The Future of Learning Is Not As Remotely As Far Away As We Think.
It used to be when one thought of the ‘future’ they may imagine The Jetsons; flying cars and teleportation machines. It sounds ridiculous, but at one time so was the idea of electricity or even the Internet seventy years ago. Now look at us, technology has evolved into being an important part of our everyday lives. We use our devices to communicate, order food (imagine explaining Grubhub to the average citizen in the 1950’s), meet people, read the news, and most importantly to learn.
In the wake of COVID-19 with companies, campuses, and schools shut down, virtual learning is becoming the new norm. That being said, moving your instructor-led training courses virtual is not as easy as swiping left or right– it is a process- and it can be overwhelming if you let it be. I recently attended a presentation with Training Industry Inc, which was presented by Danielle Levsky of BenchPrep, we have here five easy steps to help begin that transition of your learning program to the remote learning environment.
Five Steps to A Remote Learning Transformation
Step #1: Determine the Right Tools and Technology You Will Need
Think about your short-term solutions (Zoom and Join.me), as well as long-term solutions (learning experience platforms, collaboration platforms, Slack, etc). What art the technologies that your audiences readily have access to? There are tons of tools out there – Collaboration Superpowers is a great resource if you are looking for new tools!
Once you have the right mix of tools think about how can learning meet them where they are? Remember, always put your learner’s needs first, so give them access to things like recorded sessions (just in time learning) that are always available and try to create a sense of community in the course through discussion threads, etc.. (more on that when we talk about social learning)
Step #2: Keep your Learners in the Center of Your Design
It is important to maintain momentum and to follow up with learners. Just like in a classroom setting, a course agenda, or learning path, should be provided to the class to help learners understand what is expected of them in terms of their time. Make sure to give your learners opportunities to test themselves and practice their knowledge with resources like practice exams and flashcards – as well as the ability to have discussions with other learners through breakout sessions. (P.s. Don’t leave out the bio breaks- they are just as important in the remote world as they are in the live class).
Step #3: Get Your Content Ready for the Digital World
Odds are your instructor-led program is a thing of beauty and has a ton of great content. To get ready to take your program remote, first, you will want to take inventory of the content you already have and repurpose that content.
Break the content down into “bite-sized” materials, maybe turn a boring PDF into a video or small article that will make it easier to digest. (No one wants to read a 50 page PDF on their device-ever- chances are they won’t even read it). Keep in mind that accessibility and usability are important when developing a virtual learning program.
Piloting your remote delivery will allow you to tweak, test, and optimize your digital content. This can be done in four steps: launching the course, testing the content, collecting feedback, and then optimizing the content. Collect as much data as possible about how your learners are taking in the information and what is most effective in helping them learn the material.
Step #4: Keep it Social
Social learning, in a nutshell, is the idea that people learn from each other through observation or direct instruction in social settings. There are many ways to create a community in your course; you could use group work, discussions, games, chats, polling, and live video.
Use a platform like Klaxoon to mirror the in-class human classroom connections in a digital environment – use breakouts as a way to be inclusive and fun. Build around your program with a discussion board or Slack channel – have open-ended questions to promote the generation of powerful insight and user-generated content on particular topics.
Step #5: Consider Utilizing Modern Learning Solutions
We are entering a new normal- and programs that we have long deemed too complex or valuable to be delivered via technology are going to need to be transformed. Lean into providing a modern learning solution.
It bears repeating, always put the learner’s needs first. Your goal is to keep your learners engaged and supply them with the right tools for success. By creating a multimodal design and utilizing data and analytics you can continuously make your remote learning experience better.
For many of us, this time of disruption is providing us with the opportunity to innovate in ways that may not have been possible for us- even a few short months ago- after all- if it was not broke- why fix it.
If you are unsure where to start on this journey or are stuck trying to transform on your programs, reach out to us- we would love to talk to you
We are all on this journey together, and together we learn.