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

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Times of disruption may also spark innovation as difficult as disruption is. These periods compel us to alter that which we have consistently done. Based on writer Charles Duhigg in his book Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, innovation could emerge from disturbance and tension”if we are willing to adopt that despair and upheaval and attempt to view our old ideas in new ways.”
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we might feel like we’ve been disrupted and plunged into a world of all things. There are probably if classrooms are fresh for you. To assist with this transition, here are a few principles to consider as you make the shift.
Principle #1: Watch for opportunities to improve design
The adage”a fish does not know it is in water until it is beached” informs us that one’s lens changes radically when viewpoint changes. Let us apply this. We might begin to see weaknesses when we shift content from in-person training to shipping. This shift provides a lens that exposes opportunities for improvement. For instance, in a wrapper that is new you will discover a educational method was used on your training. In the environment, you could experiment like introducing challenges for students to resolve on your online classroom with inductive methods. By keeping them involved in the learning process methods may also lessen task-switching or learner multi-tasking. Start looking for ways to increase your design as you transition material into the classroom.
Principle #2: Understand
It’s a error to believe that an exact replica of a six-hour training could be converted into a six-hour, virtual training session. Even though this might be tempting, it is not best practice for several reasons. As they are entirely different mediums training isn’t an equal exchange with a virtual classroom. Remember when radio announcers appeared on television? Originally, radio broadcasters read scripts and spoke into a microphone just as they had done but with a camera placed directly in front of them. Once they started to experiment more with television, its potential was understood by them. Digital instruction is different than in-person training because it requires more interaction with participants, eliminating technical barriers, affirming participants’ opinions, regular visual motion, more visuals (the opposite of static slides), including in additional fractures and shortening chunks of time online because everybody is looking at screens, participant prompting, regular instructor feedback, and much more.
Principle #3: Leverage innovative and Appropriate usage of platform tools
1 method to participate students is to leverage the tools. Be careful to not utilize them for the sake of using themthough. Exercises should be thoughtful and substantive, relevant to the subject, and achieve learning objectives creatively. Some tools that are common incorporate the conversation queue, Q/A pod, collaborative whiteboard, polling, randomizer instrument, break-out rooms for smaller group work and discussion, and virtual hand. Chat is easily the most popular and is offered in all platforms like Adobe Connect, WebEx, Zoom, GoToTraining, and Blackboard Collaborate. Rooms also have definitely improved through time, also in Zoom, for example, break-out participants could stay on camera. Turning on the instructor’s webcam is also useful explain exercises, to welcome students, direct discussions, and conduct activities so students can read instructors’ nonverbal cues and facial expression. Use of annotation tools such as highlighting, circling, and arrow pointing also help students know where to concentrate attention on educational materials that are projected.
Principle #4: Use a blended learning strategy
A learning approach often works best with instruction that is virtual. This means that in addition to supplying online instruction through a virtual platform, the instruction is blended with post-work and pre-work learning actions. For instance, before and/or after the virtual session, students may be required to complete an eLearning tutorial, then listen to a podcast, finish a mission, review an infographic, read an article, answer manifestation questions, complete pages by a workbook, see a connected LinkedIn Learning course, or see a site. This way, live course time is freed up for higher levels of learning such as evaluation, discussion, application, example review, and evaluation. This approach comprises repetition throughout and primes the learner beforehand. This is the”flipped” virtual classroom model.
Principle #5: Satisfy instructors with manufacturers that are specialized
It works well to pair an instructor with a producer for the entirety of their training to alleviate the strain of handling the logistics and specialized parts of the platform. The part of the producer is to bookend the session, in addition to handle the technical elements of the platform. It enables the coach to concentrate on the content and do what they do best — teach, by incorporating this function. For instance, tech manufacturers can handle technical problems, welcome participants, establish netiquette (things to keep in mind while online), provide a brief platform excursion, introduce the presenter, medium the conversation, field questions, close the session, etc..
About the promising possibilities virtual instruction offered the area of learning, I taught a handful of attendees in a conference in Orlando, Florida in the early 2000’s. I had closely coordinated to join the platform in Orlando’s time zone to help demonstrate its ability. My colleague successfully joined through her limited webcam and audio with Placeware as the stage at that moment. We had no method of knowing that two decades later, several virtual training platforms could exist for a world.
In this time of uncertainty, one thing is sure. Digital training is here to remain and may continue to evolve. In a vaccine era that is post-COVID, we understand that we may teach across space, time, and space. By experimentation and incorporating with some of these principles, continue to innovate and find what works best for your students. It’s times like these when being virtual isn’t only an alternative, but a requirement.

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