Virtual instructor-led training (v-ILT), where an instructor and learners are synchronously together via an online classroom platform, can be an exciting way to reach learners globally with tremendous success. I've had learners tell me that my v-ILT course was "the best training course, ever!" I've also had comments such as, "I never thought a virtual course could be as good or better than being physically together in a classroom with other learners and the instructor; but you've proved me wrong."
Having delivered v-ILT events for over 12 years now on various platforms including WebEx, Microsoft Live Meeting, Saba Centra, and Adobe Connect Professional, I've learned a few things. One thing you should know is that the platform you have to work with is not hugely important. I've had tremendous success on all the aforementioned platforms delivering content ranging from project and program management to strategic leadership. Additionally, my learners were spread out all over the world.
All of the online classroom platforms I mentioned above are pretty similar, though some have more bells and whistles than others, such as the way breakout groups are handled and incorporating short videos. But don't get caught up in that. What matters most is the design of your program. If your design is not good, it doesn't matter how much content knowledge an instructor possesses or what delivery platform is chosen; the learners will leave disappointed. Here are some things to keep top of mind when considering a synchronous, virtual learning event:
Ensure the content to be delivered fits and is appropriate for the virtual environment.
Be clear on the learning objectives and course outcomes
Optimize the learner experience (it's not about you or the technology; it's about the learner's walking away with value).
Instructor capability - Not all traditional classroom instructors can and should deliver virtually; it's a different animal.
Know that webinars and live, synchronous training are very, very different.
Want more? Click on the hyperlink below to listen and view my webinar, recorded in November 2014 for INSYNC TRAINING, as part of their InSync Byte webinar series. The title of the event was V-ILT: Bucking Tradition and Myth. Once at the site, you will need to fill out a brief form, then you'll be on your way to additional insights.