When Distance Learning is the Only Kronos Training Option
May 14, 2012
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I'm working with a customer now that has set a significant restriction. They will only use distance learning for their live events. They have sites across the country and don't want to spend resources moving people to a class. OK, is this really a restriction?
OK, maybe restriction is the wrong word. While working on building my self esteem, I will also review the advantages of distance learning, and how it is a really useful tool in a successful learning plan. First things first:
Period. Distance learning has been around for over 15 years and has been done well almost as long. If you aren't familiar with it, check them out. There are a multitude of them out there. A lot of organizations are even using conference call applications like Go To Meeting to conduct a class. With video, it's close to the real thing...
Listen, distance learning wasn't devised for the sole reason to save money...really...but that is the biggest reason, no question. There are opportunity to take advantage of. Because of the cost savings inherent in distance learning, there may be budget for improved materials. Often distance learning courses run short. Why? There are many reasons, but two stand out. First, participants in a distance learning course are far more distracted. There are other things to look at, other things to do. It's easy to put the class on mute and take a call or two; work on that to do list, or grab a soda from the vending machine. Distance learning courses also handicap the instructor. It's a challenge to know who is having difficulty in a distance learning class. In an instructor led course, it fairly simple to spot the participant that is challenged. it's pretty simple to understand the signals they put out through their body language. So how do you manage? You ask questions...a lot of questions...often times calling participants out by name to verify that they understand what you are presenting. That takes time and effort, but can be managed.
you need to make the best of it. How can you do that?
If you can get your learners away from their cubes, away from their phones and away from their computers, you are half way there. Basically, minimize distraction as best as possible.
Tell jokes, ask questions, get people to talk as best you can. Basically you need to get, and keep the participants involved. In this way you will keep your participants more engaged in the class. Sure they may have other distractions, but if you keep the communication with them, it will be harder for them to be distracted.
In every way. Make sure you introduce yourself and get introductions from every participant. Make sure you ask a lot of questions...AND GET ANSWERS! Make sure you answer every question, even if it means telling the class that you don't know. Make sure to get those answers to class participants, even if you have to e mail them after the class. Make sure you keep those lines of communication open. They are the best way to ensure a successful class.
I wish you all the best in your Kronos Training implementation.