Virtual training

How to Create an Exceptional Interactive Online Training Program

The CloudShare Team

Nov 14, 2023 - 3 min read
How to Create an Exceptional Interactive Online Training Program

Static training content is no longer effective. Modern learners demand something more compelling than explainer videos and PowerPoint presentations. They want to learn by doing through hands-on training, and in the case of SaaS, they want these interactive training programs to take place online.

You should give them what they want. For one, an effective, personalized interactive training program makes your business up to 70 percent likelier to be chosen as a primary supplier. And that’s without mentioning that e-learning already boasts retention rates up to 60 percent higher than traditional training and is up to 60 percent more time-efficient.

Why Interactive, Hands-On Training is Your Best Bet

Whether you’re educating a customer or onboarding a new employee, interactive learning is almost always more effective than passive learning. Take cybersecurity education as an example. Someone could spend countless hours learning all about ransomware, only to be caught completely off-guard when it comes time to mitigate an actual attack.

On the other hand, if that person goes through an interactive IT training program that includes simulated incidents? They’ve suddenly got the next best thing to real-world experience.

There are other benefits to increased interactivity, as well:

  • Better support for different learning styles, particularly with self-paced training.
  • A more engaging learning experience overall.
  • More autonomy and control for learners.

How to Build an Interactive Training Experience

Start with an understanding of your audience and your objective. Who is this training program for, and what are you trying to teach them? How will you know whether your training was successful?

Once you’ve answered those questions, you have a decision to make. Do you want to repurpose static content to make it more interactive, or do you want to try building an interactive experience from the ground up? We recommend either choosing the latter option or going for some combination of the two.

Adding Interactivity to Old Content

If you want to make old training materials more engaging, we advise you to start small. If your training includes a slideshow, for instance, you could include buttons, interactive animations or drag-and-drop images in each slide. The important thing is consistency — participants should have something to do on each new slide in order to keep them engaged.

You could also use 360-degree photos and video. Not only is it incredibly immersive, but it can also serve as a springboard or precursor to adopting virtual reality into your training. Bear in mind, however, that the applications of this kind of content to SaaS are somewhat limited.

Storytelling is also a must. Instead of spitting information at participants, weave it into a narrative. For example, if you’re onboarding a new hire, you could walk them through a typical day at the office. For a new customer, you could take them through several scenarios involving their business and your software.

Moving further along this line of thought, allow your learners to guide that story. Plan your training program with a few branching scenarios in mind. Each of these decision points will allow learners control over the direction of your training, giving them a greater feeling of autonomy in the process.

Finally, introduce a collaborative learning element to your training. Give people a chance to interact and learn from one another, whether that’s through built-in chat or a community built around your company.

Best Practices for Immersive, Hands-On Training

When building immersive training content for your SaaS business, personalization should be your chief concern. What can you do to make sure your training accounts for each participant’s learning style, circumstances, and needs? This is especially important with customer training, as every business will be using your software in a different IT environment.

This is best achieved by providing learners with a simulated environment in which they can freely engage with your training content and practice their skills. You’ll need a cloud-based interactive online learning platform with sandboxing capabilities to support this, especially if you plan to scale your training. Analytics functionality is also a must, as this will allow you to both optimize your training materials and provide your learners with feedback.

Create Incredible Hands-On Experiences With CloudShare

Static, passive training content is functionally obsolete. If you want your online training to truly resonate with learners, it needs to be interactive. Before you start planning and brainstorming, make sure you’re equipped with the right tools to enable that interactivity.

CloudShare can help. Our brilliantly simple platform empowers you and your team with the ability to create incredible training and demos in moments customized to whatever use case and environment you require. With a powerful analytics dashboard and support for both self-paced and virtual instructor-led training, it’s exactly what you need to introduce more interactivity into your training experiences.

Book a free demo to learn more.