Making the Shift to Virtual Training – by Diana L. Howles

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Times of disruption can also spark invention as hard as disruption is. These phases force us to change what we have consistently done. According to author Charles Duhigg in his book Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being active in Life and Business, innovation could emerge from disturbance and tension”if we’re eager to adopt that desperation and upheaval and attempt to view our old ideas in new ways.”
We may feel like we’ve been disrupted and dove into a world of all things virtual. When virtual classrooms are new to you personally, there are likely. Here are a few principles to consider as you create the shift to training to help with this transition.

The adage”a fish doesn’t know it is in water until it is beached” informs us that one’s lens varies radically when perspective changes. Let us apply this to training. As soon as we shift content from training to virtual shipping, we may begin to find flaws. This shift that is modality provides. In a new wrapper, for instance you may discover that a didactic strategy was used much in your training. Using inductive methods like introducing challenges for learners to solve in your online classroom, you could experiment instead in the virtual environment. By keeping them engaged in the learning process, more inductive methods can also reduce task-switching or learner multi-tasking. Look for ways to increase your educational design as you transition material to the virtual classroom.
Measure #2: Realize
It is a frequent mistake to think that an specific replica of a in-person training could be converted to a virtual training session. Although this may be tempting, it’s not best practice for many reasons. In-person training is not an exchange using a classroom because they are different mediums. Remember when radio announcers appeared on tv? Originally, radio broadcasters read scripts and spoke into a microphone as they had always done but using a camera placed in front of them. Once they began to experiment with tv, they understood its possibility. Virtual education is different than in-person training because it requires more interaction with participants, removing technical obstacles, confirming participants’ comments, frequent visual motion, more visuals (the opposite of static slides), adding in extra breaks and shortening chunks of time online because everybody is looking at displays, player prompting, frequent teacher comments, and much more.
Rule #3: Leverage innovative and relevant usage of platform tools
One way to engage learners that are virtual is to leverage the tools shared among programs. Take care not to use them for the sake of using them. Exercises should be substantive and thoughtful, relevant to this topic, and accomplish learning goals. Some tools that are common incorporate virtual hands raising so participants can unmute and join discussion, Q/A pod whiteboard, polling, randomizer tool rooms for group discussion and work, and the conversation queue. Chat is available in most platforms such as Blackboard Collaborate, and Adobe Connect, WebEx, Zoom, GoToTraining and is the most popular. Break-out rooms have also definitely improved through the years, and in Zoom, for example, break-out participants could stay on camera. Turning on the instructor’s webcam is also helpful explain exercises to welcome learners, direct discussions, and run tactical tasks so learners can read instructors’ non-verbal cues and facial expression. Usage of annotation tools like circling, highlighting, and arrow pointing help learners know where to concentrate attention on educational materials that are projected.
Measure #4: Use a blended learning approach
A learning approach works well with education. This implies that in addition to providing live, online education through a virtual platform, the education is combined with learning activities that are post-work and pre-work. By way of instance, before and/or after the virtual session, learners may be required to complete an eLearning tutorial, then listen to a podcast, finish an assignment, review an infographic, read an article, answer reflection queries, complete pages from a workbook, see a related LinkedIn Learning class, or see a blog. This way class time is freed up for higher levels of learning like discussion, analysis, application, example inspection, and evaluation. This approach incorporates repetition throughout and primes the learner beforehand. This is the”flipped” virtual classroom version.
Measure #5: Pair instructors with producers that are technical
To relieve the stress of managing the logistics and technical pieces of the platform that is virtual, it works to pair an instructor using a producer for the entirety of their training. The part of the manufacturer is to bookend the session, in addition to manage the platform’s technical aspects. It enables the coach to concentrate on the content and do what they do best — teach by incorporating this role. By way of instance, tech producers can manage technical issues, welcome participants, set netiquette (items to remember while online), supply a succinct platform excursion, introduce the presenter, medium the conversation, field queries, close the session, etc..
About the promising chances education offered of learning the area, I taught a couple of attendees at a conference in Orlando, Florida From the 2000’s. I had carefully coordinated to join the virtual platform in Orlando’s time zone to help establish its ability. My colleague successfully united through her limited webcam and audio using Placeware as the stage at that time. We had no way of knowing that several virtual training programs could exist for a world.
In this period of uncertainty, one thing is certain. Training is here to remain and will continue to evolve. In a post-COVID vaccine era, we all know that we can teach effectively across time, distance, and distance. By integrating and experimentation with a number of those principles, continue to innovate and find what works best for the virtual learners. It’s times like those when being virtual is an alternative, but a necessity.

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