Working from home, flexible work, and virtual meetings and classes have become routine over the past couple of years. You still need great training opportunities for your team but sending them across town or across the country for a week of in-person classes may not be feasible for you.
When COVID lockdowns first made face-to-face training impossible, we knew we had to continue teaching our own new team members as well as our clients. Our ArgonDigital team of trainers experimented with tools and techniques until we successfully optimized our proven business analyst training series for online learning. Here’s what we did to make training fun and effective when we aren’t face to face:
Three hours of training per day – Let’s face it, sitting in front of a screen with headphones on for an entire eight-hour day is a massive drag. So we split up our classes and deliver the same world-class curriculum in fun and manageable three-hour chunks.
Collaborative conferencing software – Just like in our face-to-face classes, a lot of the learning and excitement happens when we collaborate in small groups. We use online conferencing tools to split up classes into breakout sessions where students can practice skills, create visual models, and share their experiences.
Digital whiteboarding – Our training is very hands-on. We draw pictures, brainstorm, and make visual models. Online whiteboarding tools let students learn by doing without creating piles of waste-paper at the end of each day!
Offline activities to enhance learning – At the end of each three-hour virtual session, the instructor assigns participants individual offline projects to reinforce and explore the day’s topic. Students either expand on the training scenarios or they can use their own real-world projects to make the activities more personally relevant.
How It Works
- You contact us about training for your team. We work with you to figure out the best time and method of delivery for your training.
- You let us know who will be attending training and if they have any special needs or concerns that we should plan around.
- We send participants the materials (e-book and handouts) and information they need for the class prior to Day 1.
- Before the first day of training (usually a week prior), we ask students to do a “tech check” to ensure that they can access the training platform. This gives us time to offer tech guidance if there are any problems so that Day 1 goes smoothly.
- Day 1 – we all log in, introduce ourselves, and get started! All of our trainers are consultants whose “day job” is client project work, so they have current and relevant experience to share with students.
- At the end of each day, the instructor asks for feedback and questions that will ensure that we are tracking to student needs. Offline assignments are given and explained, and everybody logs off.
- When students submit their offline assignments, the instructor will review each and provide feedback and coaching to make sure the related concepts are well understood.
- And so on, until the end of the course. If students are PMI or IIBA certified, our courses count towards their required PDUs, so they can submit their training hours for credit to either organization, or both.
- Because we’re always working on improving our classes, we ask students for detailed feedback on the material and the experience. The comments students provide in their feedback is especially insightful and useful to our continuous improvement process.
It’s been an interesting challenge for us all, to change the way we work and learn during the stress and uncertainties of the past two years. For us, to be able to continue to teach and help our fellow product practitioners perfect their craft and succeed in their careers is the inspiration that helps us continue to evolve the classes we offer and our methods of instruction. We’d love to talk to you to see how we can help your teams’ journey.