What do you need to communicate?

This may look like a question with an obvious answer – you want to communicate the content of your training so that your learners will learn!

But in an online setting you may also need to find ways to convey information that would ‘normally’ be available in other ways, such as pinned on a course noticeboard, printed in a handout or announced to the whole group at the start of the day.

Online learners can easily feel isolated and unsure, so clear and consistent communication about what happens next and what they are expected to do is very important. This is especially important for self-guided training programmes but also applies to facilitated synchronous events when you won’t want to use valuable time giving out basic instructions.

Activity: What do your learners need to know?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Make a list of the items of information your learners will need at the start of the course.

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You will have your own answers, but we thought of:

  • An overview of the course content and learning outcomes.
  • The main components of the training, with advice on any software or equipment needed.
  • A schedule for the training with dates and times, especially for any synchronous activities, e.g. webinars.
  • How course content will be provided to the learners (e.g. will you send Zoom invitation emails? Do they need to log on to a website?)
  • How much time they are expected to allocate to the training.

It may be worth repeating these messages more than once to be sure the information is understood by all. You may also want to let your learners know when you are available to be contacted, your preferred method of contact (email, phone, etc.) and how long it may take you to respond to queries.

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