It looks like we’re not going back to classroom training any time soon. E-Learning has its place, but sometimes you need to ask questions and interact with the trainer. So with a bit of trial and error, we’ve arrived at what we think is a good format.
- 1¼ hour sessions. The plan is for an hour of training and ¼ hour for questions and discussion, but this is flexible. You obviously can’t cover a topic like ‘Excel’ in an hour and a quarter, but it’s just about right if you can split your subject into smaller topics, such as ‘PivotTables’, ‘Top Ten Formulas’, ‘Lookup Formulas’, ‘Conditional Formulas’, and so on.
- Most conferencing tools that can screen-share are fine. We haven’t been handing control to learners, but they can share their own screens if necessary. That means that we can work well with tools like Microsoft Teams and Webex Meeting. Popular tools such as Zoom and Skype are possible, although we’ve found that there are big jumps in quality if you pay even a token amount as opposed to using the free version. We’ve found that specialist tools that we’ve used in the past, such as Webex Training, Goto Training, and Adobe Connect, aren’t necessary; and may even be a hindrance, as most people are now so familiar with the simpler conferencing tools.
- There are two of us: trainer and facilitator. The trainer presents while the facilitator monitors the chat-panel for any questions. This is really how you’d do things for larger groups, while you can mostly avoid anarchy in smaller groups by allowing learners to unmute themselves and interrupt the trainer; but people can be surprisingly shy online and this method has been working well for smaller groups too.
- Bonus material. After the session, learners are provided with all the material used plus free access to video tutorials and other resources on our website.
So how has it been working out? Well, everybody else seems to show off in blogs and LinkedIn posts, so we might as well share the following from the head of HR in Europe for Global Aerospace: