5 Virtual Classroom Hacks for Facilitators, Designers, And Producers

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Dec 4, 2014 11:50:00 AM
Jennifer Hofmann

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Okay, I admit it. I've been dying to use the word "hack" in a blog post title. It just seemed like all of the cool kids are doing it. There...now I've gotten that out of my system.

We've recently published our 2015 schedule, including our flagship programs for virtual facilitation and virtual instructional design techniques plus cutting-edge titles dealing with topics such as the mobile virtual classroom, the social virtual classroom, and the global virtual classroom.

If the titles and topics alone aren't enough to help you decide to include InSync Training in your 2015 development plan, I thought I'd share some of my favorite learning points from a few programs in our course catalog..

And no, they aren't really "hacks," just some of our best advice for virtual training professionals.

  1. When facilitating a virtual training session, nothing is worse than when you ask your learners to contribute, and all you hear is silence. When you want learners to answer a question or contribute to a conversation, phrase your request in such a way that learners know how to respond. For example, never ask, “What type of project management techniques have you used in the past?” Instead ask, “If you’ve managed a project in the past, click the green checkmark. If you haven’t managed a project in the past, click the red X.” Now, you know everyone who has managed a project and can ask a specific individual what techniques they used on a particular project. (Learn more about virtual facilitation.)

  2. Don’t let the tools dictate your design. When designing training for the virtual classroom, start with the design document. Identify the learning objectives, and then determine how you will assess if a learner has mastered that learning objective. Only then can you determine which virtual classroom collaboration tools you will use to teach and assess that learning objective. (Learn more about virtual design.)

  3. When designing a blended learning program, “flip the classroom” to maximize the collaborative impact of your design. This means deliver the lecture and content-heavy material in a self-paced format such as e-learning, simulations, or reading. Use the valuable and limited live time in the virtual classroom or traditional classroom setting for application of the content delivered to learners in that self-paced format. To facilitate this design style, map learning objectives to the appropriate learning technologies using a modern application of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning(Learn more about designing blended learning.)

  4. A producer in the virtual classroom should be so much more than technical support. The producer supports facilitators by helping to manage content, timing, and technology. At the same time, a producer is a participant advocate, always looking for the "body language in the bandwidth" in order to ascertain that learners are engaged, and mastering the content. (Learn more about producing in the virtual classroom.)

  5. "Death by demo" is NOT an effective application training technique! When teaching software applications, design activities that encourage interaction, collaboration and hands-on experience that allow every learner to practice and master the technology. (Learn more about creating effective application training in the virtual classroom.)

InSync's curriculum offerings provide our clients with the skills required to become knowledgeable, effective, and dynamic instructional experts in the virtual classroom. InSync also offers a variety of custom services including instructional design, coaching, production support and virtual classroom facilitation.

Interested in seeing all of our courses and services in one convenient document? Just click on the graphic below to download our catalog which includes every course and service available from InSync Training.  

Course and Services Catalog April 2015

Topics: Virtual Classroom - Best Practices, Course Catalog