Throughout these challenging times, most employees will be working from home and enterprises may have had to change the way they get things done. For some, the transition happened almost overnight, with employees rapidly adjusting the way they communicate, interact and deliver their work. The changes extend to what would have been face-to-face training events which raises several practical challenges, not least how to replicate a day’s training schedule online. Most full-day events include interactive sessions as well as presentations. It’s important that learners still benefit from this aspect of training and for this reason, the aim should be to replicate those interactions, when taking learning online.
D2L’s Sophie McGown, Customer Success Team Lead and Alan Hiddleston, Director, Corporate Learning recently held a webinar – Continuity Planning: how to replicate face-to-face learning online – to explore this topic.
In their session, Sophie and Alan highlighted some of the challenges learners face while working from home, such as:
- Juggling family and work-life
- Using tools for collaboration and conferencing
- Maintaining concentration
- Putting in place a regular schedule
Sophie says: “When you start to replicate learning online it’s really important to apply this knowledge and understanding of what’s going on and the challenges employees are facing.”
A range of interactions
To begin to understand how to enable interactions through online learning, it’s necessary to first consider the type of interactions that would otherwise have taken place face-to-face. These may include breakout sessions, which enable a smaller number of people to dig deeper into a topic in more detail and to share their thoughts, and lunch which provides an ideal networking opportunity. Also, collaboration that would normally take place around a whiteboard.
“Consider how people are meant to interact and the goals behind those interactions,” says Sophie. “Then consider the environment that’s needed to enable those meaningful connections.”
Face-to-face training sessions may include one-to-many interactions, small-group work and general networking opportunities. With this in mind, it’s time to think about the types of technologies that will facilitate those exchanges online.
Sophie concludes with some final tips for a successful transition: “Be clear on the technology and how everyone should use it to engage, as well as what you want them to do and why. Include interactivity and be understanding of people’s situations. Lastly, make it fun!”
To find out more, access the recording of Continuity planning: how to replicate face-to-face learning online. You can also register for the final webinar in this digital transformation for L&D series: The Transformation Opportunity (13 May, 12:00-13:00 BST) which will explore how to create richer learning experiences for employees.