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May 5, 2020

20 tips on how to make virtual training more engaging for your employees!

Virtual training has become the new favorite tool, while it is an easy way to reach out to people, we should not overlook that fact that it can also make things a bit more boring. In fact, have you ever evaluated the success rate of your online training? What percentage of people who enroll in your courses successfully complete them? How do you encourage people's engagement in your training? 

Even the best technology does not replace human connections. Without the interaction that a physical encounter allows, it is sometimes difficult to keep your employees motivated and involved. Why go slide after slide, when you could integrate different elements to increase engagement in your online training and create a digital environment that attracts participation. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your employees' engagement during the process of creating a virtual course. It is all about knowing the learning process and making sure your virtual training programs touch different learning perspectives.

Here are our 20 top virtual training tips to keep your participants engaged in your online training!

Reading time: 9 minutes

A person raising their hand in a crowd

While creating your training content

Even in the early stages of your project, as a virtual trainer, you can start thinking about motivational strategies.  Cohort-based learning is a thing to keep in mind while creating your training content. Creating a virtual online learning environment that is engaging and adapted to your target audience must start in the early stage. Not all audiences react to the same elements. You have to think about your crowd and what are the things that they find engaging. Creating a virtual environment comes with different ways to engage with people, like using a virtual whiteboard, using different chat features. When creating your training content, keep the following ideas in mind. They will help you prepare documents and videos that engage registrants in your virtual training sessions.

1. Have a dynamic introduction. At the beginning of your training, use a video to tell a fun-fact, a fiction, or a shocking statistic. This will grab the attention of your employees from the start. You can also ask a question to engage employees from the start. If you are constrained by larger classes, open the virtual chat and encourage interaction. Interactive classes are a good step to increase engagement levels and deeper level virtual learning. 

2. Explain the purpose of the training. Why should your employees complete this course? How can your content serve them? Answer these questions to convince them of the real benefits and get them interested in going all the way.

3. Alternate types of content. Slides of content are not enough. Visual Content is important, but it needs to be diversified to reach a good level of engagement. Although we recommend videos for their more human aspect, use different types of lessons to energize the experience. Choose, for example, audio files, illustrations, graphics, etc.

4. Stay relevant. Consider the level of knowledge of your participants to avoid content that has no added value. For those who need it, suggest glossaries or optional lessons to recall certain concepts.

5. Give concrete examples. Virtual Online Learning comes down to plan case studies with guests to show how the concepts learned are applicable in the field. If you do not have a guest, choose a fictional character who can evolve in the same learning environment. Class sessions need to go beyond presentation slides and reach student engagement or employee engagement by relating the information to their reality. 

6. Divide the content. Do you know the 10:2 method? It consists of giving 10 minutes of teaching and then allowing participants 2 minutes to absorb the information. Encourage this process by avoiding overly long lessons and ending them with a question period.

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During the creation of your online training sessions

Once your training materials have been prepared, you need to integrate it into your online training platform. If you use the Didacte platform, you have several options to boost the class experience of your users before they are even registered.

7. Organize the content. In your lesson plan, make sure to create a clear structure that is pleasant to consult. Use titles that make navigation easier, and divide the lessons into modules to group the training topic together.

8. Create a sense of accomplishment. At the start of a module, identify 1 or 2 easily achievable learning objectives to motivate your employees. At the end of the module, add videos or images to congratulate them with positive feedback and highlight their progress.

9. Offer alternative learning techniques. We know that some people are more auditory and others are visual. To accommodate your various participants, offer a downloadable text version of the recorded content, or by sharing video of the online classes and vice versa.

10. Break the monotony. Thanks to a quiz, a puzzle, a film extract, or a challenge to give your employees a mental break. Take advantage of these interactive elements of surprise to validate the knowledge acquired in a more entertaining context. This creates opportunities for active participation and enhances employees' learning experience by integrating learning content through fun activity. 

11. Invite collaborators. Change the tone of your lessons by inviting other experts to contribute to your training. In addition to adding value to your content, they will bring a different energy to yours, which will revive your audience by encouraging social interactions. 

12. Organize live sessions. If your content allows it, you can integrate virtual classroom training or webinars into your course plan. These real-time tools will help you create opportunities for discussion and interaction with your participants.

13. Allow time for practice. Help your employees develop their skills through field exercises and by giving them practical tasks. Request a photo upload that shows their progress, or turn on drip content to space the time between lessons.

While your employees are participating in your training

It is a mistake to think that with online training, the only effort to make is at the time of its creation. Actually, the best way to boost the commitment of your participants requires regular work. Indeed, your personalized interactions are those that create a human relationship between you and your learners.

14. Personalize the experience. Do you know the personal or professional objectives of your users? If so, use this data to individualize the learning path and set more specific objectives with them. 

15. Send feedback. When a quiz is submitted by one of your employees, contact those who have performed well to congratulate them. Communicate with others to encourage them and, if necessary, offer your support in private.

16. Stimulate exploration. At the end of a module, suggest to your participants new avenues for personal reflection or external resources. By demonstrating your own passion for the subject, you will inspire them to go above and beyond the lesson plan. Dynamic presentations start with the trainers. Adopting a learning style that stimulates exploration is one of many opportunities for participation. 

17. Give rewards with positive reinforcement. Set up incentives with a credit system. For internal training, this may be possible compensation. For sale, offer discounts on complementary products or services, for example.

18. Stay in touch. Often remind your users that they can easily get in touch with you if needed, either through your email address or using a chat feed or other different platform. Let them know that they are not alone in their process and that they have access to your support. This presence, even from a distance, is highly valued to create an online environment.

19. Create an online community. Collaborative learning is key. If you want to allow exchanges between your employees, a closed group is a way to generate new ideas and increase interaction between employees. It’s an option that requires more management, but it allows a feeling of belonging to rise among the members. 

20. Request feedback. Show your willingness to improve by asking for feedback. You can do it directly in your Didacte platform by creating a quiz with a passing grade of 0 and correction is manual.

Do you want to start putting these ideas into practice today? Create your online training platform for free and explore all the functions that allow you to motivate your participants.

The more your employees are engaged, the more they will become allies in promoting your training content!

Now that you know how to make virtual training more engaging

Remember that remote learning doesn't have to be boring. There are multiple ways to create an engaging experience for your employees or your trainees. Today, there are many online learning platforms and different online tools that can be used to create interactive training sessions: Video tool, interactive activity, virtual event and more. Digital learning is full of opportunities, all you have to do is to be creative and think outside the box.

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Marie-Hélène Couette

Marie-Hélène Couette is Head of Sales and Marketing at Didacte. She is also very passionate about entrepreneurship and human development. She specializes in content creation for growing companies looking to better support their teams in this great adventure!