This past week has taught our team that a lot can change in a short period of time. We have seen most of our library partners have to shut their doors or plan for that scenario. It is painful to know that the heartbeat of a community is not physically available to its residents, but libraries have been investing in virtual resources for years and still have so much to offer! We want to make sure that you can seamlessly offer Beanstack, too, even if it means you now have to host any staff trainings or refreshers entirely virtually.
Our Client Success Team members train almost exclusively online, so we thought it might be helpful to share a few tips as you plan your Beanstack training sessions for this summer (in the US) or anytime.
Watch our generic “Staff Actions” training. We regularly train on the basic “Staff Actions.” These trainings include details on how the reader experience looks for registering, logging, and earning rewards. It similarly shows those actions from the staff admin tools. You can access our most recent training here. Watch this so that it can serve as a guide post/starting point for your own more customized staff training.
Test everything. Create a test family (that must also have some level of staff access and readers whose ages align with your challenges). Login as the family and test out all of the possible scenarios. Make sure you have tested all of the actions you will be showing your staff. This article will show you how to test a challenge when you already have a live site.
Have your “cheat sheet” ready for download. We recommend handing out your cheat sheet at the time you deliver your training. You can send it to people in advance or post it during the training. In any case, letting staff have a clear print-out of what to expect is key. Here are some examples from libraries using Beanstack in summer 2019.
Choose your virtual platform. We use GoToWebinar and really like it, however, GTW is not a free product. Our team sometimes uses Zoom, which has a free version, and also Google Hangouts Meet. We recommend something that you can record and make available as a video for on-demand use.
Get staff ready (for pre-launch or newly live clients only): Take advantage of our duplicate a challenge feature and duplicate your existing summer challenges with new dates that are current. Ask staff to participate as if they were readers in advance of the training. If you can swing it, offering a small incentive or drawing prize is a great option for those who complete the program/challenge! For those who are training trainers at libraries with live sites, you could do this and make the challenge staff only for a smaller group of people.
PREPARE FOR YOUR READING CHALLENGE/PROGRAM DEMO
Make sure that your challenges are open and available to participate in for the demo. To do this, give your challenges current dates. If your site is live and has existing users, then also make your challenge staff only.
Consider the important scenarios.
- Returning reader (registration as a reader and from the admin tools)
- New reader (registration as a reader and from the admin tools)
- How a reader logs reading or activities; how an admin logs on behalf of a reader
- How a reader earns a prize; how an admin redeems a prize
- How to update or reset a password.
- How to unenroll/enroll a reader in a different reading challenge.
- How to access the helpdesk.
Create an admin level account that is the level which you are training (Volunteer, Staff, Staff Plus. This avoids confusion and ensures that you are showing your staff members exactly what they can expect to see when logging in. By the way, make sure they know how to login! This article shows you how to create a new staff account.
Make sure people know how to use the platform. Help ensure that everyone will be able to attend your training by creating instructions that speak to those who are not tech savvy. Consider making an extensive training presentation with screenshots of what you ultimately would show during a demo. You can then share a PDF of your presentation with everyone, especially any individuals unable to join the training remotely. Here is a copy of our team’s most recent presentation available as a download for you.
Consider offering a small incentive for those who attend. We know this isn’t possible for everyone, but it can be a nice bonus to offer something small.
Use headphones or dial in with your phone. We suggest using computer audio with headphones (that you have already tested) or dialing in with the phone option to avoid interruption and/or feedback.
Turn off notifications on your computer before training. We recommend putting your computer in “do not disturb” mode and turning off any notifications that typically might pop up on your screen!
Resist the temptation to comment on every little thing. Stick to your script! Sometimes when we do a demo, it is hard not to comment on every item that we see. Try to stick to the items that you want to cover, the essentials, so that you don’t overwhelm people and keep everyone’s attention.
When showing the sign up process, create a story. We like to create a story about the family that we create, and we also use memorable names and passwords that we write out beforehand!
Consider taking questions at the end or at the end of specific sections. We recommend asking your participants to save their questions until the end of a section or the end of the entire training. This allows you to focus on delivery of the training and also means that you can cut off the question portion from the posted recording if needed!
Just in case, queue up questions. We prep ahead with a few questions to get everyone going! We usually think of questions that we know would be asked in person or items that we ourselves have had over the years. :)
Record your session and post it on a friendly tool like YouTube or Wistia for viewing. Consider sharing out a “quiz” (you can send people to it during the training) with a few simple questions to confirm someone has watched it. We might recommend using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms for this action.
Host smaller virtual meetings using GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or a phone call with your key Beanstack leads. It is critically important to have one training to which you can refer people. But you’ll also want to host smaller meetings with key groups to ensure that they watched the training, understand it, and are prepared for facilitation, however it will look this summer. Small groups of 10 and under make it easier to connect and less intimidating for people to ask questions.