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Tips for the Virtual Classroom

10 Tips for Trainers Delivering in Virtual Classrooms

When learners come to our face to face classroom they have certain expectations about the experience.  That experience depends upon their perception of your organisation when they signed up for the course.  As trainers there are also strategies that we implement based on what we know about how people learn.  These may be similar – or modified in the online environment. 

 

Tip 1 Look the part 

Yes, your appearance is important.  Dress professionally.  If you wouldn’t usually train in the classroom in your favorite Star Wars tshirt then it is not OK for your virtual classroom delivery.  If in doubt talk to your marketing team about your organisation’s brand. 

Tip 2 Background is important 

Your background is important.  Ensure you have a professional background.  Your bedroom with an unmade bed is not OK. (You wouldn’t have your face to face class in your bedroom, would you?) Especially if you are still in your PJ’s.  If in doubt use one of the backgrounds provided in the platform you are using. 

Try a professional office background like the one provided below:

 

Tip 3 Find your quiet space 

Find a quiet space for your session that doesn’t include conversations with kids, partners and animals.  These may be used as props and to add value to the learning experience, but a two year old tugging at your arm asking to go to the bathroom is not endearing in a leadership presentation. 

 

 

Tip 4 Familiarize your learners with the technology  

Support your learners with the technology. Tell them what they need in terms of technology for successful participation. (Working on a phone is not ideal) Start your session with a tour of the environment so your participants know how to contribute in the chat, break out rooms etc.  While you may know it intimately others do not.  Consider running a “Technology Familiarization” the day before the course commences. 

Tip 5 Chunk your training delivery 

Chunk your learning. It is estimated that learners can focus for 8 minutes in a lecture.  This is reduced to 4 minutes online.   

Check out this short video on how chunking content helps people to retain the information.

Tip 6 Keep learners engaged in your delivery 

Keep learners engaged and accountable.  Include discussions in break out rooms and collaborative activities the same as you would in a face to face classroom.  There are also many tools and apps that can be integrated into your online environment to make delivery more exciting and engaging. 

Tip 7 Consider shorter training delivery sessions 

A full day delivery in the online can be a stretch for the learners – even if you break it up and have them work individually on projects for some of the time.  Consider restructuring your delivery into smaller chunks.  It is more educationally palatable as well. 

 

 

Tip 8 Blend your online training delivery with practical workshop or workplace assessments  

If your course includes practical assessments that cannot be completed online consider having learners come to the workshop in small groups – to be COVID safe. 

 

Tip 9 Invest in your technology to support your e-facilitation 

Two screens so as to separate different parts of your delivery, such as the chat works well.  A touchscreen so you can write on an electronic whiteboard is also great. 

 

A group of all-in-one desktop computers, including a Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 520 27, Apple iMac 4K 21.5-inch and an Acer Aspire S 24 S24-880, taken on June 29, 2018. (Photo by Neil Godwin/T3 Magazine)

Tip 10 Retrieval of information from the previous session 

Just like in face to face delivery it is important to link sessions to the previous one and get learners to review and retrieve that information.  A low stakes online quiz works well. 

 

For more info check out our great introduction to Teams video: