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

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As hard as disruption is, times of disruption can also spark invention. These periods force us to change that which we have done. According to writer Charles Duhigg within his book Smarter, Faster, Better: The Keys of Being active in Life and Business, innovation could emerge from disturbance and anxiety”if we’re eager to adopt that desperation and upheaval and try to view our old ideas in new ways.”
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we might feel like we’ve been disrupted and plunged into a world of virtually all things virtual. There are many questions that you have, if virtual classrooms are fresh for you. Here are some principles to consider as you make the shift, to assist with this transition.
Measure #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 varies radically when perspective changes. Let’s apply this. We might start to find flaws As soon as we shift content from in-person training to virtual delivery. This shift that is modality provides a new lens that exposes opportunities for improvement. As an example, at a wrapper you will discover a instructional strategy was used in your in-person training. With inductive techniques like presenting challenges for students to solve in your live, online classroom, you might experiment in the digital environment. By keeping them involved in the learning process more inductive methods can also reduce learner multi-tasking or task-switching. Start looking for ways to increase your instructional design as you transition material to the digital classroom.
Measure #2: Understand
It’s a frequent mistake to believe that an specific replica of a in-person training could be converted to a virtual training session. It’s not best practice for many reasons, although this might be tempting. As they are different mediums, training isn’t an exchange with a digital classroom. When radio announcers appeared on television remember? Initially, radio broadcasters spoke into a microphone just as they had always done but with a camera placed directly in front of them and read scripts. They understood its possibility once they started to experiment with television. Virtual instruction differs than in-person training because it requires even more interaction with participants, removing technical obstacles, confirming participants’ opinions, frequent visual motion, more visuals (the opposite of static slides), including in extra fractures and shortening chunks of time online because everyone is looking at screens, participant prompting, frequent instructor feedback, and much more.
Principle #3: Leverage creative and relevant usage of platform tools
1 method to participate learners is to leverage the tools. Take care not to utilize them for the sake of using them, though. Exercises applicable to the topic, must be thoughtful and meaningful, and accomplish learning objectives creatively. Some tools that are common include digital hands raising so participants can unmute and join discussion, Q/A shredder whiteboard, polling, randomizer tool, break-out rooms for smaller group work and discussion, and the queue. Chat is offered in all modern platforms like Blackboard Collaborate, and Adobe Connect, WebEx, Zoom, GoToTraining and has become the most popular. Break-out rooms also have definitely improved over the years, also in Zoom, for instance participants could remain on camera. Turning on the instructor’s webcam can also be helpful lead discussions, explain exercises, to welcome students, and run other activities so students can read instructors’ cues and facial expression. Use of annotation tools such as highlighting, circling, and arrow pointing also help students know where to focus attention on instructional materials.
Measure #4: Use a blended learning approach
A learning approach often works well with instruction. This means that in addition to providing live instruction through a platform, the instruction is combined with learning activities. By way of example, before and/or after the digital session, students could be required to complete an eLearning tutorial, listen to a podcast, finish an assignment, review an infographic, read an guide, answer reflection questions, complete pages by a workbook, view a related LinkedIn Learning class, or see a blog. This way, live class time is freed up for high levels of learning such as example review, discussion, application, evaluation, and analysis. This approach comprises spaced repetition throughout and primes the student ahead of time. This is actually the”flipped” virtual classroom model.
Measure #5: Pair instructors with manufacturers that are specialized
To relieve the strain of managing the logistics and specialized pieces of the digital platform, it works to pair an instructor. The role of the manufacturer is to bookend the session, as well as manage the technical elements of the platform. By adding this function that is supportive, it enables the coach to focus on the content and also do what they do best — teach. By way of example, tech manufacturers can manage technical issues, welcome participants, establish netiquette (things to keep in mind while online), provide a brief platform tour, introduce the presenter, moderate the conversation, subject questions, close the session, etc..
I taught a handful of attendees in a conference in Orlando, Florida about the chances virtual instruction offered of learning the field. I had carefully coordinated to join the digital platform at the time zone of Orlando to help demonstrate its capability. My colleague successfully joined through her restricted webcam and audio using Placeware. We had no way of knowing that several digital training programs could exist for a world desperate to stay connected.
In this period of uncertainty, 1 thing is certain. Virtual training is here to stay and may continue to evolve. Even in a post-pandemic, post-COVID vaccine era, we all know that we can teach efficiently across space, time, and distance. By integrating and experimentation with a number of these principles, continue to innovate and find what works best for the digital students. It’s times like these when being virtual is not only an option, but a necessity.

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