How to Design Effective Training Courses Through Facebook Live: Challenges, benefits and opportunities

How to Design Effective Training Courses Through Facebook LiveEveryone knows that eLearning is very popular today – mainly because it enables learners to access training content when and where they want it. However, live-streaming training events are becoming increasingly popular, and Facebook Live is one of the most ubiquitous platforms for live training delivery available today. In this article, I’ll show you how you can get started with live-streaming.    

Why use Facebook Live?

If you’ve ever hosted a meeting using conferencing tools, like Skype, you’ll know how things can quickly get out of hand once you exceed 15 to 20 participants. And if you exceed 25 participants, Skype is no longer a FREE option!

Even if you had under 25 participants registered for your training/meeting, you’d have to send out Skype log-in credentials for them to join in- but what if you didn’t know who will come? Other video conferencing platforms, such as Adobe Connect, will charge you based on the number of participants. As a small organization, that could put additional strain on your limited budget.

All in all, video conferencing tools aren’t well suited for open-invitation live-casting situations.

With Facebook Live, the number of participants is unrestricted. As long as someone has a Facebook account, they can join in your live-streaming training session. And, just in case someone joined the live event late, you could always post a downloadable version to your Facebook account for them to access the training on-demand.

Facebook and Facebook Live, therefore, offer the best of both worlds when it comes to opportunities for trainers and learners alike.

Of course, since this is largely a “free” service, you can’t expect HD, 1080P quality videos to be live-streamed via Live. Besides, who needs movie-quality video during a training session? Higher-quality videos will not only be slower and take longer to stream, but they could also chew-up significant bandwidth – both yours and your viewers.

Benefits and opportunities

One of the biggest eLearning detractors, either to receive or deliver it, is cost and convenience. While larger corporations have dedicated training budgets to apply to almost any type of training need, smaller competitors still struggle to pay to train their staff.

Equally, the challenge for smaller eLearning content producers is that they lack the high-end resources that many of their larger corporate training competitors, like Blackboard or  McGraw-Hill Connect, have at their disposal.  As a result, many smaller eLearning course producers are shut out of the burgeoning training market.

But that dynamic changed in 2015 with the launching of Facebook Live!

Facebook Live offers great training opportunities, especially for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Whether you are an entrepreneur looking for a cost-effective way to train your staff, or whether you are a small-sized eLearning course developer/provider, Live is the ideal platform because it:

  • Capitalizes on an already captive Facebook audience – you tap into your network of clients, colleagues and associates
  • Allows you to offer your Live-streaming training content to (potentially) a billion other monthly users
  • Is available FREE of cost for anyone with a Facebook account to leverage
  • Requires no special software, equipment or massive infrastructure to get started
  • May be used to deliver (or consume) eLearning modules on a wide variety of devices – desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones
  • Gives smaller training providers the opportunity to develop and offer live-streaming training content to their clients and followers

With the advancements in camera technology on mobile devices today, most online training providers could easily use the cameras on their smartphones to quickly create high-quality streaming eLearning. And for learners, Facebook Live offers an opportunity to access low-cost, high-quality live-streaming online learning.

Un-distracted real-time engagement

One clear benefit from building and offering eLearning content on Facebook Live is that your courses are less likely to be interrupted by scrolling ads (say, from a competitor!) that distract your audience. As things stand today, Facebook Live is very discerning on who has the ability to embed video advertisements in their live streams.

For instance, only serious Live-streamers (with 2K+ followers and/or 300+ viewers). This makes it more likely that viewers of your live-streaming training video will not be distracted during the training session. You’ll, therefore, achieve better knowledge transfer from your streams.

The essence of any eLearning experience is engagement. Facebook Live trainers also enjoy great two-way communication with their learners.  As you conduct your training, learners can post live comments, or send “Live Reaction” emojis to convey how they feel about the content they are consuming – all in real-time!  You can’t get this kind of engagement through other forms of eLearning!

And finally, you don’t need to wait for your learners to send you an email or fill out a performance review – which you then tabulate to see how well your course was received. With Live, you also have a set of intuitive tracking tools that provide you real-time metrics to guide future course development decisions.

Facebook Live training success

So, the question is: How should you ensure success on a platform like Facebook Live? Well, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Should you live stream? Think before you do! For instance, if you want your training offering to coincide (and therefore benefit from!) a related product or event launch, then definitely consider live streaming. Otherwise, just record a downloadable video and offer it to your audience for on-demand consumption
  • Be authentic: Part of the charm of Facebook Live is its spontaneity. Don’t try to look overly “stage-managed” when you stream. Be yourself, and focus on delivering engaging, informative content rather than set design and background props
  • Interact: Don’t act: Some Facebook Live streamers tend to forget that there are viewers that tuned in to LEARN something, instead of just seeing a live “performance”. Deliver your training as if you were in the same room as your audience
  • Promote. Promote! Use your Facebook network (and other channels – website, Twitter, Instagram) to publicize your training event well in advance of the streaming date. If this is an ongoing live training event, then make sure you host it at the same date/time and location – so everyone knows when and where they should look for it
  • Practice. Practice! Unless this is your 100th live streaming event, you need to practice your delivery before each session. Record your delivery, and review it first, making sure you are fluent and flawless in your presentation. However, don’t bother about minor slips and glitches that will inevitably pop up – they only serve to make your delivery look authentic!
  • Remediate: Use Facebooks built-in analytic features to verify if your content resonated with viewers (Reaction. Reach. Shares. Comments. Engagement). If you find something lacking in the training, based on that feedback, revise your content/approach before the next live-streaming session

One final word of caution if you are looking to succeed in offering live-streaming eLearning content via Facebook Live. Make sure your lessons are bite-sized, no more than 10 to 15 minutes in length. Anything larger/longer, and your live audience will start dropping off one by one – especially if they are streaming your event over a smaller-screen device!

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