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How To Convert Your Classroom Coaching To Digital Coaching

Convert Your Classroom Training: 3 Stress Free Steps & 3 Mistakes To Avoid

What should the learner be able to do at the end of the e-learning course? It is usually not surprising how many interactive functions the developer was able to perform in the authoring tool. For example, if learners need to be able to take notes on a document at the end of the training, let them practice. Make your training content virtually ready in the classroom by following three simple steps and avoiding three common mistakes.

eBook release

Trainer Guide: Finding Success in Virtual Training

Find success in your virtual training program.

3 Common Conversion Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake number one

Take an interactive, teacher-led curriculum and turn it into a presentation-style webcast. This is the case when you are short on design time or when you don’t have experienced designers to thoughtfully repurpose the program. While it may be tempting to just take the program slides and toss them into an online classroom, it isn’t.

Remember, you are converting a training program, not a presentation. Just because the attendees are dispersed doesn’t mean your live online class should be a lecture. Think about what you know about adult education and how to engage participants. These guidelines apply to all types of training, including virtual training. Your virtual training design should be as engaging and interactive as if it were delivered in person.

Mistake number two

I think an eight hour teacher-led class will be an eight hour live online virtual session. The reality is that one minute of class time is not equal to one minute of virtual time. Most live online courses last 60 to 90 minutes. This means that an eight-hour lesson is divided into smaller periods of time with a mix of self-directed and facilitated activities. In addition, the activity times in the online program differ.

When converting in-person courses, especially longer ones, find that you will often find ways to shorten activities and save time. While every activity may not move faster, you can use technology tools to your advantage. In a personal class, for example, participants can walk around the room and introduce themselves individually. In the virtual classroom, participants can enter their introductions in the chat window. The in-person tutorials can last more than 20 minutes, while the online chat tutorials can last as little as two minutes.

On the other hand, when viewing a video during a face-to-face lesson, the moderator can simply dim the lights and click “Play”. In the virtual classroom, however, the presenter has to set up the stage for the video, explain how the video will play, mute everyone’s phone lines, and give instructions on technological issues.

Mistake number three

It is never advisable to increase the number of participants in the live online class. Most traditional personal training courses are designed for a small number of participants. Typically, programs have 10 to 25 participants, depending on the topic and other logistics. The temptation to significantly increase the attendance in the appropriate live online class seems difficult to resist.

But just because you can get hundreds of students into an online classroom doesn’t mean you should. It is possible to have an interactive session with large numbers of participants. However, you lose the small-group dynamic that is often required in a training class. Perhaps more importantly, if your training design is for a small group and you apply it to a large group without modification, you will not achieve the intended learning outcomes.

You can avoid these common mistakes by moving your training courses online by making better choices for your virtual training design. And now that you know what mistakes to avoid, let’s learn how to move your traditional training to the online classroom.

Three steps to convert your classroom training

1. Review the learning objectives

The ability to break down and break down components of your personal program into a well-designed blended curriculum is one of the greatest benefits of moving to the virtual classroom. It offers flexibility and an overall better learning experience. Think of your program as a series of building blocks that can be pulled apart and put together in different ways. You can divide the class into topics or sections, and then put them back together in a way that makes most sense for your students and their learning needs.

2. Choose the right activities

Choose the best activities for each learning objective. After you have determined which learning objectives belong to the live online event, the next step is to choose the best activity (or activities) for each activity. The process of selecting activities for a virtual program is similar to the process for a traditional training class. What is different are the tools available on the virtual platform: chat, polling, whiteboarding, breakout groups, file transfers, annotations, etc.

Some activities in a traditional training course can easily be transferred to the live online environment. For example, a paired discussion activity could become a paired online chat activity. Or a class competition between teams for answering questions could become an online competition with survey questions. Or a small group brainstorming session could turn into a breakout activity. And a live software demonstration could become a virtual demonstration through screen sharing.

Your use of the technology tools is only limited by your imagination and creativity. For example, if you typically throw a foam ball from one student to another in the personal classroom, consider how this could work in the virtual classroom. You can choose the first person by typing their name in the chat window, then asking them to choose the next person, and so on until everyone has been selected.

Also, consider how participants can use all of the online tools available to them. After completing a worksheet exercise, have students “raise their hands”. When you ask questions, instruct attendees to respond via chat. When interviewing the group, create challenging survey questions to search for knowledge or to get participants to think.

3. Include participants

Include the participants in tools and dialogues. The biggest benefit of virtual training is that participants don’t have to leave their work area to attend a class. However, it is also the greatest challenge. Distractions abound and participants may be tempted to multitask. Interactive design is one of the best ways to overcome this obstacle. Create a program that participants attend at least every four minutes. Keep their attention on the screen and away from the distractions around them.

Your goal is of course not to keep the participants busy, but to involve them in their learning. When designing for interactivity, make sure that everything in the class leads to the learning outcomes. Pay special attention to the opening moments of your virtual session. Within the first few minutes, participants decide whether to stay engaged or focus their attention on other things. By planning a meaningful and engaging activity in the first few moments of the class, you are starting on the right foot and setting the tone for an interactive session.


One frequently asked question concerns converting long in-person courses into virtual ones: what should you do when starting a two week orientation program? Or a six-week extensive technical series? Either way, you would follow the same process: go back to learning objectives, pick the best activities, and engage students in the online classroom. You will most likely break up the training class into many smaller parts. The two-week orientation can turn into 10 live online sessions with tasks in between. The six-week technical series may become a shorter face-to-face class with virtual follow-up sessions and on-the-job coaching. Your options are endless, provided you involve participants in their own learning

Download the eBook Trainer Guide: Finding Success In Virtual Training for more insider tips to transform your classroom training and engage remote learners.

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