Is it Possible to Facilitate Engaging In-Person Workshops in a Socially Distant World?

  The Covid-19 pandemic is making some trainers rethink their usual methods of delivering learning. For some, switching over to remote or hybrid learning wasn’t an issue. For others, including me, the option for remote is just not there. For those of us that may be stuck with classroom style training as the only medium allowed for training, we are tasked with coming up for strategies to train in a socially distant world.

            First worry and consideration is class size. It depends on the size of your facilities. For me, we are reduced to half the amount of people allowed in our training rooms. Many of our workshops utilize group work and role plays, all of which may not be the safest activities to perform. Also, the thought of wearing a face covering for multiple hours a day is a cause for concern and could be a major distraction. 

            My fear is that the focus of our in-person workshops will fall on how to not become infected. New hires should focus on learning skills to help them become successful on the job and the trainers should focus on distributing that information to them. We had a previous training facility with no parking. Cars had to be moved every two hours or participants were ticketed or towed. It became a major distraction and took away hours of learning from the participants. Covid-19 protocols may prove to be the “car situation” in the training world. 

Thinking about all the “what ifs” is certain to give you a headache but it’s one worth having.  What are some ways in which you can make trainees comfortable in a socially distant classroom? Are there any activities that can be performed safely and still be effective? Is remote learning truly the only answer to these problems?

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