How to Move Your Training Program Online: A Global Shift in Training Best Practices

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In today’s global business environment, organizations must continually seek ways to improve productivity, respond nimbly to changes and optimize their budgets. Trainers in particular need to reach …

In today’s global business environment, organizations must continually seek ways to improve productivity, respond nimbly to changes and optimize their budgets. Trainers in particular need to reach more customers and employees more quickly – and in more places. And they risk missing opportunities or losing a competitive edge if they don’t keep up.

Easy-to-use technologies now make moving some or all of your training programs online quick and effective, increasing both the reach and frequency of key training messages. Without adding headcount, trainers can reach broader audiences using techniques similar to their offline training efforts – And add some new ones unique to the online environment.

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  • 1. How  to  Move  Your  Training  Program  Online       How  to  Move  Your  Training     Program  Online   A  Global  Shift  in  Training  Best  Practices     In  today’s  global  business  environment,  organizations  must  continually  seek  ways   to  improve  productivity,  respond  nimbly  to  changes  and  optimize  their  budgets.   Trainers  in  particular  need  to  reach  more  customers  and  employees  more  quickly   –  and  in  more  places.  And  they  risk  missing  opportunities  or  losing  a  competitive   edge  if  they  don’t  keep  up.       Easy-­‐to-­‐use  technologies  now  make  moving  some  or  all  of  your  training  programs   online  quick  and  effective,  increasing  both  the  reach  and  frequency  of  key   training  messages.  Without  adding  headcount,  trainers  can  reach  broader   audiences  using  techniques  similar  to  their  offline  training  efforts  –  and  add   some  new  ones  unique  to  the  online  environment.   Reach  More  Trainees  with  the  Same  Resources   In  a  survey  conducted  for  Citrix  Online  by  1080  Group,  survey  respondents  were  asked  to  rank  a  long  list   of  potential  benefits  of  using  live  online  training.   The  top  three  benefits  of  online  training  they  chose  were:   • Reaching  more  trainees  with  the  same  headcount   • Presenting  ourselves  as  thought  leaders  in  our  industry   • Being  more  effective  with  our  budget   The  message  is  clear:  it  is  important  to  be  perceived  as  utilizing  new  training  technology,  but  it  is  even   more  important  to  use  online  training  to  help  get  more  accomplished  with  every  training  dollar.  
  • 2. How  to  Move  Your  Training  Program  Online     2     Best  Practices:       Planning,  Promoting,  Presenting,  Recording     Determine  the  Appropriate  Content   Obviously  if  your  instruction  includes  learners  engaging  a  physical  task,  that  activity  can’t  occur  online.   But  what  about  the  foundational  knowledge  transfer  that  precedes  the  exercise?  How  about  the   assessment  afterwards  to  determine  the  retention  of  key  concepts?   Online  training  is  appropriate  for  any  type  of  content  that  can  be  shared,  shown,  or  demonstrated  from   a  computer  desktop.  A  growing  trend  among  trainers  is  determining  what  portions  of  content  can  be   delivered  online  and  moving  at  least  some  of  that  activity  online  to  increase  their  reach  and  the   frequency  of  connecting  with  learners.     Hone  the  Training’s  Focus  Using  Registration   Because  of  the  lengthy  lead  time  between  registration  and  the  event,  a  common  practice  with  in-­‐person   seminars  is  to  query  seminar  registrants  about  their  greatest  needs  and  wants.  The  goal  is  to  better   understand  the  audience  in  advance  so  the  seminar  content  can  be  tailored  for  optimum  effectiveness.   With  online  training  there  is  usually  less  lead  time  necessary  since  registrants  don’t  need  to  plan  as  far   in  advance  to  attend  a  session.  In  addition  to  benefitting  from  a  shortened  delivery  cycle,  online  trainers   also  benefit  from  on-­‐demand  registration  analysis  –  giving  them  the  same  opportunity  to  serve  learners’   needs  with  precision.     