training sessions

Reformat your Training Sessions to Increase their Impact

Reformatting course content you’ve already created allows you to maximize time spent on course creation. The best trainers reduce duplication of work tasks and focus their time on ensuring the content, and the learner’s experience is great. This is particularly important if you’re training multiple audiences on similar topics. Let's dive into a valuable example: How to convert live sessions into on-demand course content. 

If you run training webinars you’ll know that a lot of your time is spent on preparing the sessions, getting all the details just right. Repurposing recorded webinars allows you to maximize its use and justify the time you spend preparing for the live training session.

Benefits of converting

Repurposing live webinar sessions isn’t just a time saver for you. It has substantial benefits for the learner.

Scheduling webinar or classroom events can be a tricky proposition for any instructor. It’s hard to get people to commit to a face-to-face training session or webinar at a specific time and date. And even if they do commit to attending, busy to-do lists can get in the way when it comes to the big day. What about those that are out of the office during the time you are running the sessions? Perhaps they are on sabbatical, maternity or paternity leave or sick leave?  

For all of these reasons, instructors can end up having to run more than one session on the same topic to try and get everyone trained up. This can result in a perpetual battle against calendars! Converting the webinar into an on-demand module means you can make the training session available to access at any time. And what about those employees that haven’t been hired yet?

The training may be as relevant to them as it is to current staff. Future-proof your training efforts by converting the content into a permanent form. Even the live session attendees will benefit as they can access the recording if they want to refer back.

Converting the training session to a video

Once the live session has taken place you should convert the content to a format that can be uploaded into a course in your LMS. This is made easy thanks to modern webinar tools. GoToTraining, WebEx, and Adobe Connect all record live sessions to video formats, such as mp4. If your webinar tool doesn't provide this option then you may want to record the webinar yourself. You can do this by using tools like Camtasia or QuickTime (you may need to download a plugin to record both audio and video).

My advice is to balance convenience and cost. A dedicated webinar tool will have everything you need saving you time and effort. And you’ll never finish a webinar realizing that you forgot to record it.

If you run actual live classroom sessions, recording the session is much more complicated, but not impossible. You'll need a camera, tripod and a microphone. I’ll save the details for a future post. 

When you start the webinar, double check it’s recording! Make sure you’re sharing the correct screen and that you can be clearly heard, ask your audience if you’re not sure. My advice is to avoid using the laptop’s inbuilt microphone. Instead, you could buy a decent microphone, at a cheap cost, for best results. 

Once you have the video file, trim out the awkward silence at the start of the recording. People will patiently wait in silence at the beginning of a webinar, but not for a video. This is particularly important if you have video tracking enabled, the learner won’t be able to skip it when viewing it in your LMS! To trim the video you can use the editing functionality in screen capture tools like Camtasia. If you use a Mac, you can use Quicktime or iMovie. For Windows users, you can trim videos with a host of free programs. Movie Maker is one that’s easy to use.

Creating a video-based course

Create a course in your learning management system (LMS) and upload the video as a module. Instead of having the video as a standalone module, add some other content. An exam or survey at the end can help to boost engagement and collect feedback. If you need to you can also place the video into a SCORM or xAPI course. Upload the video to your authoring tool and combine it with other media to create interactive content.

Converting a presentation to a video

Some trainers like to place particular emphasis on slideshow presentations. You need to talk over the slides, especially for more complicated subjects, to ensure the learner fully understands the context of the content. If you upload a presentation to an LMS the slides are a simple document that has no transitions or effects.

In order to convert a presentation to a video, you should record yourself as you talk the learner through each slide, just as you would in the face-to-face session. You can then publish the results as a video or SCORM course.

Use tools like Camtasia that allow you to record your screen and audio, or if you have a webinar tool like GoToWebinar you could run a webinar with no attendees. The results are the same as above, an mp4 file of the session ready to upload. 

Repurposing your live training sessions enables you to maximize the audience that can view and benefit from it. If you have any questions, or tips on what’s worked well for you when it comes to reusing recorded training sessions, why not share them in the comments below.