Using the Web as a Tool for Training

Efficiently training your staff can be a challenge, no doubt about it. Whether for new-hire classes or product training or developmental learning, credit union leaders want to train staff effectively, yet keep costs under control.

Often used for meeting conferencing or e-workplace collaboration, web conferencing is catching on as a training delivery method. Simply put, web conferencing facilitates interactive, real-time communication between two or more people via the Internet. It requires an Internet connection, and the audio can either be transmitted through a computer line or the telephone. Training via web conferencing is also known as synchronous learning, live e-learning, live online learning, a virtual classroom, or a webinar.

Web conferencing provides potential advantages for training:

  • Reduced training and travel costs
  • Ease and convenience for staff to attend training
  • Learning can be live or it can be recorded to be played on demand
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Consistent content
  • Reduced ramp-up time for introducing technologies to staff
  • Tracking attendee information, reporting, and archiving of webinar statistics, participation, and presentations

Keep in mind these best practices for web conferencing:

  • Use the software's features—pointers, highlighter, white board—to keep sessions interactive and participants engaged
  • Keep training sessions short, usually 60 minutes or less
  • Develop reusable content
  • Establish ground rules for participants, such as keep your audio on mute until you participate, don't place your phone on hold, etc.
  • Assign participants active roles throughout the training; for example, assign a timekeeper for training exercises, a facilitator for discussions, or delegate a leader to initiate collaboration on a shared document
  • Keep participant size to 75% of what the class size would have been for face-to-face training

Diana L. Howles is a customization learning consultant for CUNA Mutual Group.

This story first appeared in CUNA Mutual Group’s online publication called Added Dimensions at ome/0,1775,9057,00.htmland is reprinted with permission.

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