. Turning pages, clicking “next,” and watching a video are not interactive activities. Instead, learning involves real-life decision-making, problem-solving, and learner intent. The goal is to encourage learners to be active rather than passive; to persuade them to communicate, reflect, create, or put their new skills into practice. An interactive program helps learners deepen their understanding of the subject matter through experimentation, dealing with unpredicted circumstances and/or learning from their mistakes.

How do I develop an interactive virtual training program?

  • Know your goals: Why do you need the program? Are you attempting to increase employee productivity and/or compliance with company policies? Is a new product launch imminent requiring knowledge of its features? Do you wish to educate your employees regarding operational changes you’ve made? Ensure that you clearly pinpoint your goals and that your materials help you accomplish them. 

  • Consider your audience: Know your employees and what they hope to achieve through training. Discover the experience levels and knowledge base they already have. 

  • Create learner objectives: What should participants gain when they finish the training? Setting learning objectives helps with the selection of information to be included and enables you to accommodate learner needs. Make the objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and give them a time frame. 

  • Develop an outline and determine core content: This will help you stay on topic, effectively structure the program, and ensure that all vital content is covered. Develop reference lists and/or a course companion guide that allows employees to explore the topic further after virtual training is complete.

  • Make your delivery user-friendly: The training should be easy to access and simple to navigate even for those employees who are not particularly tech-savvy. 

  • Develop materials: Include frequent interactive elements that boost learner adoption and engagement. Include exercises, discussion topics and real-world examples that help to develop the skills you desire. Incorporate digital storytelling; utilizing multimedia tools to bring narratives to life (i.e. document an employee’s day at work). Include interactive 360° images and videos (i.e. virtual tours). Create simulated environments where learners can freely practice skills they’re learning until they’re confident to put them into action. Devise branching scenarios that put learners in charge of how the course progresses and boost engagement. Engage learners with drag-and-drop activities. Incorporate dialogue simulations to practice communication skills, apply knowledge and get meaningful feedback. Create pop-up windows, drop-down lists, and triggered animations. Try labelled graphic interaction. Include show of hands, text chat, online break out rooms, shared whiteboard, polls, quizzes, photo share, and stretch breaks.

  • Plan and utilize pre-session activities: For participants who tune in early, provide exercises, polls and/or word puzzles to prepare them mentally for the content, prevent them from straying to email/Facebook and set the scene for interaction and involvement. Instruct the trainer to connect with early sign-on by sharing information about him/herself and the team. 

  • Set up post-training check-ins: To promote and reinforce learning, send out a transcript of questions and answers, a list of additional reading resources and a link to a recording of the training. This will allow participants to revisit learning and help retain key concepts.

  • Obtain feedback from participants in the form of a survey. Use the data to adjust the training. 

You want your company to have an engaging, interactive, informative, and effective virtual training system. Apply these techniques and you can create just such a program. 

Looking for candidates for your interactive virtual training program? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.