Online: Meeting Your Training Needs

Your staff may require training, perhaps to meet an annual certification requirement. But, what do you when it isn’t possible to gather everyone in a classroom? Luckily, we live in an age of online training and meeting technology. Distance learning has never been easier to present effectively.

However, setting the schedule, selecting an online learning platform such as Zoom or GoToMeeting, and ensuring everyone has computers with webcams is only the beginning.  For online training to be effective there are some things to keep in mind due to the differences between online training and conventional classroom training.

Effective Online Training Techniques for Instructors

The instructor must get to know the software ahead of time.  It is equally essential that the instructor allow time at the beginning of the first training session to introduce the students to the software and ensure that they can connect their audio and video and adjust their settings.

In many online training software programs, the instructor can mute all student microphones.  This will eliminate background noise distractions.

The instructor should begin the class with an agenda to give the students a clear understanding of what will be covered and in what timeframes.  Information on breaks should be included.  It is recommended to allow for a 10-minute break every hour.

Online Training Etiquette

The instructor should discuss online training classroom etiquette, such as how to ask questions and interact with other students.  It is recommended that something like raising a hand or using the software’s messaging/chat feature to be used for this purpose.

While presenting, the instructor should look at the camera to create eye contact with your students and ask lots of questions.

Keeping Students Engaged and on Track

The instructor should do everything you can to keep all students fully engaged by using the features available in the software, such as polling (i.e., Enter your answers: Does the flow increase or decrease?), setting up breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, sharing a screen, using annotation tools while showing a slide or sharing a screen and using the chat functions.

Also, instructors can implement online quizzes to review each topic before moving on to the next.

When delivering a presentation and sharing images, files, or videos, the instructor should pause. This will give the students a moment to take in what has been shared.  The instructor should at the end of each commentary to allow students to engage before continuing.  Slow and steady is more effective in the on-line training environment than rushed.

Effective Online Training Techniques for Students

Being a student in an online class is very different than sitting in a classroom with the instructor and other students.  For the training to be effective each student must make an effort to engage with the training fully.

First of all, even though the instructor should provide an overview of the training software’s functionality, it will be helpful for the online learning session if each student prepares ahead of time by getting to know the software a little bit.  Also, test the camera, microphone and speakers ahead of time for functionality.

Each student should set up a dedicated study location and try to eliminate all potential distractions.

Resources to Stay Engaged

During the class, each student should remain focused on the lesson.  It will help to follow along in any handout or book that was provided and to ask questions.  If a student must briefly leave the class for any reason, his or her microphone should be muted and the camera paused.

Remember, each student will only get as much out of the learning as he or she is willing to put in.  It will take more effort on each student’s part in an online class than in an in-person classroom session.

Additional Reading

Learn more about some of the available learning platforms and recommended on-line training techniques at the following web sites:

Check out these platforms:

Go To Meeting


Adobe Connect


Read about techniques:

College Info Geek