InSync Training

Lesson Learned: Instructional Design is Even MORE Important in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 3, 2020 7:43:29 AM

The Art of DesignIn 2020, we are sharing the lessons we’ve learned about the virtual classroom over the last twenty years, and we’ll link back to our more detailed content around these topics, in case you want to learn more! Take a peek at the entire Lessons Learned series by clicking here.

For decades, the virtual classroom has been used to simply present information in a webinar-type format. Because of this, there is some debate around the concept of the virtual classroom being a space where true learning can occur.  

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Lessons Learned

Research Helps Identify Learner Engagement Trends

Posted by Charles (Chip) Dye on Feb 18, 2020 12:20:00 PM

TThe Disengaged Learner 02182020 Bloghe InSync Training team congratulates Chip Dye, Lead Researcher and Director of Client Relations, on the defense of his dissertation and completion of his PhD program at the University of Connecticut. As part of our 20 Modern Learning Lessons Learned in 20 Years series, Chip highlights the purpose and value of his research into learner engagement. 

A casual review of current literature in academic research finds more than 300 scholarly articles and more than 2,000 trade articles in 2019 alone that use the term “learner engagement,” but few commentators define learner engagement. It is perhaps the ubiquity of the usage that allows researchers and commentators to continue the practice without a strict definition – it is assumed everyone knows what is meant by the term. Most practitioners in the learning and development industry, be it K-12 public education, post-secondary instruction, or industry professional training, can easily distinguish an “engaged” learner from one that is not engaged, in many cases simply on sight. 

Anecdotally, it is easy to “see” when someone is not engaged, but much more difficult to articulate what is meant by “learner engagement.” In the industry, learner engagement has developed into a short-hand term that loosely represents an amalgam of learner subject-matter interest/expertise, attitude, motivation, mastery, and self efficacy. Moreover, it is often explicitly or implicitly assumed that an engaged learner will achieve better outcomes against measurable rubrics than one who is not engaged.

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Topics: Research Study, Environmental Engagement, Intellectual Engagement, learner engagement, Lessons Learned

Lesson Learned: Virtual Classroom Producers Can Maximize Training Value

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Feb 3, 2020 10:48:00 PM
Lessons Learned about Virtual Classroom Production

In 2020, we are sharing the lessons we’ve learned about the virtual classroom over the last twenty years, and we’ll link back to our more detailed content around these topics, in case you want to learn more! Take a peek at the entire Lessons Learned series by clicking here.

In 1998, I envisioned that the role of the producer in the virtual classroom would be to “make the talent look good.” My reasoning was, the virtual classroom facilitator lost the ability to take the pulse of the class using body language and eye contact, so the producer added a second set of hands that help manage learner engagement and increase the quality of virtual lessons. 

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Production, Producer, Lessons Learned

Lesson Learned: Virtual Facilitation is DIFFERENT Than Traditional Facilitation

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 16, 2020 12:26:49 PM
Lessons Learned about Virtual Classroom Facilitation

In 2020, we’ll be sharing the lessons we’ve learned about the virtual classroom over the last twenty years, and we’ll link back to our more detailed content around these topics, in case you want to learn more! 

When organizations started to adopt the virtual classroom in the 1990s, the focus was on the technology-driven benefits it could provide - Reduction in travel cost, less disruption to learner schedules, and the ability to share subject matter expertise in a much more immediate and relevant way.

We could train everyone, when they needed it, and save money at the same time.

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

Hindsight is 2020 - 20 Years of Driving Digital Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Jan 6, 2020 11:51:00 PM
InSync Training 20 Year Anniversary Logo

On January 3, 2000, I created a company named InSync Training. To answer a commonly asked question, the name WASN’T a play on the name of a popular boy band of the time - back then, virtual classrooms were called ‘synchronous classrooms,’ so I felt the name would be compelling. 

At that time, the U.S. economy was coming out of the Dotcom era, and organizations were investing heavily in web-based technologies in all aspects of their operations (including learning and development) without any real understanding of what all this new tech would do for them. It was just assumed that the virtual classroom was the right choice for all modern training. I entered the marketplace with the vision of providing foundational, proven practices for training professionals to use and maximize virtual live instructional technologies in delivering training programs.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom, Virtual Classroom - Facilitation, Virtual Facilitation, Lessons Learned