Online Learning – Training Webinar Success Tips

If you think that face-to-face training is the best way to do training, think again. New research shows that a blended approach produces 35-69 percent better outcomes than face-to-face alone.

What’s a blended approach? It’s a mixture of delivery modes, put together in a pattern to create the best result. For example, a blended course might involve one full day face-to-face, followed by several one-hour webinars delivered sequentially across a number of weeks. Another example might include a self-paced DVD program, followed by three two-hour webinars, followed by a live one-to-one coaching session.

The blended approach delivers even higher value than its impact on results in the workplace. It’s also an important part of reducing the need to travel for the training. Time in training sessions is time away from the job, so many employers are happier with training at the desktop that lasts only an hour or two. In addition, corporations worldwide are eager to eliminate travel, weather across town or halfway around the world. So, when your business offers part or all of its training online, you have a competitive advantage that companies that hire you will value.

So if your business delivers training services, it’s important to take a fresh look at how to restructure your training offerings to provide a significantly higher impact. If you plan on doing some live online training via Web conference technology, here are some success factors to help.

  • Keep your online learning session short.

    For training webinars, limit each session to one to two hours. One hour is best, but two hours works well when the training is interactive enough.

  • Tell students not to take notes, but instead to enjoy the experience of learning together.

    Promise your student participants a handout at the end of the session that captures all of the notes on the slides. If your slides are proprietary, you don’t have to give them a copy. Instead, give them a high-value handout that details the critical points, lists, and actions that are required for your participants to be successful. In an online learning environment, a short and focused PDF handout is better than long and comprehensive book.

  • Design your training webinar for vigorous, relevant, and continuous interaction.

    The toughest audience in the world is one that links from the desktop. At any moment in time, people are seconds a way from multitasking.

    The only way to keep people from multitasking is to create

    (1) extremely high value content,

    (2) delivered at a brisk pace,

    (3) intermixed with constant interaction that adds value to the experience of learning at that moment.

    When online trainers can’t see the students’ nonverbal cues, s/he has to be even more deliberate in building high quality interaction throughout the session.

  • Have students meet from individual desktops, not a conference room.

    To get the highest level of interaction, it’s best if each student links separately to the Web conference online learning session. That lets every student be able to participate easily and quickly in polls, chat discussions, imitation feedback, and voice interaction. When students meet from a conference room, sharing a computer inhibits rapid interaction that is needed to keep everyone else engaged. No one must be disadvantaged by location from being a full and equal participant in the learning.

  • Design your slides for brain appeal.

    Your students cannot see your face. But they can be very engaged by the PowerPoint slides that you use in your training webinar. Avoid standard Microsoft PowerPoint templates. Instead, find commercial templates that better express the theme of your training. Avoid clipart. Instead, use commercially available photo art and photo images. Avoid standard formatting. Instead, skillfully learn how to create and design slides that engaged the attention of your desktop students.

  • Team teach online learning sessions when you can.

    With experience and training, a single person can manage all aspects of an online learning session. But it’s better to team teach in your initial training webinars. For example, while one person instructs, the other annotates, manages polls, sets up chat discussions, observes the participation of the students, and asks questions to keep interaction going.

  • End with an online version of a standing ovation.

    You know that when you have delivered an excellent learning session. Students are eager to say how much they enjoyed the experience of learning with you. In an online learning environment, many trainers don’t get that feedback. Before you end the online learning session, ask students to use chat to tell you what they learned that they will apply. Encourage them make several entries. Then a moment later ask them what they enjoyed most about the class. They will be able to share their comments with the group or with you privately, as you specify. If you ask your student participants to share their comments publicly in chat, everyone will see dozens of positive comments that reinforce the high-value of your content as well as a very enjoyable interactive session, too.

  • End the online learning session with a three-minute online survey.

    Most Web conference platforms will allow you to drop the student off at a website where you can poll them on the metrics that show the value of your online learning program or session. If a company hired you (vs. individuals), summarize the information from the feedback form, and send it to the client. If students registered independently, neutralize the feedback and post the data on your website, along with quotes (of course, by permission).

8 Best Tips to Success in Online Exams

Test taking should not have to be stressful. If you plan and prepare well in advance, it should be a piece of cake. The exam might be tough, but you can do it! Use these 8 simple tips listed below to help you succeed in your online examination.

  • Time management skills – Developing good time management skills and being aware of how you use your time is extremely important for your success. First you will need to develop a study plan and set aside a set amount of time of study hours per week. Are you more productive in the morning or at night? Figure out the time of day when you are most productive and use that time to study for your exams.
  • Study space – What is the best study space you can think of? Dedicate a quiet study space that is free from distractions where you can concentrate and focus solely on your studies. Let your friends and family know that this is your time to study and not to disturb you during these times.
  • Prioritize work – What subject do you need help with? The best way to study for an online exams is to begin with the most difficult subject first, then work your way to the easiest.
  • Weekly review – What is the best time during the week you can review? Set aside one day per week for a review session and use that time to review class notes and other materials.
  • Get help – The internet is full of information – Make use of your computer and the internet. Anything and everything you need to know is just a click away. Another way to get additional help is to talk to an online tutor or classmate or ask your online instructor for help or clarification if you are not sure about something. There are also several online discussion groups that you can join and get help that way.
  • Cramming – Cramming just does not work! Staying up all night cramming for your online exam for the next day is useless. The night before the online exam should be used for a quick review and then, off to bed early. Your brain and body needs a lot of rest to function at its best.
  • Have a positive attitude! – Relax! Have a positive attitude and approach the online exam as you would approach any other exam. Keep in mind that online exams are a part of your online learning process that you simply cannot avoid. So the best thing that you can do is be prepared.
  • Online exam day – Whatever you do, do not skip breakfast. Did you know that you function better with a healthy breakfast to start your day? Before the exam begins, make sure you have everything you will need for the exam. Read the instructions very carefully and proceed. You will do just fine – you will see.