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Remote Training Sessions and Self Isolation: How Practical?

Uncertainty feels like an understatement as we're facing the world wide Covid-19 crisis. There is no doubt this global pandemic will leave lasting effects not only for our country but also our businesses and employees.

As we try to navigate these unchartered waters, we cannot but wonder how this will impact learning and development. Is it feasible to run some or all training courses in remote format?

In this article, Graham Wolfson, lists 10 factors which need to be considered to make remote training sessions effective:

  1. Choose the facilitators carefully – ensure that they are comfortable with the process and the technology.

  2. Book the session well in advance and ensure that the participants understand how they will need to connect.

  3. Prepare carefully for the session. Although this is an obvious one, and is no different to a face to face session, there are a couple of extra things to prepare. Remember clothing and background is important – it generates a perception that the participant will internalise. If you have a messy domestic scene in the background or if you’re in your pyjamas your participants may not take you seriously...

  4. Ensure you are comfortable with the technology and service being used. Test your audio and mic settings before joining the session – some services automatically mute the mic or need specific permission to use the mic on the PC or laptop.

  5. Join the meeting early I like to ensure that I am on the call 1 minute before the meeting is due to start with everything checked so that I can get my thoughts together.

  6. Be aware of where the webcam is and where you are looking. We tend to want to make eye contact with people, but looking at the screen (which is where their face is) makes it look as if we’re not making eye-contact. Try and look at the camera when you are talking. Apple is doing some interesting work in this area for their Facetime app – digitally making it appear as if you are looking at the camera when you are actually looking at the screen.

  7. Avoid distractions! If you’re at home ensure that kids, pets, spouses and all other distractions are removed. Switch off your phone and ensure that no other software programs can interrupt (e.g. mail or Skype notifications).

  8. Get feedback. Ask frequently how the participants feel about the process and how they are feeling about the process.

  9. Work hard on engagement and including everybody. This might require asking each participant individually if they have thoughts or feedback to add.

  10. Think creatively about breaking the group up into smaller discussion groups. This may be possible in the application, but if not, think about how people can best provide feedback.

It is not clear how things will turn out, but it is important as L&D professionals to not lose momentum. Change or challenges can open up opportunities and as L&D we have the responsibility to create the space for employees to still learn and grow even in this turbulent time. Agile learners are more equipped to come up with innovative solutions for the very new challenges we are currently facing and that we will be facing after this pandemic.

To read the full article click here.

Graham Wolfson is the co-author of LEARNING IN A DISRUPTIVE AGE: DEVELOPING SOUND DIGITAL LEARNING STRATEGIES. This book explores how the modern learner uses technology to learn and what this means for your organisation from a digital learning perspective.This complete, how-to book will help you design and implement a sound digital learning strategy for today’s workplace and is available in e-book format.To purchase your copy click here.

If you would like to connect with other L&D professionals sign up here. The L&D Community provides a platform for L&D members to interact and share challenges and solutions.

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