Transitioning your workshops to a virtual world

Don’t reinvent the wheel… reimagine it

When faced with the challenge of moving your existing face-to-face learning into a virtual environment, the first question shouldn't be about how we adapt to this new method of delivery. In fact, the method is just the icing on the cake.

 

Reinventing the wheel may only mean you give your learners a new wheel. Instead of focusing on the logistics of shifting your day-long session to a day-long virtual session (maybe you've chunked it down – slightly better, but still a crime), use this opportunity to ask…

 

 "Can we do better for our learners?" 

Whatever it's driven by, the challenge of moving your learning to a virtual environment is an opportunity to stop and focus on what is essential in that learning experience – something we rarely get the chance to do!

 

If we want to take it, we now have the chance to create variation in the types of experiences that achieve what you do currently in an entire one-day workshop – and enhance these learning experiences.

 

Reimagining your learning experience

Focus on doing something different and unique. How do we create something new, that achieves the learning outcomes just as well, if not better? We disrespect our learners if we think we can take a one-day workshop and break it into four two-hour sessions.

Instead, consider designing a short-branching or an explore-your-own- adventure style module. Learners can complete these individually, then use a one-hour virtual workshop to debrief and take learnings away as a group. Flipped learning isn't a new concept in itself, but this example shows how it can also be achieved virtually, through a range of learning experiences that achieve the same outcomes. After all, the real value of the workshop is the depth of conversations between participants, not the delivery of the content itself.

 

Breaking down boundaries

We're talking metaphorically and geographically here. For most of us, geography has been a key driver in the length, timing and attendees to our training. And, it's created, teams. These boundaries no longer exist in a digital world; you can build teams and support networks like never before.

Whatever way you want to slice and dice your people (metaphorically only of course), we now have the power to make new decisions about the learning experience you create, and for who. We can create relationships that build ongoing mentoring, start and foster relationships at ongoing touchpoints, and embed learning that you couldn't do before because you needed to be in a training room.

Contrary to popular belief, you can also use virtual learning experiences to enhance your workplace culture. Learning professionals (that's you!) can check in more regularly with learners and facilitate different learning experiences on-the-fly and in the moment. This might be anything from a coaching call to a series of challenges you set over time, and in groups you've created through this new way of connecting.

 

Embedding the learning

Virtual learning creates more opportunities to follow up and support embedding. Learning no longer needs to be one single activity, it can be an ongoing range of virtual experiences, activities, meetings, one-on-ones, networking, and support. Moving this learning stuff we do into a virtual world allows you to break it down, put it back together, and build more of a learning pathway that can happen over time, and at time of need. It allows you to create experiences that help answer the question, "How certain am I that learners have learned this thing?"  

 

Whether you're making change because you no longer have a face-to-face option, or you just want to try something new, remember, start with the end in mind. Use your learning objectives to define your learning experience, then decide on the methods of delivery. You will likely find you're not only doing it better; you're also paving the way for a new culture of learning within your organisation.

 

Want to learn about how our authoring tool Chameleon can enhance your virtual workshops?

Book a demo with one of our friendly team members and find out how Chameleon Creator can be used to create a more engaging virtual workshop experience.

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Rhys Kerr

Written by Rhys Kerr