Ensuring Effective Remote Training with Chris Christenson
We’re excited to have Chris Christenson, the director of education at Noria. He’s been there for seven years and has been in the adult learning and education field for about 16 years. That involved building curriculum courses and programs. He also did training in classrooms for adult learners. Chris became a performance coach which helped him focus on individual performance. That’s helped him at Noria with building more courses for adult learning. It’s also enabled them to upgrade their trainers’ skills.
Together we’ll take an in-depth look at:
- What remote training is
- When to use it
- Its challenges over traditional face to face training
… and so much more!
What is remote training for adults?
Adult remote training has different levels. It could be:
- Getting trained from the corporate or home office through an online conference call
- A computer-based training
Remote training involves interactions between an instructor and a student, utilizing technology. Most right now are video conferencing webinar technologies.
Why use remote training?
You may have individuals located in different plants that need training. But, it’s not cost-effective to organize training for an individual. Thus, all staff at different plants can join a single virtual classroom to learn together. That organization then has the opportunity to collaborate with each other.
In a traditional classroom, a demonstration would need someone to stand at the front of the class. That would mean some people get an obscured view. But with a remote classroom, you can place a camera in front of the demonstration board. There’d be no blocking the view for anyone.
Remote classes also allow the attendees to have some level of anonymity. That way they can engage and ask questions they wouldn’t have been comfortable doing in a live class. This increases the level of conversations in the remote environment.
Also, the recordings and virtual tools allow attendees to review the training. There’s an idea that training falls under a 70, 20, 10 rule. As you go through course content, you’re only retaining about 10% of that information. By going through discussions and implementation of the training is when you get the 70%. That’s helped by the repetitive nature of going back through the training content. Remote training comes with supporting tech to create an almost blended environment. This further helps with the learning process.
Challenges of virtual vs face to face training
The challenge with remote classes is you lose the camaraderie from social interactions. For instance, walking with friends could offer a learning opportunity at that time. It removes the instructor, allowing learners to share and assimilate the information. That way, they’d see how the training applies to their situation.
Video conferencing technologies like Zoom and Webex have tried to help that but it hasn’t completely replaced it. Different people have different learning styles. There are those who need social interactions to help them along. Yet, someone that needs to see, read, and listen would enjoy the web classes. Content creators get tasked with helping those at a disadvantage to still learn.
Ways to improve the effectiveness of remote training
Your training has to apply to your day to day environment. Sometimes after a training, learner goes right back to doing things the same way they always did them. The culture at the plant doesn’t make the area conducive for any growth that could come from the training. There’s also training that’s good but that doesn’t have realistic applications.
A learner could also have issues with knowing how and when to apply their knowledge on the floor. A coach guiding the training would work best for someone in that situation. The training would not only be theoretical but also practical. As with the 70, 20, 10 model, proper learning only starts to occur when there’s a culture shift. This helps the learner to accommodate and reinforce the training lessons.
Trainers can also hold learners accountable for their lessons. That means they’ll pay more attention to applying solutions on the plant floor. Without that, the training won’t have the expected returns.
How can leaders help learners manage expectations?
The plant manager needs to first know why they are training staff. From that point, they should be able to explain to their employees why the training is important. They should mention what the area of focus is. After the training, it helps to have a KPI based on the results they expect to see in that area of the plant. KPIs could be based on industry standards that apply in that area. That ensures the knowledge gets practically applied.
Is offline work and homework for remote learning necessary?
Any homework given needs to be effective to promote learning. Homework works best for theoretical lessons such as a leadership course. That’s because it would make sure you’re reiterating your learning. But, for hands-on tasks, you will need homework that is also hands-on. This would serve as a reminder of what they learned and how they should approach the issue. In general, adult homework should be short but to the point.
How to ensure the training is effective
You’ll need to check if the training provider:
- Has a mechanism for reinforcement.
- Has tools to help you go back and track progress
- Has the ability to help use KPIs to check if the training is being applied
Look for a provider giving continuous support to connect your ideas to the training. Those with materials that do that are even better. You could have a list of focus questions before every shift to jog your team’s memory.
How to ensure students get the most from the training
For starters, they need to get enough sleep in the days leading up to training. That’s especially if the training is not happening during their normal shift hours. Some wind up falling asleep during the training, which means they miss out on a lot.
They should also come with questions they’d like answered. Before the course starts, look at the topics it will get into. Then you can plan questions based on how you see it impacting your job for the better. Also, ask yourself what you’d like to learn from that subject so you can improve. Training should make the learner’s work easier. So have questions that will help you achieve your goals much easier than before.
How to get an effective trainer
This field is very technical which makes most content fact-based. A lot of actual results and facts are used to create the content. Unfortunately, that turns it into a very lecture-based training. This wouldn’t be effective with remote training. You need to have instructors that are facilitators. They should have methods in place to engage their audience to take part. That could be done through:
- Question and answer areas
While the instructor’s in class, they can ask for solutions to theoretical problems. Such activities help create a relationship between the audience and instructors. The trainer could also add a bit of humor to help maintain engagement through the course.
How to achieve success with remote training
The best way to achieve success would be through building a rapport. The instructor needs to ask themselves whether what they are doing is creating value to the experience. Are you being intentional in creating engagement? Then for the learner, they need to be able to ask questions on how to apply their training. Has the leader made it clear to their learners how they intend for them to apply what they’re taught? What are the expected results?
Interactive communication service providers should improve the quality of their services. That’s to better cater to remote learners and trainers. The people appearing on camera also need to be more comfortable. That’s especially for those that learn best through interactive remote video sessions.
It’s essential to be accepting of the shifts brought on to communication and training. This method of learning is always growing. That’s because it saves on things like time and money. You need to take a good look at your organization first. See whether you’re putting out fires, or preventing them from ever occurring. The answer to that will help you see how well a training course will advance changes.
Chris Christenson Links:
- Chris Christenson Linkedin
- Book: Putting the One Minute Manager to Work: How to Turn the 3 Secrets into Skills
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