Tip #885: How to Meet a Virtual Training Design Challenge

Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.”  Personal Trainer Land

One of the things I like best about a day-long training program is that there is ample opportunity for participants to practice what they’ve learned. We know that it is unlikely they will have uninterrupted occasions to practice once they’ve left our session. They need as much encouragement, feedback and support during the class to feel confident enough to use their new skills once back on the job.

Difficult Decisions Have to be Made

Having to cut a program time in half always requires difficult decisions about what content can reasonably be handled in that timeframe and how to convey that content while still leaving enough time for practice.

This becomes even more problematic when a classroom program needs to be converted into a virtual program. The programs must be shorter, content must be limited, and many learning activities must be incorporated to keep our participants engaged.

My Challenge

I have two day-long classroom programs to convert to half-day virtual programs.

My programs are learner-centered and there are always lots of learning activities to engage as well as educate the participants. Having sufficient activities is not going to be an issue for me.

So, what’s my problem?

Well, first, I need to redefine the learning objectives for each program to what is possible in a three-hour session. I cannot provide an hour of new skill practice, but I do want the participants to get to an application level of learning, not just stop at comprehension.

Second, we know that participants need to be engaged in an activity at least every 5-7 minutes in a virtual program. Since I like to launch learners on a voyage of self-discovery, I have to decide what activities will help them learn the content and what activities will help them learn how to apply the content.

Entertaining, Educational, and Engaging

I recently read an article that indicated microlearning needs to be entertaining, educational, and engaging. I’m sure the author was thinking about short bursts of learning, shorter than the three hours I have for my programs. But I think the idea still applies.

So, that’s my goal. To create half-day virtual learning experiences that entertain and engage while still educating the participants and letting them practice what they learned. Since my topics are conflict management and dealing with difficult people, wish me luck!

Question:  How do you balance content and activities in a virtual program?

May your learning be sweet-and safe.


#learningdevelopment #virtualtraining #virtualcurriculumdesign




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