COVID-19 has disrupted many facets of our life, including the way we develop and conduct training sessions. With the looming lockdown and extended work from home arrangements, the idea of conducting classroom training is akin to a distant dream. So, of late, there has been a spurt in the demand for virtual instructor-led training (VILT) solutions for conducting mission critical enterprise training.
Just to give you an overview, in VILT, the trainer and trainees will attend training sessions remotely, which will be facilitated by a Web conferencing tool, such as Webex. The tool will allow the trainer to share content, such as presentations, with trainees through the screen sharing facility. The trainer and trainees will interact with each other through voice, video, and chat features within the tool.
As Instructional Designers (IDs), we are not new to developing content for VILT sessions. But, customarily, we have recommended VILT sessions on a case-to-case basis where it was deemed appropriate. But, in the prevailing situation, VILT may become the new normal. Therefore, the onus is on us IDs to rise to the challenge and embrace VILT, while ensuring the quality of the training delivered virtually is not compromised.
In order to successfully transition to the VILT mode of training delivery, we have to get acquainted with new tools and ways of training content development to ensure the virtual training sessions are still interactive and engaging. With that intent in mind, I attended a brainstorming session on developing effective VILT solutions recently.
During the session, we were faced with a conundrum that had to do with sharing instructional videos smoothly during VILT sessions. Our general experience of sharing videos through Webex can be best described as abysmal. So, I was posed the question, how can we share videos through Webex smoothly?
As I set out on my quest to find an answer to this endearing and intriguing question, fortunately, I didn’t have to wander far and wide. The answer was right there staring at me and waiting to be discovered in my neck of the woods!
You see, Webex uses two profoundly discrete settings for sharing text and videos with trainees. The setting optimized for sharing text and images displays content in the highest resolution for better clarity. Whereas, the setting optimized for sharing videos and moving content reduces some resolution to improve the frame rate so as to display the videos smoothly. Consequently, if one shares videos through Webex by using the settings optimized for sharing text, it will inevitably result in a rather dreary video sharing experience.
In conclusion, we should select the correct setting before sharing videos through Webex, and the steps to change the settings are few and simple:
- In Webex, start a meeting and click the Share content icon. You will be presented with the Share Content screen.
- Next, you should see a drop-down arrow somewhere on this screen. I happen to see it on the top left corner of the screen.
- If you want to share a video with the trainees, then click the Optimize for motion and video option in the drop-down list.
- Also, make sure the Share your computer audio check box is selected. This way, the trainees will be able to hear the sound in the video in addition to your voice.
- Finally, choose the application that contains the video you want to share.
- After sharing the video, if you want to share your presentation or document, then switch back to the Optimize for text and images option and then select the application containing the content that you want to share.
With that, we can put the question on improving the quality of video sharing to rest. See you in the next.