Tips for online training

Lyn Lavery If you’ve enrolled in one of Academic Consulting’s upcoming online training courses, we recommend you take the time to plan ahead to ensure you get the most out of the session. We’ve compiled some tips to help you do just that.

Check in advance whether you can successfully connect

We use GoToWebinar to deliver our online training – this doesn’t require any special equipment to participate but there are some minimum system requirements. GoToWebinar have a Get Ready page that you can visit to check whether you meet these. This webpage does all the work for you, checking your OS, browser version, and even the strength of your internet connection.

Also on the above ‘Get Ready’ page is a link to connect to a test session. We strongly recommend that you try this well in advance of the session – if you experience issues connecting you’ll need to troubleshoot, and it’s possible that you may need to seek support from your local IT staff. You don’t want to be doing this two minutes before the session is due to start!

Ensure you have a stable internet connection

Online training can use considerable bandwidth, so plan to attend the training at a location with a stable internet connection (using the guest WiFi at your local café is probably not the best idea, much as the coffee is probably excellent). If you find the audio or video skipping during the session, try closing down other applications that may be using bandwidth such as your email or Skype.

Things to think about for software training

If you’re attending a software-related training course such as NVivo or SPSS, check beforehand that your license is up-to-date and that the version you’re using matches the one we’ll be presenting with (the version number is always detailed in the course description). If you’re using a different OS or version, don’t panic – the course may still be relevant to you, but check with us beforehand to make sure.

For some software training courses, you’ll receive a copy of the practical exercise files beforehand in case you’d like to follow along as we present. Ensure you download these locally before the course so that you have easy access to them.

Following along live with the presentation works best if you have a dual screen set-up (it’s a little tricky juggling both GoToWebinar and the software you need on a single screen). If you’re not lucky enough to have two monitors, you could consider having a second device set-up. For example, you could play the webinar on a mobile device while you’re working through the exercises on your computer. If that all sounds a bit too tricky, don’t feel like you need to follow along live – you’ll receive a copy of the recording after the session and you will be able to use this to practise at a later stage.

Maximise your learning opportunities

For any of our training courses that are two hours or longer in length, we send you a copy of the course materials (handouts and slides) ahead of time. It might be helpful to review these beforehand and also print them off in case you wish to take additional notes.

You’ll receive a link to a recording of the session and will have access to this for a two-week period. Try and make some time to review the material as soon as possible after the course – this is a great strategy to solidify new learning.

To get the most out of your online training, and to minimise distractions, pop a do not disturb sign on your office door and turn your email and phone off.

Do ask questions throughout and make the most of opportunities for interaction – this is an excellent way to learn the material and you’ll likely enjoy the session more by participating.