Five Things to Consider Before Taking a Virtual Class

June 12, 2020

Covid-19 has changed the face of the training industry.

I’ve been a trainer for over 25 years, but it has always been in-person training—from Microsoft Office to Certified Scrum classes. I always believed in-person training was the only way we could deliver an amazing learning experience for our students.

However, with the complete pivot from face-to-face to online training over the past 10 weeks, I am happy to say I have been proven completely, utterly wrong.

What started as a plan to transition our classes into a basic format that could be delivered “acceptably” online has turned into a series of courses that are fun and interactive and use some engaging tools! So if you are currently WFH and think you’d rather wait it out and train later, I encourage you to think again!

To help encourage you to try online training, I came up with a list of the top five things to consider before you register for a class.

Is it interactive?

If it’s a two-day class of just lectures, nobody wins! Braintrust classes use Mural and Zoom so that students can do exercises as both a large group and as smaller breakout teams. In fact, the number one item on our class retrospective survey is, “We love the breakout rooms and hands-on exercises!”

Do you get regular breaks?

Make sure the trainer has a plan to let the attendees take a break every 50-60 minutes. It makes a huge difference to be able to wander around, go outside for fresh air, grab a snack, clear your mind! You’ll feel better and will retain more information in the long run.

Are there scavenger hunts?

This takes breaks to a whole new level. Whether you bring back a green trapezoid, family heirloom, or something that brings you joy, scavenger hunts allow the class to have some fun and learn about each other. The array of kids and pets that have been brought on-screen because of the scavenger hunts has been great!

Is your instructor passionate?

Do some research about your instructor! Are they passionate about the subject they’re teaching? Do they seem like a thought leader on social media? Their energy will be contagious and it will set a fun and engaging tone for the class!

Will your class have a facilitator?

Ask if your class will have a facilitator helping the instructor. Their role is to help students get in and out of break rooms, distribute the correct links to workspaces, and navigate any technical difficulties. That way, your instructor is free to keep the class flowing and students will always have someone to help them!


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