In 2015, less than half (49%) of all learning was instructor-led in a classroom without a virtual learning component, marking a steady decline over the course of seven years according to the Association of Talent Development. The conversion of classroom training to virtual training is a growing trend that cannot be ignored. But how do we successfully transition instructor-led training into a virtual training session without losing our audience? Given the opportunity, it seems webinar attendees are less than attentive. The statistics are shocking:
- 35% of attendees go to the bathroom during a webinar.
- 65% of attendees work on other projects during a webinar.
- 67% of attendees mute the conference call to have other conversations.
- 81% of attendees regularly check their email during webinars.
While attendees are distracted by bathroom breaks, working on other things, and checking their email, there is a much greater risk that they aren’t learning.
So, what do you do to fix the situation, and make virtual training sessions effective? Consider a blended approach and mix it up to keep it interesting. Experts suggest changing modalities every three to five minutes or less to keep learners’ attention. Notably, at only 1 minute, less than 50% of your audience is paying attention, dropping to less than 10% at the 5-minute mark. There are many options available to help you mix it up such as:
- Break-out rooms for group discussions/activities
- A live whiteboard for real-time collaboration
- Feedback tools, such as polls and surveys
- Facilitator-led discussion
- Question and answer sessions
In finding a blended approach that works for virtual sessions, it is best to remove content that could be self-paced assignments like prerequisite reading via PDFs and post-class follow up assignments. Remember, virtual session content should be that which requires guidance from the facilitator. If it can be done on their own time, let them. Are you considering transitioning a week-long seminar into a virtual training session? If so, consider breaking the class into multiple sessions with assignments and self-paced learning activities in between.
Most importantly, keep it interactive. A good rule of thumb is to ask questions or provide other interactions for every three to five learning points or slides. Include breakout sessions, discussion groups, Q&A sessions, and a chance to practice and apply their new skills.
Want even more awesome tips on transitioning from classroom to virtual? Check out our recent webinar on the topic.