Here at Collaboration Insight we are constantly extolling the benefits of video conferencing and showcasing some really interesting and exciting use cases; anything from advanced telemedicine sessions to connecting manufacturing sites all over the world. Training, however, is one of those uses of video conferencing that has been around since the first VC units began to be available. When it comes to utilizing video for training there are a number of key areas an instructor should focus on in order to achieve a successful session. In addition, the right technology and features can help take a subpar training experience and raise it to new heights.
With video, the focus is generally on the participants in the meeting themselves, how good their video looks and how well they can interact with others. Now this is certainly important in a training session, as video makes it easy for the trainer to evaluate the learner’s comprehension. Content, however, is perhaps more important in training. If so, it is important to choose a technology solution that puts a strong emphasis on content sharing and interaction. You might find a web conferencing platform with video is a better choice than a standard video conferencing setup. A solution like Cisco’s WebEx or Citrix’s GoToMeeting provide incredibly high fidelity content sharing while still enabling the face to face interaction of video.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that when content is being presented the video stream of the instructor is not interrupted. Often times this is referred to as dual stream content sharing. If this is not available, a learner can only see the content and the instructor cannot see their students when content is shared. This drastically reduces the advantage of seeing those teaching and those learning.
Question & Answer
A key aspect of any training session is the ability for students to ask questions and interact with the instructor. With this in mind, it is important to look at video technology that includes the ability to ask questions via text. The questions can be easily referenced and attributed to the learner who posed it. This transcript can also be incredibly useful for shaping future sessions and making improvements to the content presented.
Recording and Streaming
Training can be time consuming and costly to develop and deliver. There will never be a time that is perfect for every learner to attend so it becomes important to be able to record a training session (both audio and video). In addition to the recording, the ability to easily share that recording and make it fast and easy to replay should be addressed. Many solutions provide the recording capability but do not catalogue and archive. That catalog can become a valuable tool for on-boarding new hires and providing refresher training for current employees as well. Training is certainly more than technology but the time and money spent on delivering the perfect message can easily be wasted if the technology impedes its delivery. These best practices can be a first step to ensure the most effective training possible.