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OMICRON has been a customer of ti communication for many years. With our Train-The-Online trainer programme, we have worked for the company in numerous internationally composed groups. The special challenge was to create an appropriate and effective learning and cooperation atmosphere in combination with a professional learning and meeting environment in the virtual space.
OMICRON has been a customer of ti communication for many years. With our Train-The-Online trainer programme, we have worked for the company in numerous internationally composed groups. The special challenge was to create an appropriate and effective learning and cooperation atmosphere in combination with a professional learning and meeting environment in the virtual space. Our trainer Stephan Hild, developer of this programme, reports below on his experiences during the intensive training weeks.
„If your mood this morning was a weather condition, which icon would represent it best?” was an intro none of my participants in the Train-The-Online-Trainer programme carried out for OMICRON between February and May 2021 got by. And it wouldn’t be the only one: deliberately I put a lot of emphasis on something I like to call “Check-In”, a powerful tool to create social proximity, involvement and a positive emotional state of mind in the virtual seminar setting.
As cognitive scientists had shown that these are among the most effective prerequisites for effective learning, we explored a wide range of engaging intros for online workshops. Says one participant: “One of the good learnings from this training was to emphasize on using innovative check-in methods (…) to ensure better involvement and attention”.
It seems that keeping up the attention and avoiding the seductive pull of competing activities such as checking emails or referring to the smart phone while hiding behind a “grey tile”, are among the greatest challenges for online trainers. Thus, I put a lot of emphasis on various ways of maintaining a high level of energy and commitment, keeping in mind different types of learners. We explored the benefits of group work, completing tasks in break-out groups. “Using discussion (breakout session) after short spans of content helps to keep the optimal learning environment (…) can really enhance the training experience for the participant” was another key learning of a participant.
Using digital tools to support the application of learned content and to facilitate interactivity among the participants was another key take-away for some of the participants. “There were useful tips about how to (…) use a variety of tools which I liked. I have used some of the techniques and tools which we were introduced to in my trainings, such as collaborative white boards” concluded another participant.
Needless to say, basic aspects like lighting, sound and camera angle played a role as well. “There were a lot of small things (…) we normally ignore/underestimate about setup/planning before training which can really enhance the training experience for the participant” says one of the colleagues, echoed by another “What the Train-The-Online Trainer course taught me was how to prepare all the details (do’s and don’ts) to have a successful online training”.
For me as a trainer it is a joy to learn from my participants as well. One really cool check-in question I learned from a US-American participant is this: “in the next minutes exchange on the following question – what is your second favourite fruit?”. Learning is fun – with a smile on your face. “These were really nice sessions. I did enjoy learning during the sessions and would try to deliver the same experience for all my training participants”.