Archive for August, 2011
Technology-Enabled Learning and Collaboration Demonstrated in 3g Selling’s “WebiKnow” Learning Leaders Virtual Roundtable
- Not a single participant clicked off prior to the end of the program?
- Every participant could see the list of other participants and interact directly with them?
- Every participant used both voice and chat to provide real-time comments and questions, and to network with peers?
- The participants guided the conversation rather than deferring to the panelists?
- The host crowd-sourced to tackle a number of topics, drawing not only on the expertise of the panelists but also of the participants?
- The conversation and networking went through the breaks and even for some time after the end of the event?
- As a participant, you were not a spectator but were a player on the field?
Webinars have essentially become one-way monologues that require us to sit through an hour-long presentation in the hope of discovering just a few good ideas. They’ve failed to replace the lively conversation that’s found in face-to-face meetings or the networking that happens at conferences. 3g Selling’s innovative approach to virtual learning has changed all of that.
Last week, 3g Selling demonstrated a different way of hosting and conducting a collaborative meeting in a virtual space. Referred to as the “WebiKnow,” the Learning Leaders Virtual Roundtable emphasized active participation, networking and building knowledge as a group of peers through collaboration. Focusing in on the topic of technology-enabled learning, the inaugural Roundtable brought together senior leaders in corporate training and education from a broad range of industries. From healthcare to financial services, from higher education to retail, over 20 organizations across the U.S. shared their visions, challenges, thoughts and best practices with each other and a team of panelists that included experts in social media, technology-based learning, live virtual training, mobility, change management and other hot topics.
As a respected leader in the area of live virtual training and having delivered over 600 sessions in the last year alone, 3g Selling leveraged their innovative approach to web-based learning to create the highly collaborative Roundtable. Drawing on techniques used in broadcast media, the expertise of a host with a background in television and live talk shows and a technical producer, they delivered the two-hour WebiKnow on a series of topics that the participant learning leaders had identified in a pre-session questionnaire.
While the Roundtable featured a panel of four subject experts, the host orchestrated a lively discussion that featured sharing of best practices. Participants not only guided the conversation but also contributed their own thoughts and experiences. By crowd sourcing solutions to common challenges, the host tapped into each individual’s expertise so that these senior-level leaders could benefit from the wisdom of the group. The participants reported leaving the WebiKnow with much more than a few good ideas—they came away with practical solutions to the challenges they had identified prior to the event.
According to one participant, “Management and facilitation of the program were outstanding! One of the best virtual events I have ever attended in terms of facilitation, organization, and time management. (And I have attended many.)”
To learn more about how 3g Selling is revolutionizing virtual learning experiences give us a call at 888.243.0461 or visit us at www.3gselling.com
Business survival in the 21st century requires effective ways to transfer knowledge and train a new generation of the professional workforce. This means we need to make the most of new technologies—not just port 20th and even 19th century learning techniques from the physical classroom onto the web. But adopting new technologies does not mean we should discard the best of time-proven communications techniques.
For more than a decade, I ran a successful sales and marketing consulting company. One night, while I was in a hotel room after a long day attending a conference, I decided to watch a TV documentary about 19th century firearms in the hopes that it would put me to sleep. Instead, a few minutes into the program, I was hooked and watched the entire program with complete attentiveness.
Here’s the epiphany that came of that experience: If a documentary of no intrinsic interest could engage me so completely, why not apply these same broadcast techniques to virtual training? After months of researching broadcast media studios, visiting media departments at academic institutions, and meeting with other media specialists, we built live virtual training programs that integrate broadcast media techniques with the best practices of training. We chose the live versus the asynchronous approach because of the highly interactive and collaborative possibilities that can come only from live discussion.
In the past year, more than 600 live virtual training sessions have been produced in our studios. Topics range from management and coaching to sales, leadership, and communications training. Each 75-minute session is anchored by a host, who is professionally trained in broadcast media. The host is paired with an expert in a particular subject matter. The set also includes a producer, who facilitates live chat and audio input by the 22 or fewer participants. Most training requires 5 to 10 sessions, spread out over a period of a few weeks or months.
The limited time and number of participants keeps things lively. In one session, we’ve had participants from three different continents—all in different time zones and with different native languages—conversing by phone and live chat with our host, our subject expert, and with each other. By keeping the content of each session fresh and varied, participants stay engaged and alert. We include multimedia elements, including video, animations, and graphics, and comment on completed work assignments, which are assigned at the end of each session.
The trick to building a successful live virtual training program is to be creative. And who is more creative than the entertainment industry?
Here are six lessons we learned in improving live virtual training:
- Delivery is the key to success. If you can truly engage your participants, you’re more than halfway there.
- Adopting techniques from the entertainment industry, such as broadcast media, is a powerful way to engage your audience while avoiding the drudgery of PowerPoint presentations and top-down lectures.
- Scripting is important, but so is spontaneity. Surprise and variety are definitely the spice and seasoning of any training experience.
- Pairing trainers with broadcast media professionals experienced in engaging participants is a highly effective way to engage the audience.
- Collaboration on work assignments creates greater accountability among participants.
- Instead of using case studies, integrate real-life work projects into your training.
Recognizing our best-in-class use of the Adobe Connect platform, Adobe recently launched a Customer Success Story about us and how we’re pushing the platform to offer our customers a richer online learning experience.
Check out the writeup on the Adobe Connect Blog, where you can also download the Success Story.