Anyone There? 7 Tips for Improving Online Training

1. Don’t go back to basics:

Send out pre-training resources to introduce the instructional tool so that teachers aren’t absorbing it for the first time. Going through extensive product features and demos can be very one-sided and tedious for attendees.

2. Keep it chunky:

Break the session down into “chunks” that can be easily learned and recalled after the training. If you’re doing one training session, limit it to no more than 60 minutes with the topic split into logical sections. Having a tight structure forces the presenter to stay on topic and the listeners to keep up. An example for a 45-minute session: 10 minutes for a pedagogical review, 10 minutes to cover class tools and reports, 15 minutes for instructional strategies and 10 minutes for Q&A.

3. Use real data:

Teachers want to see real-life scenarios and tangible examples to reinforce concepts. Prepare model data and hands-on demonstrations of typical student scenarios for each part of your training program.

4. Share peer strategies:

Call on “super users” who can share their experiences and tips for getting the most from the tools and offer insights about overcoming barriers in technology and scheduling. Teachers like to hear from their colleagues about how they made your product work in the classroom, particularly as part of distance learning.

5. Record the session:

Send out the recorded version along with links to additional resources, such as sample pacing guides and lesson plans. Your super users can be very helpful in suggesting ways to customize plans for the particular requirements of each school.

6. Schedule a follow-up:

Rather than cover everything teachers will need to use your program, give them the information they need to get started and plan another session. Four to six weeks after the introduction, use class data for a deeper dive into examples and showcase advanced tools.

7. Provide timely support:

Teachers will have most of their questions after they start using your program with students. They need time to develop confidence in using the program as part of their classroom instruction. Offering different ways to get in touch – email, live chat, phone – gives teachers meaningful, relevant support as questions come up in the implementation.

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