Tag-­‐team  with  Other  Luminaries  and  Subject  Matter  Experts   Most  learning  environments  would  be  enhanced  by  the  appearance  of  additional  presenters  who  are   relevant  to  the  topic.  Comments  by  an  industry  analyst,  a  great  story  from  a  customer,  or  a  motivational   welcome  from  the  national  vice  president  are  often  deemed  implausible  due  to  time,  distance  and   expense.   With  online  training  trainers  can  easily  enhance  the  value  of  their  training  sessions  by  inviting  other   presenters  to  join  remotely.  Just  like  learners  can  attend  the  training  session  from  their  computer   desktop,  luminaries  or  subject-­‐matter  experts  of  all  kinds  can  easily  be  engaged  to  improve  your  online   training  sessions.     Deliver  Interactive  Openers   Great  openers  take  many  forms,  such  as  shocking  statements,  revealing  statistics,  or  powerful  what-­‐ you-­‐will-­‐learn  benefit  statements.   Sometimes  they  are  simply  a  quick  exercise   that  gets  an  audience  engaged  by  saying   something  such  as,  “Raise  your  hand  if  you   traveled  more  than  two  hours  to  get  here   today.”   Likewise,  online  trainers  can  easily  present  a   Figure  1  -­‐  Virtual  "Hand  Up"   poll,  prompt  a  virtual  “hand  up,”  or  ask   learners  to  type  in  a  response  to  a  question,  instantly  engaging  them  in  a  memorable  and  measurable   way.    
  • 3.     How  to  Move  Your  Training  Program  Online     3     Keep  an  Eye  on  Attentiveness   Not  all  audiences  respond  the  same  way  to  any  given  subject  or  trainer.  Experienced  trainers  observe  the   attentiveness  of  their  learners,  though  this  gets  more   difficult  with  larger  audiences.   Moving  your  training  online  does  not  have  to  mean  that   you  lose  this  connection  with  your  audience.  Online   training  dashboards  put  trainers  and  panelists  in  touch   with  learner  attentiveness  at  a  glance,  enabling  them  to   keep  an  eye  on  –  and  respond  to  –  changing  audience   needs.            Figure  2  -­‐  Trainer  Dashboard     Use  Dialogue  to  Increase  Engagement   Best  Practice:    Instead  of  simply  instructing  an   The  bad  news  is  that  “death  by  slide  show”  is  a  bad   audience  that  they  can  submit  questions  using   the  questions/answer  tool,  demonstrate  it  with   practice  that  some  presenters  will  inflict  on  audiences   an  ice-­‐breaking  opener  such  as,  “Type  in  what   regardless  of  the  venue  –  online  or  offline.  The  good   city  you  are  participating  from  today?”  As   news  is  that  easy-­‐to-­‐use  presenter  controls  enable   answers  come  in,  show  the  audience  you  are   “listening”  by  your  own  response  such  as,  “Julia,   trainers  to  move  training  initiatives  online  without   from  Sydney  -­‐  Welcome!”   checking  their  good  sense  at  the  door.   Online  training  is  uniquely  valuable  because  it  provides  the  ability  to  engage  learners  with  true,   instructor-­‐led  dialogue,  but  without  the  constraints  of  distance  and  travel.  And  engaged  learners  means   higher  retention  and  influence  of  your  key  training  messages.     Leverage  Recordings  for  Increased  Reach   Producing  a  usable  artifact  of  an  in-­‐person  event  has  long  been  an  expensive  and  time-­‐consuming   proposition,  often  requiring  production  crews  to   operate  cameras,  do  post-­‐production  editing  and   finally  duplicate  and  distribute.  The  activity  is   often  classified  as  “would  be  valuable,”  but  gets   cut  because  it  doesn’t  make  business  sense.   Recording  online  training,  however,  only  requires   the  trainer  to  push  a  button.  All  audio  and  visual   elements  are  captured,  including  screen   demonstrations,  and  the  recording  file  is  easily   published  to  a  Web  site  for  learners  who  may   Figure  3  -­‐  Start  Recording  Button   have  missed  the  live  session.  Further,  your   content  will  be  available  on  demand  for  anyone,   anywhere,  extending  your  reach  almost  immediately.              
