On-line training and development has been gaining traction for over two decades, because it offers the ability to quickly and inexpensively reach large audiences and to reinforce concepts through short snippets. Meanwhile, traditional development has continued to play a part because of the value that can be realized through interactions between learners and facilitators and between the learners themselves.
As the current pandemic forces more and more companies to move in-person courses online, it's an opportunity to look at how we can foster meaningful interactions in a virtual environment. We can start by making the content more engaging and forcing the learners to be active in their consumption of materials by, for example, adding activities and self-directed pathways. We can then enhance the online experience by adding in frequent live sessions or office hours over Zoom or GoToMeeting. And, you don't need to lose the learner-to-learner interaction. Group projects can be effective online if you can get the groups to take them seriously. One of the ways we've approached that is to make the projects relevant to the learners' goals and commitments. We also love the approach of finishing the projects with short presentations and letting the teams compete for the best project--perhaps judged by an executive.
The other side of taking face-to-face courses online is the ability to scale. Many of our customers have found that by offering courses online, they are able to improve the amount of learners that a facilitator can support--and they often find they can do well for themselves while doing more good for the world. We'd love to hear how you are doing, how you are managing in the current environment, and how you have been successful in transitioning classroom training to online.
Bruce Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jim Duckett (email@example.com)