From Flip Charts to Webcams: Tools for Online Trainers
Training courses have evolved over the years – we no longer need chalkboards and No. 2 pencils. For online trainers, it is a completely new approach, but this does not mean you have to leave all the old ways behind. Here are some tips to help you spruce up your course and engage your learners in a new and creative way.
Replace your whiteboard with
Trade in your dry erase markers for a mouse or stylus. Use your online training software’s annotation tools to mark up your own presentation or try a digital whiteboard like Talkboard, which is a free, collaborative drawing and writing pad. Invite e-Learners to join your Talkboard and brainstorm together in real-time, or ask them to share their own screens during your presentation to showcase their mobile work.
Ditch your classroom for
A coffee shop or shared workspace. Get your eLearners to break out of the traditional corporate learning bubble by encouraging them to train in an inspiring environment. There are many apps that help students find free places to work and learn, such as CubeFree. Share these apps with your students in your registration process or during your first session.
Forget about outdated textbooks
Adult learners are more prone to absorb information that is applicable to their daily lives. Add current events, YouTube videos, and fresh case studies to your PowerPoint presentation and then transform it into an HTML page that your students can access on the go via their mobile devices. PowerPoint converters, like our own iSpring products, let you convert your presentations into a modern textbook of sorts, filled with videos and live links that are engaging and relevant.
Turn your students into teachers
Use your online training platform’s breakout or group work feature to sort eLearners into small groups to work on projects, train each other, and share ideas. This feature gives trainees the power to showcase their practical knowledge, create connections between your course content and their jobs, and conduct roleplaying simulations related to key ideas. Allowing students to showcase their expertise also builds a comfortable rapport between the students and instructor based on equality and shared knowledge.
Do not settle for stock photography
Adding images to a presentation can bring your content to life. However, stock photography can sometimes seem unnatural or awkward. Use a free photo-editing tool, such as PicMonkey, to touch up your own photos or add text, filters, and photo treatments to stock images. A well-placed, stylized quote or caption can turn a stale photo into a unique way to highlight your main points.
Think global, not local
Mobile learning brings your learners and presenters together from all over the world. Do not limit yourself to inviting guest speakers from your organization. Reach out to other inspirational instructors, business leaders, and innovators. With the ease of connecting via webcam, you can bridge space and time with little effort, so it is worth targeting your industry’s top thinkers. After all, you never know who might say yes to your invitation to speak.
Show, do not tell
When teaching in an online environment, you are not limited to static text and pictures. Rich media and interactive content can transform your eLearning session into an engaging and modern corporate learning opportunity. Try adding impactful animation to your charts and graphs to illustrate the effect of certain figures or to show the evolution of a data trend. AmCharts is a robust, free tool that brings life to your information in an impactful way. Unlike PowerPoint animation, you can craft your animation around data’s behavior, so the movement reaffirms your central ideas rather than serving as a transition between slide components.
Make it fun
Get your eLearners involved by adding polls and quizzes to your lecture. Most online training platforms have this feature built into their interface for free. You can share results in real-time to add a friendly, competitive edge to the course that will keep students engaged and on the edge of their seats. Use this tool on the fly or as part of a lesson plan to keep trainees engaged.
Remember that sharing is caring
There are hundreds of free cloud storage services available to help you organize, store, and share your lecture recordings, course materials, and presentations. Dropbox is a great solution for sharing files and has a 2GB basic plan for starters. You can upgrade based on your storage needs for a nominal fee, and sharing is always easy and secure. Whether you want to keep an archive of your work or share certain folders and course content with students, Dropbox allows you to customize whom you share which files with for added flexibility. (Note: The free version of Dropbox does not play presentations live on the web; they must be downloaded and saved to a user’s computer first.)
For live playback of presentations on any device, even with the free version, iSpring Cloud is your solution. Store up to 100 content items for free on the secure server with absolutely no file size limits. Use it without limitations for 30 days before brief iSpring ads show up at the beginning of your content playback. Access everything on an iPad from a convenient folder view or beautiful carousel view, and share content via a short link, email, or social media. Plus, you can even embed presentations in your own website with an embed code.
BONUS: For your students
To add even more value to your trainees’ corporate learning experience, share a few of your favorite productivity apps at the beginning of your course. Although trainees may have already heard about popular tools such as Evernote and Trello, sharing your thoughts on how to use apps in new and innovative ways to deepen the learning experience could spark new and inspiring ways for you and your students to meet your training goals together.
What experiences have you had mobilizing your training experience? Share your stories in the comments below!