Best practices for remote learning in the pandemic for organizations

Viren Kapadia June 28, 2021
Best practices for remote learning in the pandemic for organizations

The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the world over the past two years, with societies coming to a standstill through self-imposed lockdowns as governments and medical organizations race to stem the tide of the virus. While the worst part of the pandemic has hopefully passed and the global economy appears to be slowly pulling itself back on the road to recovery, companies around the world have realized that some of the changes forced upon the world by the pandemic may be here to stay for good – Employees and employers alike have come to realize that remote working offers a whole host of benefits to all parties involved. Businesses make enormous savings on real estate rent and utilities, and employees benefit from not having to waste time commuting to an office and being able to work in the most stress-free and comfortable environment possible.

Some of the biggest multinational companies in the world, such as Twitter, Google, Deloitte, and Salesforce, have already decided to make the transition permanent, with employees being given the option to work from home for an extended, indefinite period. As the economy recovers and employers look to increase their headcounts to grow their business, the number of remote job positions is forecasted to sharply increase.

Most of the newly hired employees will have to undergo some training and orientation programs facilitated by technology to enable individuals to maintain social distancing; however, organizations opting for remote workers have quickly discovered that there are several challenges with converting their existing employee training and development programs to an online medium.

Strategies to facilitate effective remote learning

  • Keep employees in the loop using pre-training planning

    Taking the time to plan can reduce delays in the training process by helping manage learner expectations and forecasting and troubleshooting potential problems before they can occur. Ideally, employees should be allowed to familiarise themselves with an outline of the training schedule before the lessons begin to help them set their expectations for their development.

  • Using standard best educational practices

    Remote learning should include all the same features that are required for a good learning experience in other training systems. Before conducting the training program, the organizer should create and share a checklist on how to set up the workspace, connect to and access the environment, and what to do, and who to contact in case of challenges. This information should be presented to learners in an orientation session alongside a clear outline of the course structure. Trainees should be reminded of their progress throughout the training program and given notifications about upcoming assignments, tests, and Q&A sessions.

  • Create immersive content

    Design the course material to be interactive and stimulating, such as using learner responses to lead to broader discussions. A good training session makes students feel more involved, inclining them to learn from each other and spend the time more productively.

  • Flip the classroom

    Flipping the classroom refers to an unconventional, pedagogical approach in which the lesson contents are first approached outside of class time by students at their own pace – usually in the form of pre-recorded lesson videos, assigned readings, and preparatory assignments, and e-learning modules. The in-class time can then be spent more productively, focusing on the inquiry and application of contents and assessments of the trainees. A simple way of flipping the classroom with regards to remote learning would be in dedicating some class time for collaborative work using shared documents.

  • Keep the training schedule consistent

    Behavioral studies have reliably proven that learners that are provided with a transparent and regular work schedule are significantly more likely to find time for and prioritize their training. This is all the more significant for remote learning, where employees will have to manage various other necessities like chores around the household while allocating time for their professional development. The course training schedule should ideally be shared with candidates at least a week in advance, and there should ideally be two or more options or time slots for training sessions, to provide employees with flexibility and increase session attendance.

  • Make remote trainees feel connected

    One of the most significant challenges with remote learning and remote working is in keeping trainees attentive and motivated, as it can be quite challenging and monotonous to process similar information for prolonged periods. Trainees should be frequently contacted, with email notifications, reminders, and invitations to upcoming classes, tests, and assignments to ensure that all participants can prepare for them in advance. Creating a discussion board for trainees to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas can help to break the ice and to facilitate discussion of course materials, and it’s a good idea to create a social media page or group to bring course attendants together.

  • Keep presentations and other course materials attractive

    Keep in line with the conventions used in delivering PowerPoint presentations and other conventional training materials, content should be easily readable and digestible, with individual topics requiring two minutes or less to complete. The content should have a good variation in tone and can include multiple mediums of communication such as audio and video footage. One can ensure that the attention of the trainee is on the study material through the use of quizzes and knowledge checks as breaks in between the lesson.

Selecting the best remote learning software

The necessity of training and updating both new hires and existing, experienced staffers through remote training mandates the use of effective remote learning software, known as Learning Management Systems or LMS that saves time on managing, deploying, and tracking the performance of the trainees and the course materials.

Gyrus provides intuitive, AI-powered, cloud-based learning and training solutions for private organizations and governments, that can be easily scaled, quickly deployed, and easily integrated into existing systems, with a robust analytics and reporting system to easily track trainee progress and obtain feedback on the training materials. Contact us at Gyrus today to see how we can power your organization with our innovative learning solutions!