Corona… we train nevertheless
– just online
An experience report from a trainer
In principle, it doesn’t take much to participate in our online training, but it is helpful – like in our case – if the participants are equipped with notebooks and headsets by their company. If they then also have sufficient permissions on the device to run the client of the classroom software, almost everything is prepared.
Requirement for Participants:
- Stable internet connection
- Calling websites and (depending on the training) also running SSH should be possible (the latter sometimes conflicts with VPN dial-up and company policy)
- Quiet working environment
- Headphones / microphone
- Webcam (turned on) is desirable. This supports the collaborative classroom atmosphere, lowers anonymity, and experience has shown to increase participant participation rates.
Sufficient permissions to run the classroom software
With that, we were ready to go. Right on time for the start of the training, all participants gathered in the virtual classroom. Now it was time to record some notes and rules regarding absences, breaks and requests to speak.
The online version first requires a short briefing on how to use the tool. How to signal a question, or show that everything has been understood, how to react to a request from the trainer, how does the chat work, how do we share our screen contents, etc.?
After the successful briefing, all participants now know how to agree to the now established speech culture – refusal is not accepted, the “no” button is grayed out. But all joking aside – in order for an online training to not end in chaos, it needs discipline and just the adherence to rules. Of course, the rules are not meant to prevent valuable debates and experiences between participants and trainers.
A training – presence as well as online – lives through the attention and participation of the participants. Therefore, not losing attention is the most important thing. Monotonous PowerPoint lectures already promote boredom in face-to-face trainings. This effect is even stronger with the online version. Therefore – and also to increase the participation rate – it is important to use a broad spectrum of “media changes”. The portfolio ranges from live demonstrations in the console, whiteboarding, quick surveys and interactive quizzes as well as knowledge checks, to group work in separate channels, to hands-on labs in sandbox accounts. Our trainers have the appropriate tools to support the respective groups as in a real classroom or individually in the labs of individual participants.
For the above reasons, online training also has limits in terms of the number of participants, as we as tecRacer also want to deliver the usual high training quality here.
Adequate individual support and the ability to respond to questions from all participants is only possible to a limited extent by a trainer, even online. On the other hand, the virtual classroom offers not only challenges, but also further opportunities. For example, colleagues from other locations can be conveniently connected for support or to provide first-hand expert knowledge.
If all participants take part and contribute their experiences, it almost feels like a classroom training, except that everyone has to go out to eat on their own.
In our short 7-minute video we show you how a virtual training works technically and in terms of content
The training scripts as well as the lab environment for the hands-on exercises are virtualized accordingly and are of course completely available to you in the same way as for on-site training. If you have a problem during the hands-on exercises, the trainer can switch directly to your screen, provided of course that you allow this.
Thus, you basically have the same course experience as a participant in the physical classroom, only you have to take care of the coffee supply yourself …