Join Cathy Huett and Randy Conley of The Ken Blanchard Companies right here on LeaderChat beginning at 10:05 a.m. Pacific Time for a 30-minute Q&A session.
Cathy and Randy will be stopping by immediately after they finish their WebEx sponsored webinar on Mind Shift: Exploring Misconceptions about Virtual Training. In this special event, Cathy and Randy will be exploring the fact and fiction of virtual training and sharing best practices for creating a successful online program.
If you have a question that you would like to ask Cathy or Randy, just click on the COMMENTS hyperlink above. (Once you’ve typed in your comment hit SUBMIT COMMENT.) Cathy and Randy will answer as many questions as possible during the 30-minute online Q&A.
If you can’t stay for the entire 30-minute chat, but would like to see all of the questions and responses, you can always stop by later or click on the RSS FEED button on the right-hand column and you’ll receive updates automatically.
38 thoughts on “Virtual Training Best Practices Live Chat”
We’re starting the webinar now… be back at 11am to answer your questions!
What do you think about conducting a virtual training by using telepresense?
Hi Linda. I think telepresence offers some exciting possibilities, but like any web collaboration technology, their are pros and cons that need to be considered. I think you need to do an analysis of your specific environment and select the tool that best meets your needs.
When designing blended learning…how can you ensure that the students are actually watching the self paced materials and are learning?
Thanks for your question. You can quiz learners and ask them to respond to questions in the chat box, etc. to check on the learners. Calling on people by name is quite effective as well.
Do you see a shift coming that’s going away from the live virtual classroom to more of a collaborative way of learning via web 2.0 technology?
Thanks for your question. Web 2.0 will add a deeper dimension to virtual learning I think. I don’t think it will go away but instead will incorporate what works from web 2.0.
Curious as to what percentage of business virtual training now makes up for Blanchard?
A follow Up…what changes(increases)in virtual training (client) solutions has Blanchard experienced over past three years?
Hi Gino. Virtual training is an ever growing percentage of our business. We received an award from eLearning Magazine regarding the quality of our virtual training. I would encourage you to visit http://www.kenblanchard.com/virtual for more information about our virtual offerings.
Could you explain the role of the Broadcast Manager in a little more detail? Thanks!
Thanks for being with us today! The Broadcast Manager aka Producer is the person behind the scenes making sure the polls work, the break out rooms work, etc. They also get people registered and send prework, field work in between sessions, etc. I would never do a virtual session without a producer! There are inevitable tech difficulties that the trainer should not have to handle.
What are some upcoming trends in Web 2.0 that the ‘new’ virtual trainer should be aware of? i.e. do we all need to have a blog? should we get a twitter account?
Of course we are on a blog right now! As you look at this you might think of ways to use a platform like this for follow up or to create a virtual community.
As technology changes you need to be aware of new and useful social networking tools that will enhance your virtual training. It depends on how tech-savvy your employees are.
Here’s a question from the webinar: In your experience is there any content that is not conducive to virtual delivery?
Great question Dave. It used to be that “soft skills” training had the reputation of only being effective when delivered face-to-face. That’s been proven not to be the case. With the exception of any training that absolutely requires you to be face-to-face (e.g., CPR/emergency medical training, athletic training, etc.) I think virtual delivery could be a viable option.
Interesting question because I would guess many folks could give you a list of things. But in the 10 years I’ve been doing online training I’ve seldom come across any and I’ve taught/designed classes from yoga to dog grooming.
Great input Linda. After I posted my message, I was even thinking of how you COULD do some elements of medical and athletic training virtually. I think the options are unlimited if you have the creativity to figure out a solution.
Can you provide some specific ice breakers to use when virtually training?
Hi Jo Anne,
We have used ice breakers such as:
-posting a map and having learners use the pointer to show where they are (location) or where they were born or where they went on vacation or where they wish they were right now!
We have also asked them to type expectations of the class on the screen or in chat.
We have also put up brain teaser slides for the early learners to work on.
Also from the webinar: Have you ever seen a company use a virtual solution even when it didn’t have too? For example, enough employees are located in the same vicinity but you did virtual anyways?
Yes, we do this all the time in order to be able to easily track not just attendance but attention as well. Something that’s not as easily done in person.
Thanks Dave. I have seen a company where employees took the virtual option to attend company meetings even though they were located on campus. Often this is because of a tight meeting schedule or because some people just like to watch virtually – remaining anonymous, etc.
I know of another company that does all training virtually even though everyone is there because it saves productivity, food costs, etc.
As long as the learning is effective it may not matter.
What about scheduling virtual events. Any thoughts on what are the best times?
I think mid morning and mid afternoon work best because employees can still get their work done! It’s important to allow enough time in between sessions to allow enough time to get the field work done.
As we discussed in the webinar, scheduling can definitely be a challenge. The sessions need to be time-zone friendly for the participants and typically morning and early afternoon sessions tend to work best. If you’re doing multiple sessions on the same day for the same group of participants, be sure to leave enough time between sessions for them to take care of work at their desk, attend to urgent matters, etc.
From the webinar: How about Second Life? Have you seen anyone use Second Life as a part of a virtual program?
I’ve read some articles about companies that have used Second Life as a simulator. I think it has some interesting capabilities, and like all virtual tools, needs to fit the needs of your audience.
Last question from the webinar: What about larger organizations and class size. What is your recommended maximum class size for a virtual training?
I think this depends on the trainer. Just as in the traditional class a trainer has a preference, it’s the same online. For me, because my classes are very interactive and collaborative and I don’t have a producer but am by myself, I prefer less than 12.
You got it right! No producer? Scary!
We try not to go over 20 max. For best participation and engagement keeping classes small is better. If you are using break out sessions smaller is better.
What are your thoughts on multi-tasking. Any best practices on how to reduce it among participants?
The best practice for reducing multi-tasking is to make your training as engaging as possible! Building in frequent opportunities for learner participation is the key. If learners know that they have to “be on the toes”, then they are less likely to be caught off guard multi-tasking.
Interaction, interaction, interaction. My rule of thumb is every 2 slides or every 4-5 minutes. Could be something as easy as have the students push a button to more collaborative chats or breakout sessions. I don’t mute lines so I am often calling on participation with verbal quesitons. Some technology such as WebEx have incorporated into them attention indicators so you know how well you’re doing at keeping that attention.
Sounds like you have a great handle on keeping virtual learners on their toes.
Thank you for your attention, participation and great questions! Feel free to send more questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for visiting us today. I enjoyed your insightful comments. If you would like further information about Blanchard’s virtual training solutions, please visit us at http://www.kenblanchard.com/virtual. If you have any specific questions I can answer for you, please send them to my attention at email@example.com.