A blueprint for a virtual training setup with Kahoot!: 4 top tips from a corporate trainer
In this guest article, corporate trainer and Learning and Development professional Josh Maleeff shares his top tips for transitioning to virtual training and creating a setup for a professional and impactful learner experience with Kahoot!.
Originally a classroom trainer, I started teaching virtually more than 5 years ago while working for a retail company with several locations across multiple states. Based on my experience, I’d like to share a few tips for everyone who is transitioning to virtual training.
Deciphering common terms related to virtual training
Before we dive in, it is important to define a few key terms and the differences between them: e-learning, instructor-led training, and virtual instructor-led training:
E-learning consists of courses that are completed individually and are asynchronous.
Webinars are usually presentations with minimal or no audience interaction that participants view either live or access from a recording.
Instructor-led training (ILT) is what most people think of as traditional classroom training.
In the rest of this post, we’ll focus on virtual instructor-led training (VILT). VILT requires all participants to attend live and should have levels of engagement similar to face-to-face ILT.
Transitioning from ILT to VILT is more than just logging into a video conferencing tool. It requires study, practice, and, most importantly, preparation.
Transitioning from ILT to VILT is more than just logging into a video conferencing tool. It requires study, practice, and, most importantly, preparation. These 4 tips will support you in this process:
1. Design to engage
In a face-to-face classroom setting, a trainer is on full display, and body language is a key tool to teach, receive feedback, and monitor how the audience responds. Since this is limited in VILT format, other forms of engagement become more important. This is where course design is critical.
Optimizing your content for virtual engagement includes varying slide format, limited text on the screen, using multimedia like videos or music, breakout rooms, chat, polling, and games.
A great change of pace during a class is to combine slides with Kahoot! questions. People enjoy playing games, and the competition is an energizer that helps regain focus when it is time to return to the slides. Both questions and slides in Kahoot! create teachable moments.
Kahoot! pro tip: Create interactive presentations by importing existing slides and combining them with Kahoot!’s audience interaction features to inform, engage, and interact, all in one session. Read more.
2. Build your toolbox
In March, when I had to suddenly move my classes from in-person to virtual over a weekend, the first thing I did was to set up my equipment. I spent hours getting everything positioned to create the experience I desired for my class.
Here are the essentials to focus on in order to provide a high-quality video and audio setup for your sessions:
Webcam – Rarely is a laptop’s built-in webcam going to be positioned correctly for VILT. You want to position the camera at eye level. One option is to prop up the laptop to that level, but the best solution is to invest in an external webcam.
Lighting – Most home lighting is in the ceiling. This creates shadows that make it harder to see the presenter. Key lights offer the best lighting, but a halo light has become the most popular, and that’s the option I would recommend. These lights range from $20 to $200+.
Headset – The sound quality of external headsets far exceeds what will be heard with the built-in audio of your laptop. Part of the reason for this is the sensitivity of the microphone and noise-canceling features.
Monitors – Based on my experience, I would highly recommend having at least two screens. I train with my laptop closed and three 24” monitors. This allows me to have one monitor to share with participants and two others for me to keep the presenter view with my notes, a chat window, participant videos, etc.
Backdrop – Virtual backgrounds have become very popular. If you plan to use one while presenting, invest in a green screen. Alternatively, a blank wall painted in a neutral color is a close substitute and what I chose. Avoid windows because they can create a glare that makes it hard to see the trainer.
Kahoot! pro tip: Seamlessly host live kahoots as part of VILT by connecting to your video conferencing tool of choice, including, Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangout. Read more.
3. Practice your presentation and performance skills
In any class, physical or virtual, all eyes should be on the trainer. In VILT, your audience always has a close-up view of the trainer, and that can be an advantage if used properly. Since participants can only see the trainer’s head, trainers need to maximize their energy level and use their voice as a tool. Stage actors offer an excellent example, especially the way they emote when they are performing.
Kahoot! pro tip: From testing their tech setup to keeping a high pace when delivering a virtual interactive presentation with Kahoot!, check out these 7 habits of highly engaging virtual presenters. Read more
4. Adapt to the unexpected
What can go wrong with delivering a VILT class? The short answer is a lot. A few examples include power or internet outages, computer issues, both on your and your participants’ end. If you have a possibility to work with a producer, they can help keep a class running regardless of any tech issues or assist participants without interrupting the trainer.
In general, every trainer needs to have a backup plan for what to do when things go wrong so you can get back to the main program as quickly as possible.
Kahoot! pro tip: If you’re using Kahoot! in a virtual session, use the new network self-test page to verify if your connection is sufficient for the best hosting experience.