InSync Training

Facilitation Tips Series, Part 4: Disaster Recovery (aka Keep Breathing)

Posted by Jane Bozarth on Oct 14, 2020 12:32:13 PM

10142020 Blog - Disaster RecoveryYears ago when I was teaching virtual facilitation skills, there was a section called “disaster recovery”. I poked fun at this, saying it seemed a bit too dramatic and asking if there had ever really been a Code Blue in a breakout room. Truth is, though, sometimes things do go wrong, and great staff with a great plan can keep hiccups from turning into full-blown failures.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Classroom - Best Practices

Virtual Producers add Value and Expertise from Behind the Scenes

Posted by Jane Bozarth on Oct 7, 2020 1:34:03 PM

10062020 Blog Virtual Producer DayMany years ago - can it really be nearly 20? - I was first learning to work in the virtual classroom. Back then, the tech was very new and still often wonky and unpredictable, so it was a given that this was a team endeavor, with the facilitator always working with a producer. I didn’t know at the time what a gift this would turn out to be: When I introduced virtual classroom events in my workplace, no one ever questioned the need for and the value of a producer, and no one ever asked me to try flying solo.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Production

Facilitation Tips Series, Part 3: Why are You Using Icebreakers?

Posted by Jane Bozarth on Sep 30, 2020 12:30:00 PM

09302020 Blog Facilitation Tips Series 3While researching evidence-based practices for the virtual classroom, I was looking for specific examples of activities that supported proven approaches like retrieval practice and feedback. What I found mostly were hundreds -- literally hundreds -- of sites and blog posts and articles promising ideas for “engagement and interaction” that were usually nothing more than lists of “icebreakers”, often just the same ones repeated from site to site and post to post. And y’all: I remember doing “2 Truths and a Lie” at a trainers meeting in 1996, and it wasn’t new then.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation

Facilitation Tips Series, Part 2: Feedback

Posted by Jane Bozarth on Sep 16, 2020 1:30:00 PM

09152020 Facilitation Tips Series Blog Part 2 FeedbackA critical element to learning is retrieval practice; the opportunity to revisit and apply new material. Such practice, coupled with meaningful feedback, can help ensure that learners understand material correctly, that they can find it - retrieve it - when needed, even after time has passed, and that they can apply it to real-world situations. Offering meaningful practice opportunities and providing good feedback can also contribute to a sense of social presence, discussed in my last post, Facilitation Tips Series, Part 1: Presence.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Learners

Facilitation Tips Series, Part 1: Presence

Posted by Jane Bozarth on Sep 3, 2020 4:58:53 PM

090320 Blog Facilitation Tips - PresenceIn the recent rush to move so much training from face-to-face to the virtual setting, there’s a great deal of conversation about the technology: which platform, dealing with security settings, how to create backgrounds. There’s less conversation, though, about the role of the facilitator and the skills needed to bring the energy and feeling of connectedness of the live event to the live online one.

Social presence refers to the collection of behaviors that help participants in a virtual environment see the facilitator -- and each other -- as human. Is this a ‘real’ person? Do I feel that they are really there, now?

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Learners, Learner Engagement

Success Tips for the New Virtual Classroom Producer

Posted by InSync Training on Aug 26, 2020 12:15:00 PM

08262020 Blog Success Tips for New Virtual ProducersWe often encounter some version of the following story when working with corporate teams and individual learners: “Well, my organization has made the leap to the virtual classroom. I’m now supporting live online sessions, but I don’t know how to use my existing skills while managing the technology.”

This kind of quandary results in the accidental virtual classroom producer. Trainers or learning professionals used to working face-to-face now have to support subject matter experts or experienced virtual facilitators in a completely different, though very dynamic, environment. So. what can you do if you find yourself, whether by circumstance or choice, working as a producer in the virtual classroom?

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Classroom - Production

Obstacles to Virtual Learning Success Solved!

Posted by InSync Training on Aug 12, 2020 1:45:00 PM

08122020 Blog PostRecently, learners have flocked to the virtual classroom to continue their professional development. Organizations have started embracing the flexibility and dynamism of this learning environment as a viable option for programs ranging from new-hire onboarding to informational webinar-style updates to complex technical trainings.

We believe in the power of the virtual classroom. But, truthfully, despite its varied functionality and useful tools, learners experience a, well, learning curve when learning virtually.

To help learners – both new and experienced – adapt and thrive in the virtual classroom, our team compiled a list of obstacles to look out for and ways to preemptively overcome them.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Best Practices, Modern Learners, Virtual Training

Lesson Learned: A Revisit with the January 2020 blog- Virtual Facilitation is DIFFERENT Than Traditional Facilitation

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Aug 5, 2020 10:31:14 AM
Lessons Learned about Virtual Classroom Facilitation

In August, we celebrate virtual classroom facilitators. And this year, you all REALLY deserve applause. You’ve been teaching marathon sessions that weren’t designed for the virtual environment, often in platforms you haven’t used before.

So, KUDOS to you, and thanks for all you have been doing. I know it hasn’t been easy.

When I wrote this blog back in January 2020, none of us had any idea how the world was about to change.  Virtual facilitation isn’t a ‘nice to know’ skill anymore – it’s critical! InSync’s clients tell us they expect near 100% of their training to be conducted virtually for the foreseeable future.  So, with thousands of hours of Zoom, Webex, Adobe Connect, and MS Teams training on the horizon, it seems a good time to revisit the basics.

No - virtual facilitation is NOT the same as face to face training. Own it. Embrace it. Your learners are depending on you.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Learner Engagement, Lessons Learned Series

Stories from the Virtual Trenches: 3 Common Virtual Classroom Challenges

Posted by InSync Training on Jul 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM

07282020 Blog 3 Common Virtual ChallengesLike in all professions, Learning & Development faces its fair share of challenges. Changing global dynamics, evolving business needs, and a diverse audience all contribute to a complex, and confusing, pathway forward.

The virtual classroom offers a solution to many of the broad obstacles training functions face. This learning environment supports organizations of all sizes and types, while seamlessly integrating into comprehensive, personalized, easily updated blends. And while the live online training environment provides flexibility and results, it does come with obstacles. By considering them ahead of time, you can avoid the pitfalls that will derail desired progress.

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Topics: Advice From The Virtual Trenches, Team Insight Series

The Foundation of Intellectual Engagement in Modern Learning

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jul 15, 2020 2:45:00 PM

07152020 Blog - Adult Learning TheoryLearner Engagement – defining and enhancing it have remained critically important in the modern classroom for years. If content design and delivery do not capture attention, demand participation, and encourage ongoing application, training programs inherently become less effective.

Exclusive research conducted by the InSync Training team focused on the long-standing question, “What is learner engagement?” and uncovered a surprising answer: it is not one single thing. Rather, learner engagement actually includes three separate learner factors: their environment, their emotions, and their intellect. We know that when instructional designers thoughtfully organize content and create activities that consider and generate these three types of engagement, learners benefit.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Modern Learners, Learner Engagement