  • 4. How  to  Move  Your  Training  Program  Online     4       Next  Steps   Companies  considering  an  online  training  solution  should  significantly  weigh  the  following  factors  in     their  decision:   • Is  it  easy  to  use?  Learners,  trainers  and  administrators  are  all  negatively  time-­‐impacted  if  the   technology  gets  in  the  way  of  effectively  managing  and  delivering  great  training  programs.   • Will  it  flexibly  meet  different  learning  and  meeting  needs?  Trainers  moving  training  online   quickly  find  new  opportunities  to  serve  different  audiences.  A  smart  tool  will  accommodate  small   and  large  audiences  alike.   • Is  it  quick  to  deploy?    Good  opportunities  often  fail  due  to  “analysis  paralysis.”  Consider  how   quickly  you  can  get  started,  try  out  your  most  obvious  opportunities  to  move  training  online  and   then  prove  the  value.     Bottom  Line   Moving  your  training  online  shouldn’t  be  an  all-­‐or-­‐nothing  proposition.  Live,  online  training  fills  a  unique   place  in  how  to  reach  customers  and  employees  quickly  and  effectively.  The  opportunity  to  increase  the   reach  of  your  key  training  messages  is  large.  The  cost  is  small.  And  the  future  belongs  to  those  who  move   forward  one  step  at  a  time.                  About  Roger  Courville  and  1080  Group,  LLC     Roger  is  the  author  of  The  Virtual  Presenter’s  Handbook  and  Principal  of  1080  Group,  LLC,  an  independent  training  and  research  firm   that  helps  executives  and  organizations  master  web  seminar  presentations  and  programs.         An  eleven-­‐year  veteran  of  the  web  communications  business,  Roger  has  presented  live  to  tens  of  thousands  worldwide,  and  he’s   reached  tens  of  thousands  more  with  guest  writing  appearances  for  SpeakingAboutPresenting.com,  Training  Australia  Magazine,   PlannerWire,  eLearningGuild,  and  more.    His  2008  white  paper  “Five  Keys  to  Moving  Training  Online”  won  TrainingZone.co.uk’s   Reader’s  Choice  Award  for  “Top  Download  of  the  Year.”     The  1080  Group  team  has  a  collective  experience  that  includes  hundreds  of  clients,  thousands  of  web  seminars,  and  more  than  a   million  web  seminar  attendees.    Contact  them  at  www.1080group.com,  info@1080group.com,  +1.503.476.1080,  or  subscribe  to   their  newsletter  at  www.1080group.com/offers/bullets-­‐to-­‐visuals.         About  GoToTraining® GoToTraining  is  an  easy-­‐to-­‐use  online  training  service  that  allows  you  to  move  your  entire  training  program  online  for  more  efficient   customer  and  employee  training.  Hold  unlimited  online  training  sessions  with  up  to  200  attendees  from  around  the  world  –  right   from  your  Mac®  or  PC.  Reach  more  trainees,  collect  real-­‐time  feedback,  record  and  store  your  training  sessions  and  more  –  all  while   slashing  travel  costs.     About  Citrix  Online   Citrix  Online  provides  secure,  easy-­‐to-­‐use  online  solutions  that  enable  people  to  work  from  anywhere  with  anyone.  Whether  using   GoToMyPC®  to  access  and  work  on  a  remote  PC,  GoToAssist®  to  support  customers  or  GoToMeeting®  to  hold  online  meetings,   GoToWebinar®  for  larger  Web  events  and  GoToTraining®  for  interactive  online  training,  our  customers  –  more  than  35,000   businesses  and  hundreds  of  thousands  of  individuals  –  are  increasing  productivity,  decreasing  travel  costs  and  improving  sales,   training  and  service  on  a  global  basis.  A  division  of  Citrix  Systems,  Inc.  (Nasdaq:  CTXS),  the  company  is  based  in  Santa  Barbara,   California.  For  more  information,  visit  www.citrixonline.com  or  call  +1-­‐805-­‐690-­‐6400.   ©  2009,  2010    1080  Group,  LLC.    All  rights  reserved.  This  document  may  not  be  reproduced  in  any  manner  either  wholly  or  in  part  for   any  use  whatsoever  without  express  written  consent  from  1080  Group,  LLC.