Remote Management Strategies
Using a discovery-based learning approach, a course was developed for managers working remotely who need to learn effective email and meeting facilitation strategies for interacting with employees. It covers strategies for drafting clear emails, steps to creating rules of engagement, and best practices for running online meetings.
The switch to remote work in response to COVID19 is fundamentally changing the way work teams interact with each other. Communication strategies which are effective in face to face environments may not translate over email and the prevalence of online meetings can decrease employee engagement and create phenomena such as ‘zoom fatigue.’ While employees and managers have a plethora of software options for managing remote teams, there are fewer resources available for teaching the soft skills necessary to communicate effectively in virtual environments.
To address this issue, I created an eLearning program which would help learners to
- Communicate clearly via email
- Get team buy-in for virtual communication norms
- Reduce zoom fatigue by facilitating shorter more effective online meetings
I decided to break the training into two modules. The first module focused on email communication strategies and the second focused on meeting facilitation techniques. Since the modules focus on different skill-sets, I gave the learner the option of completing them separately based on their personal needs. I decided to use scenario-based instruction in order to keep learners engaged and give them real-world practice.
Design and Development Process:
I wanted to grab the learner’s attention as quickly as possible, so I began the eLearning experience with common remote management problems. I designed the first two slides to showcase relatable remote work issues: email overload and online meeting fatigue. After bringing the learner’s attention to these problems, I presented the educational content in the modules as solutions they could use. I varied my use of scenario-based instruction between the two modules in order to keep the learners interested and give them different challenges. In the first module, I began with a problem scenario as way of helping the learner understand how to write more effective emails and gave them an open-ended assessment question as a way of testing their skills. In the second model, I presented information about facilitation techniques and then gave the learner scenario-based assessment questions to give them practice applying the techniques in the real world.
I wanted a modern feel to make the training appealing to a millennial audience, so I used a customized purple custom scheme with a 3-dimensional style shape on the navigation buttons. I wanted my visuals to reflect this same aesthetic and so I sourced concept illustrations from the Stories collection by freepik. I also made an effort to make my characters as racially diverse as possible so that this training could be relatable to a broad range of learners.
As a freelancer working with a limited budget, I needed to put together a sleek, professional looking learning experience without access to paid image libraries. To solve this problem I sourced all of my images from freepik and then used Photoshop to modify them in order to achieve visual consistency.
The final eLearning course is engaging and visually appealing thanks to its concept illustrations. The fresh color scheme, playful use of depth and size, and multiracial cast of characters make it relatable for Millenial learners and the scenario-driven instructional method encourages critical thinking for learners.
This course will use xAPI to capture learner activity and deliver feedback. After a beta test of this course with a small group of self-selected learners, I will develop a second iteration based on the feedback I receive.