What is the burden of going from in-person to virtual?

In this COVID era, I bet a lot of you might be looking for an answer to this question. The truth is, we are, too.

So, in an effort to get to the bottom of this, we decided to allocate today’s Train Like A Champion post to a series of multiple choice poll questions to learn more about the burden you’re shouldering when moving from in-person to virtual training programs. If you have five minutes or so, we’d love your thoughts on the following questions.

In return, we’ll share the results in an upcoming post!

Which is generally easier:

Approximately how long does it take you to convert one hour of training from in-person to virtual?

Approximately how long does it take you to develop activities/lesson plan/slides for a 1-hour virtual session from scratch?

Which virtual delivery platform do you use most often?

Are you generally happy with the platform you use most often?

During this COVID-19 era, what percent of your live training is being delivered virtually?

Which virtual feature do you use most often for engagement and interaction?

How do you feel about designing and delivering virtual training?

How do you feel about the effectiveness of live, virtual training?

Are there some questions I haven’t asked through these poll questions that could offer additional insights into the burden you’ve faced going from in-person to virtual? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section.

Always take the conversation

At the beginning of the month, Betty Dannewitz released a podcast that we had an opportunity to record together and in which we talked about the importance of reaching out (from her end) and always taking the conversation (from my end).

It was a fun conversation and if you have a bit of time, I’d love for you to give it a listen and let us know what you think.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in this conversation because it got me reflecting on the importance of two things:

  1. Not being too shy to reach out, and
  2. Not being too busy to take the conversation.

As L&D professionals, constantly learning and finding new sources of inspiration should be in our DNA.

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5 Reasons Why Joining Your Local ATD Chapter is a Good Idea

These are strange times we’re living in. Who knows when many of us will return to our old offices (if we ever do… some claim that physical office space may become obsolete by the end of this whole quarantine). Who knows when we’ll be able to connect with old co-workers around the water cooler. Who knows when we’ll next stop by someone’s cubicle to bounce an idea around.

Physical distancing means that in-person connections will naturally fade. In the world of learning and development professionals, these connections have often been the lifeblood of new and creative ideas.

So what’s an L&D person to do?

If you’re not yet a member of your local ATD chapter, this could be a really good time to consider it. Here are five reasons why:

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I was a white racist. I think training made me a better person.

With a headline like that, I’m guessing my future career in politics may be over before it begins. I’m ok with that.

For a long time I felt that we lived in a nation that was realizing Dr. King’s dream, where people in the United States in the 2000s had every opportunity to be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. I worked in Washington, DC, in a youth center helping students earn their GED credential so they could have bigger and better opportunities. My students seemed to enjoy my tough love approach and my sense of humor and perhaps most importantly, my presentation style – it worked for my students in a way that their traditional high schools didn’t.

There were times when my students would be talking about “white people” and I’d give them a look and they’d quickly say: “Oh, we don’t see you as ‘white’, Brian!”

I worked with neighborhood gang members and drug dealers and it really felt to me that with some hard work, a good support system and some determination, anyone in this country had an opportunity to make it as far as they themselves wanted to go. I saw it with my own eyes! My students were earning their GEDs and getting jobs!

Then, a little over 13 years ago, I was serving as the training director for the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association. Our organization worked closely with the foster care system – a system which touched families of color at an overwhelmingly disproportionate rate compared to the general demographic make-up of the United States. Our organization’s volunteers across the country were overwhelmingly white and middle aged.

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What kind of facilitator are you?

Designing effective training is one thing. Designing training that can be delivered effectively (by you or by someone else) is a bit of a different animal. It doesn’t matter whether the training is being delivered in-person or virtually, the person delivering the session is an enormous X Factor in whether the training will be effective or not.

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When technology attacks (Virtual Training Edition)

What happens if there’s some sort of technological glitch (or worse, a catastrophic freezing up of your computer) when you’re delivering a virtual session?

This week, my colleague Lauren Wescott offered a series of virtual sessions focused on the role of a producer (there’s one more session tomorrow in case you’re interested in signing up!). A producer exists to ensure your presenter can focus wholeheartedly on presenting information and engaging the participants.

One important way a producer can do this is by helping troubleshoot issues with the technology while the facilitator focuses on delivering a high quality session. Below is a guide that may help you identify some potential issues your participants are having specifically with Zoom (we’re working on a similar job aid for other platforms).

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Which virtual activities should you be using to help people learn?

Several weeks ago, I asked readers to share how confident they felt in delivering virtual presentations. This was the result:

Over the past week we offered a series of webinars to share some thoughts on how to more effectively convert programs from in-person to virtual delivery and hundreds of Train Like A Champion readers participated in these webinars. From conversations that took place during these webinars, it appeared that one of the biggest sources of anxiety for people entering the world of virtual training delivery is their unfamiliarity with which virtual tools to use, when.

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4 productive uses of your time while quarantined

This is unlike any other time in our lives. Many of us are living under stay-at-home orders. Zoom is our new way of life. And we have even more time to scroll through social media and news sites to see what’s happening in the world and to search for some glimmers of hope.

Perhaps we’ll be back to normal in a few months. Maybe it’ll take a year for things to truly feel “normal” again. Whenever it is that “normal” returns, will you be prepared for it? Here are four ideas of actions you can be taking now to be sure you’re prepared when “normal” arrives.

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