Classrooms no longer require four walls and desks. Thanks to virtual classroom platforms like Zoom, AdobeConnect, WebEx, and more, training’s reach now crosses continental boundaries. Alongside the possibilities provided by flexible blended learning design, new challenges emerge.
Experts strive to create equivalent training experiences in the virtual classroom. We want live online learning to meet or exceed the expectations of our learners and stakeholders. Purposeful instructional design contributes to our meeting this goal, as does first-rate facilitation. But as organizations become more diverse, the learning function must do more to ensure all learners in all locations feel engaged in and by the professional development process.
Global Virtual Classroom,
Here at InSync Training, we have a mantra that guides our design and delivery practice: “Nothing stands alone.”
We no longer live in the days of siloed training – every resource, activity, and session should connect to a larger learning experience that aims to generate true skill building.
Sure, this sounds great in theory. But how do we actually keep learners engaged and invested after live online training ends?
Modern Blended Learning
Global training depends on digital platforms like eLearning, microlearning, and virtual classrooms. When dealing with multiple time zones and diverse learner groups, creating equivalent training experiences requires planning and professionals.
And while we acknowledge that facilitators act as the face of live learning events, producers power the sessions. They do much more than “open the room.” They act as learner advocates, a second voice delivering content, and an extra pair of hands juggling the many balls involved in effective modern learning.
Our production team includes the best in the business. So, what tips and tricks do they use to make sure every virtual learning session comes together into a seemingly seamless event?
Virtual Classroom - Production,
Virtual Classroom - Best Practices,
Global Virtual Classroom
Here we are in 2019. In our experience, every training professional at every organization understands the need for global training solutions. And because no training content should stand alone, these modern learning rollouts should focus on blended experiences.
In our work with individual practitioners and huge corporations, we recognize that standalone virtual or face-to-face training events no longer meet the needs of our learners or support the way businesses function today.
Success starts with acknowledging the need for comprehensive, perpetual, personalized digital blends. But without stakeholder buy-in and strategic implementation, a worldview mindset won’t impact the bottom line or learner skill building.
Global Virtual Classroom
Did you know? InSync has operated an entirely virtual team since 2000. Over the last 20 years, technology platforms like Skype, Dropbox, WebEx, and Outlook have enabled us to communicate, collaborate, and constructively deliver our value proposition to our clients and learners.
In many ways, our organization implemented this employment model before it became commonplace. Today though, more companies include remote teams or allow for telework. Heck, even some federal government jobs here in the US allow team members to work virtually!
The workplace is a-changin’ folks. But, the need for clear roles and responsibilities has not changed.
In modern blended learning, what learners think about information presented during the training experience matters. In fact, our research shows that this learner reaction perfectly defines the concept of intellectual engagement.
Intellectual engagement relies on intent. Did we design this content in a way that encourages learners perceive it as relevant, timely, and efficient? Did we deliver the information thoughtfully so that learners understand what the business expects of them?
Advanced Facilitation Learner Engagement
Scenario-based learning offers a powerful instructional design option. This process “uses interactive situations to engage non-engaged learners in active learning strategies.”
Designers leverage available technology to create experiences in which learners can solve problems and interact with provided situations to learn new skills.
Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design,
Blended Learning Instructional Design,
We talk a lot about learning journeys. The modern learning landscape has evolved, and standalone programs no longer exist.
Learners reasonably expect personalized, relevant training experiences. Designers understand that their role has changed to accommodate complex perpetual learning programs that resemble winding pathways.
But what about facilitators? How has their responsibility shifted in the age of learning journeys?
Virtual Classroom - Facilitation,
Even though virtual classroom platforms have existed for over 20 years, many learners and learning professionals struggle to thrive in this environment.
One of the reasons is that the same technology "bells and whistles" that designers and facilitators use for engagement activities can distract and overwhelm our audiences.
Virtual Classroom - Best Practices
Recently, the InSync Team worked with a large corporate client on an extensive blended virtual program roll out.
With multiple two-hour live, online sessions and self-directed activities supporting thousands of learners in Company X’s offices across the global training program, logistics proved to be a veritable logic puzzle. Not only did content need contextualization (and regionalization in some cases), but each live session needed a supportive and talented instructional team.
Success depended upon the correct placement of all the puzzle pieces. And while our team has a long history of designing, staffing, and managing large virtual initiatives, this process provided a helpful reminder about the truth of planning global programs: we need to keep calendars and clocks top of mind.
Global Virtual Classroom