Get better engagement and results from your sessions
As an online trainer, you naturally spend a lot of time with students, and you may hear yourself saying things like “you never stop learning.” Such is the case for you, too. Once you’ve got the hang of online training, you can always learn something new and improve the online sessions you already host.
The first step in moving training courses to the virtual classroom is designing your course and materials for online instruction. But once you’re hosting online training sessions, there’s still a lot you can do to get better engagement and results from each session.
These tips will help you take your training program to the next level with GoToTraining.
Consider monetising your online training courses
Just by hosting your sessions online, you are already saving money and time, because you’re eliminating the need to travel to in-person sessions. Saving money is always a business win, but making money is even better.
If you’re an external trainer, you probably already charge for your sessions. If you’re a trainer for a company that offers product training to customers, why not consider doing the same? Charging for your online training sessions can turn your program into a profit centre for your company. After all, you put time and money into building a valuable training program. You may be surprised by what people will pay for the courses you’re already hosting, and putting a price on something can make it seem more valuable to the consumer.
The great news is that charging for your courses in GoToTraining is as easy as a few clicks thanks to GoToTraining RevStream. This feature integrates with PayPal so you can set course prices, collect payment in different currencies and track payments — all within your event setup in GoToTraining. Charging for your training courses may be just the program boost you need.
“The biggest impact of GoToTraining with RevStream was the increase of virtual training enrolments and revenues, which jumped four-fold after we switched from our paper- and email-based process. This tool makes registration and payment easy and seamless.”
Join the social media conversations
The social media backchannel — conversations about your training topic that go on via social media before, during and after your course — exists whether you want it to or not, so use it to your advantage. There are many benefits when you do, including more engaged participants and content that resonates more with your audience.
It’s easy to keep track of conversations via hashtags. To do so, just search some keywords that relate to your topic on Twitter and see which hashtags people are using. Joining the conversations people are having on the topic gives you an opportunity to learn what your audience is most pained by, curious about and interested in.
You gain even more insight when you create custom hashtags for each of your courses or course topics. Include the hashtag on your registration page and in your promotional communications so that your registrants and attendees know how to tag the conversations they’re having on Twitter and Facebook. This way, you and other registrants can find them.
As you monitor these conversations, look for places to tailor your course to your attendees’ needs. Not only does interacting with registrants via social media give you greater insight into your audience’s current skill and pain points, but it also shows that you are an engaged presenter who prefers interactive sessions to monologues.
To get the conversation going, promote your event via social media and tag your message with the hashtag. With one click, you can share your scheduled training directly from your online GoToTraining account to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, making it even easier to promote your event.
Call on your audience to participate
With mobile devices so common, there’s always a chance that your students will multitask during training courses, whether in person or online. So it’s up to you to promote interactivity and engagement during your course. Activities like polls, Q & A and group discussions encourage your participants to perk up and participate. Video is more attention-grabbing than slides, so turning on your webcam at the beginning of class and during Q & A will also increase audience attentiveness. It can also personalise your presentation and help your audience get comfortable with you.
To monitor attendee attentiveness, look no further than the attentiveness meter on the GoToTraining dashboard. There you can see what percentage of your audience has your presentation in the foreground on their computer. You can also see whether there are any hands raised. Use these tools to check in with your audience regularly, and if you see attentiveness dropping, you can take action. Stop and ask a question, launch a poll or call out a few attentive attendees by name to see if they have any questions or points of discussion. Calling on audience members by name is a great way to perk up the whole audience. If you get a discussion going, ask attendees if they are willing to turn on their webcams while they chat to create a panel of sorts during your course.
The Breakout feature on GoToTraining makes it easy for students to actively participate, work together and exchange ideas with classmates all over the country or the globe. Students can also virtually raise their hands from within their Breakout sessions to get your attention and ask questions, giving you valuable — and instant — feedback.
Want to see what your audience sees? You can view a thumbnail preview in the GoToTraining panel of what your audience is seeing on your screen. This Audience View feature lets you double-check that you’re sharing the right content with your audience. If you notice attentiveness going down, make sure you’re displaying the correct monitor or program.
Audience View also includes a meter that measures what percentage of your audience is seeing your current screen content. Each time you change what you’re sharing on your screen, it’s normal for the meter to drop momentarily to zero and then climb back up to 100. If the meter stops short of 100 percent, that’s a clue that some attendees have low Internet bandwidth, which is keeping them from loading the content quickly. If this happens, check the questions pane for messages from attendees about not being able to see the screen or hear the audio. You should let them know to check their Internet connection or dial in by phone to save bandwidth for screen sharing.
Offer your attendees different ways to join
A great way to ensure good attendance and reviews for your course is to offer your audience multiple ways to join. People work from everywhere these days, and they connect online differently depending on where they are.
By letting your audience join using their smartphone or tablet or dial in by phone instead of via VoIP, you can increase your reach and ensure your mobile learners are included. If you know that even one of your attendees prefers to join while on the go, you should also think about optimising your slide design and presentation for mobile viewing.
Making your courses mobile friendly transforms the way your audience thinks about your event. They can join GoToTraining sessions from anywhere with the GoToTraining apps for iOS and Android, so let them know in your promotional communications. And for people connecting without secure Wi-Fi, consider offering integrated international and toll-free audio conferencing.
Your GoToTraining account comes with 2 GB of online storage for your recordings and materials. When you store your recordings and materials under the My Recordings section of your GoToTraining account, GoToTraining keeps count of how many times a file is viewed. This can give you great insight into what content your audience finds most valuable. You can even generate a recording report in GoToTraining for further engagement evaluation.
Keep track of courses in catalogues Often you may host multiple, related courses that together create a series. To easily keep track of and promote your series, rather than a single event, create a course catalog in GoToTraining.
“GoToTraining appealed to us because of the ability to catalogue a lot of our training materials in one centralised training location, build up a library of current and future training materials, and conduct surveys and tabulate the feedback for continuous improvement.”
Rotary District 5550