Part II: What is Effective Virtual Training?

The Things That Get Ignored

In Part I of this series, we talked about the six things you can do to make VILT more engaging, and effective at transferring knowledge. In Part II, we look at the importance of moderators, and how to execute VILT when training requirements are not standard.

An often overlooked, but key, element of an effective virtual classroom experience, both for students and for instructors, is the use of trained moderators. Instructors new to virtual training report that moderation has been crucial to successful training. Moderators support training through:

  • Setting up virtual classrooms and establishing appropriate classroom settings
  • Ensuring that students have camera access for video participation and troubleshooting connection problems
  • Assisting instructors with classroom timing and instructional flow
  • Curating and moderating student questions and comments
  • Setting up and managing breakout rooms
  • Managing classroom security and waiting rooms
  • Providing pre- post- and in-class learner support

In addition to moderators, the use of supporting and complementary activities and materials outside of the classroom can make virtual training much more impactful. This includes Pre-work, homework and follow-on activities. Well-designed classroom materials and reference guides can act as learning reinforcement and performance support after the formal training ends.

And, let’s not forget about technology which can enable and enrich the learning experience. For a crucial Program Leadership course, RPS developed and launched a unique learner portal to support students before, during, and after the course.

When Virtual Training Is Not Standard

RPS is sometimes called upon to support virtual events that fall outside of the usual virtual classroom environment. Non-standard events can include large-scale webinars and conferences. For example, a recent Raytheon Technologies cyber workshop hosted over 250 attendees. RPS managed all aspects of the event from planning and registration through user support and moderation. The event sponsor, who had experienced other industry virtual seminars, said RPS delivered the best experience for both students and instructors, especially with regard to the flow of the event and ease of participation.

At the other end of spectrum of non-standard events, RPS supports smaller virtual classes that have difficult and/or complex requirements. RPS recently transitioned a cybersecurity class with complex security and technical requirements to a virtual training environment. RPS was able to work through a number of barriers that had previously prevented consideration of virtual training. The class was deemed a huge success and virtual delivery will now be the primary delivery mechanism.

In the current environment, RPS is supporting a number of companies making significant moves to virtual training. Well-established in-person learning programs are now being transitioned to virtual training. Some of the feedback we have received from both learners and instructors has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Great use of the technology to keep everyone engaged.”

“We saw much more student engagement compared to an in-person event.”

“I enjoyed the interactive engagement of the breakout sessions.”

We expect that when the current crisis passes, virtual training will not go away but will remain the dominant training delivery mechanism. Key drivers of this trend include cost savings that have been realized during the crisis, increased flexibility for geographically dispersed instructors and students, and higher levels of familiarity and comfort with virtual learning in younger generational cohorts.

As you plan for this “new normal”, make sure you’re working with a training partner who understands how to design and deliver truly effective virtual training.

Contact RPS today and we can help you plan and execute effective virtual training – wherever and whenever your learners require it.

Reach Out to RPS

Raytheon Professional Services has an experienced support team that can provide the resources you need – from instructors to technical support teams and administrative support, to help desk teams.

Don’t have the right equipment to create a session? Don’t worry, RPS can recommend or provide exactly what is needed to pull off a professional looking studio experience. RPS will help convert your classroom materials quickly into highly interactive virtual sessions!

To learn how our training experts can help you address your organization’s virtual training needs, please contact us, our visit our website at RPS.com.

What experiences do you have in virtual training? Do you have best practices you’d like to share? Start a conversation in the comments below or connect with us on LinkedIn, or at @RaytheonRPS using hashtags, #learning, #training, #virtuallearning, and #onlinelearning.