Engaging the online learner.

06 Sep 2012

When people hear about online education and training, they sometimes fear that learners will be missing a great deal of interaction and participation.  It’s a misconception that needs to be addressed so that people begin to appreciate the advantages of online training and what it has to offer.  This can be made possible by detailed planning and active management.

Consider a German organization wanting to launch their product in India. To share product knowledge, they create short 15 minute videos explaining various aspects of the product or conduct webinars and share them across the organization. Unlike the classroom, the product manager conducting training does not have visual cues and needs to make an effort to try and gauge participant responses beforehand.  This can be done by keeping the video short, giving adequate breaks during the session and making it activity based. Activities can include quick surveys/questionnaires as the training progresses.

During a webinar, being able to ask questions is crucial.  Being able to look around the room and see other people with puzzled expressions on their faces makes it easier to interrupt.  That’s hard to replicate when it’s just you, staring down your computer.  Hence it’s essential that the product manager make adequate provision for feedback apart from periodically encouraging questions from participants. In this way his listeners in India don’t feel less engaged or distracted.

All things said and done, online training requires different kind of preparation and demands openness and flexibility on part of the presenter. Kpoint makes his job easier.

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