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Virtual Training Best Practices – Ground Rules

Treat the Training the Same as if You are Leading a Classroom Workshop

Virtual Training Best Practices

This will be the first in a number of articles on best practices for virtual training which will be shared over the next couple of weeks.

When leading virtual training sessions, treat the training the same as if you are leading a classroom workshop. Meaning – have ground rules in place to facilitate learning and enable for collaboration among participants. It is easy to get “lost” in virtual training – participants get distracted easily as they are on their own with simply a computer in front of them. They are not in a classroom surrounded by other students. It is easier to walk away from the computer while a virtual session is in progress or to check email or “surf” the internet rather than pay attention. The longer the virtual session, the more likely participants will be distracted. As a best practice I keep my virtual sessions no longer than 60 – 90 minutes in length. If I have a session as long as 2 hours, I include a 15 minute break after the first 60 minutes.

By setting some ground rules for virtual training sessions we set our expectations of the students who are participating in the session and enable for a more collaborative and effective learning environment.

Consider setting the following ground rules for virtual training sessions:

  • Communicate professionally with others
    • Wait for others to finish speaking before you speak
    • Each time you speak, state your name so that others begin to recognize your voice
    • Build on others’ ideas and thoughts
    • Disagreeing is OK – but be respective and courteous
  • Be on time for each virtual session
    • As a best practice…be just a few minutes early!
  • Participate actively in each session
    • Share experiences and best practices
    • Bring up challenges
    • Discuss successes
    • Share articles and other readings relevant to the classroom topic

As a best practice – don’t just set the ground rules yourself. Rather, ask participants to contribute to the ground rules based on what is important to them and will enhance their learning experience.

What would you add to the list?