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Five Ways to Improve Your Online Training Efforts in Digital Development

By Tech Change on January 16, 2019

improve your online traning

Every day, we are all tasked with supporting staff in distant offices to use new and emerging technologies. However, emails, chats, and even phone calls can only go so far, and don’t scale well, so sooner or later, we are all running some form of online learning activity.

And let’s be honest – most online trainings are horrible user experiences.

We demand the user download yet other webinar software, then we drone on and on, reading our PowerPoint slides to them, and then ask, “any questions?” to a deafening silence. Then we wonder why our webinar participation rates are so low.

Improve Your Online Training with TechChange

Looking to strengthen an existing training? Or get started with that course you’ve always wanted to teach? Start 2019 by investing in yourself and join us on this journey.

On January 21st, TechChange will launch its first ever certificate course on How to Teach Online. Our goal with the course is to package eight years of experience in designing and delivering online trainings into an immersive and interactive four-week online experience.

The TechChange How to Teach Online course will dive deeper into these topics and also cover the following:

  • The science and psychology of learning online
  • The history and evolution of distance learning
  • Best practices in designing powerful offline and online activities
  • Working effectively with subject matter experts in course design process
  • How to stage and scope good online assessments
  • Tips for running a best-in-class webinar
  • How to get more engagement out of your online community
  • How to deliver content in low-resource settings
  • Educational credentialing with blockchain
  • Business models in online learning: how to make it sustainable
  • How to deal with complex language and translation challenges
  • The future of learning

We’re excited to have some of our favorite online educators from a range of organizations lined up to help us shape this course: Humentum, UNC Business School, +Acumen, UN University for Peace, Training Resource Group, Panagora, Jhpiego, TechSoup and more.

We’ll also review a number of educational tools and platforms including Zoom, Articulate 360, Udemy, Teachable, Google Hangouts, Slack, Coursera, Moodle and feature creative ways to integrate them into your course experience.

Sign up now and use code ICTWORKS on checkout and get $100 off your course.

Four More Secrets to Better Online Training

To get you excited about improving your online training efforts in 2019, here are four more ways you can improve your webinars today. Be sure to add your own tips and tricks in the comments.

1. Understand Demand for Your Trainings

Do you know what your participants really want from your webinar? Have you asked them? And double-checked their responses with data? When CRS looked at their webinar data, they realized that webinars from internal presenters had better participation than external vendors. They also experimented with cutting their webinar from 60 to 30 minutes. These two actions doubled their participation rate.

2. Test Presenter AV in Advance

At TechChange, we’ve found that good webinars start with advance AV testing for speakers, with the same computer, microphone and set up that the presenter plans to use during the event. Also, invest in sound quality with a range of microphone solutions for your in-person guests, such as lav mics, booms, and backups. Finally, make sure everyone presenting has a quiet work environment – no one wants to hear sirens in their webinar.

3. Constantly Include Participants

Good facilitation in a webinar is vital to keeping participants engaged. A few ideas to consider:

  • do a roll call of participants,
  • mix in questions and polls every 5-10 minutes,
  • use humor intentionally,
  • be spontaneous where possible.

In this era of diminished attention spans, interactivity and spontaneity go a long way.  We will have Dar Maxwell from Panagora lead a session on how to facilitate a great webinar that will expand on these tips and offer more.

4. Generate Insight with Discussion Questions

Staging clear and effective questions at the appropriate depth is critical to the online learning process. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a great framework for ensuring that discussion questions are well-structured.

For instance, consider the prompts:

  • What recommendations does the author make for improving the mobile money ecosystem? Write your responses in the space below.
  • On page 4 of the following report, the author lists three recommendations for creating  more robust mobile money ecosystems. Based on your experience, what might you add as a fourth recommendation and why?

The former is a “Remembering” question, since we’re prompting the learner to recall facts from the reading. The latter however, would be a “Creating” question since we’re asking the learner to generate a new insight based both on the reading and his/her experience.

Generally it’s better to push learners towards higher order thinking that involves more creation and evaluation, but it’s also good to ensure a balance in the types of questions and assessments used in an eLearning course.

Want to learn more tips and tricks? Sign up now and use code ICTWORKS on checkout and get $100 off your TechChange course.

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TechChange provides online professional development in technology and social change for implementers in public health, emergency response, and monitoring and evaluation. TechChange connects them with relevant content, experts, and certification using their facilitated learning platform.
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