With training budgets tightening everywhere, more organizations are turning to web conferencing to deliver training programs online to save money and time. According to the 2008 ASTD State of the Industry report, the percent of training hours devoted to live instructor-led online training is growing rapidly. Between 2006 and 2007, the amount of live instructor-led online training jumped by 50 percent, from 4.24 percent to 6.39 percent.
Instructional designers and facilitators new to web conferencing may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of converting live instructor-led courses to courses delivered via web conferencing. While tempting, simply placing the slides used for classroom training into a web conferencing tool and launching a training event will not result in an optimal learning experience for your audience.
For web conferences to be successful, instructors need to devote time to planning the event, including optimizing the content and exercises for a virtual classroom, getting the right facilitation team in place, rehearsing for the live delivery and finally, evaluating what happened. These steps are the key steps of the PREP (Planning, Rehearsal, Execution and Post Mortem) Model for Web Conferencing. For more information on this model, view an article in ASTD Learning Circuits.