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Sunday, 14 December 2014 23:58


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With corporations trying to balance internal costs and make the proper investments in employee growth, there is much more interest in providing e-learning as a means to satisfy both. In recent times, there have been significant technological advancements in providing virtual venues for training. Many web-based platforms provide capabilities for more interactive training that closely mimic what can be done in a traditional classroom setting

However, in order for today’s trainers to take advantage of this technology, trainers must be equipped to utilize them and keep the students’ interested and engaged. This can also be hard to balance!

Classroom training is easier since more communication means can be employed; for example: eye contact, physical gestures. Even some paralingual or non-verbal methods (e.g. vocal pitch or intonation) can be difficult to utilize since the sound quality can be compromised. Not being able to leverage these limits what a trainer can do since participants' feedback provides greater scope for immediate and interactive improvisation.

Here are some tips to enable e-trainers to make a transition from classroom to Web training and to conduct a successful live online class.

  • Establishing a clear set of objectives and reinforcing them throughout the session is crucial for success. This allows the student to know what has been accomplished and what is coming next. Since there can be many distractions (i.e. email, texts, etc.) keeping the student engaged is imperative.
  • Audiovisuals must be carefully prepared in alignment with the objectives and be visually interesting.
  • Interactivity through exercises, breakout sessions or even question and answer periods helps to retain participants' interest and periodically tests their comprehension levels. It also makes sure they stay engaged!
  • Regular practical examples reinforce learning. This is where the instructor really needs to prepare for the audience to ensure there are relevant topics that the student can relate to.
  • A virtual atmosphere that helps to facilitate the participants' free expression of thought. Lead the session by virtue of authority and expertise. There are many features and functions with current technologies that the instructor must be well trained to take advantage of: Chat and Q&A windows that the instructor can get engaged with a student or group of students. This is where it is a bit tricky since it is difficult (if not impossible!) to actively discuss the material and respond to an online question or chat.
  • Have a lively, upbeat tone instead of employing a dull pedantic style, which is a major turn off. By being more engaged in the material and “virtually” visualizing students during the session, the students will naturally be engaged.
  • Being organized is mandatory and practice utilizing the technology! It can be frustrating for the students to have the instructor fumble with the web-based capabilities during the session. The instructor could quickly lose credibility.
  • Check in with students about the pace of the class to know if you are in sync with them. Some technology have the ability for the student to send “emoticons” of “Speed up” or “Slow down” icons to stay in touch with them in a non-intrusive way.
  • Be open to criticism and develop a tough skin. Time management and navigating technology are the major obstacles that e-trainers need to overcome.

Initially utilizing e-learning technology can be intimidating. However, with practice and becoming proficient with the toolsets available it is not that difficult to master. When developing materials, put yourself in the student’s shoes and see what would be visually stimulating and understand what exercises and discussions would keep you interested! 

At TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit or contact us at

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