InSync Training

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Apr 3, 2014 12:23:00 PM

This is the first post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboards, application sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.  

Why use these new tools at all?  Because the virtual classroom is not the same as the traditional classroom, and we need to adapt our engagement techniques in order to create meaningful, learner-centered programs. 

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: Synchronized Web Browsing

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Apr 1, 2014 1:00:00 PM

This is the sixth post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboardsapplication sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.  

If you are an experienced virtual classroom designer, please build on the basics and share your expertise. 

Synchronized Web Browsing 

Synchronized web browsing can add great interaction to a virtual classroom design, if only anyone used it. It's easy to create engagement using this versatile tool. 

Within the virtual classroom, the feature of synchronized web browsing (or just 'web browsing') allows the facilitator or participants to bring the class to an Internet site or corporate intranet. It provides the opportunity to use the entire World Wide Web as potential content in the classroom. This allows facilitators to browse the web while the participants follow them. As links are clicked or addresses entered into the URL locator, the websites will be launched on the participants’ machines. This is another highly demonstrated feature in the virtual classroom sales process, but one that is frequently underutilized once such classes are implemented in organizations.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: Surveys, Feedback, & More!

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Apr 1, 2014 1:00:00 AM

This is the seventh post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboardsapplication sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.   If you are an experienced virtual classroom designer, please build on the basics and share your expertise. 

This final blog in the Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics series examines tools that often get overlooked in the virtual classroom. They can easily be inserted into a program to create interactive and collaborative activites. Check them out; you never know when you might need them!

Surveys, Polls, & Feedback Tools

To offset the absence of eye contact and body language signals facilitators usually rely on in traditional classrooms, virtual classrooms offer surveying, polling, and feedback tools.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: Application Sharing

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 31, 2014 12:42:00 PM

This is the fifth post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboards, application sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.  

If you are an experienced virtual classroom designer, please build on the basics and share your expertise. 

Application Sharing

SOFTWARE_Key-keyboard_shutterstock_161375690A very popular feature in virtual classrooms is application sharing. This feature allows the facilitator to share software applications (such as spreadsheets, word processing, or custom applications) with participants, even if the participants do not have the software installed on their individual machines. Because the feature is so visually impressive, vendors often use it as a highlight for their demonstrations.

There are many varieties of application sharing, ranging from “view only” on the participants’ side to allowing participants to actually interact with applications shared by the facilitator or by other participants.

Although the feature is very powerful, it is often not used creatively. The most common application is demonstrating software and allowing one or two participants to replicate what they saw the facilitator do. This is useful in some circumstances—but it does not promote participant collaboration or provide the opportunity for all participants to learn how to use the software. There are many ways to use application sharing that do successfully teach in a collaborative manner.

Because working with an application during a sharing exercise often takes the facilitator’s focus away from the virtual classroom, it is very helpful to have a producer to monitor feedback, questions, and
interactions.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: Breakout Rooms

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 24, 2014 12:45:00 PM

This is the third  post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

Finding Answers in the Virtual Classroom
 

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboardsapplication sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.  

If you are an experienced virtual classroom designer, please build on the basics and share your expertise. 

Breakout Rooms

If you are looking to find ways to move your events from a webinar format to true training, consider designing small group activities. (Yes, just like in a "REAL" class.) Breakout rooms allow groups of two or more participants to meet and collaborate during a larger live online session. The facilitator can assign one or more participants to breakout rooms to complete a self-paced exercise or assessment, or for team competitions. They are ideal for training sessions in which teams or groups must work with specific content – analyzing a case study, for example.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: Whiteboards

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 21, 2014 2:00:00 PM

This is the fourth post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

Learner using the whiteboard

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboardsapplication sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.  

If you are an experienced virtual classroom designer, please build on the basics and share your expertise. 

Whiteboards

The most commonly used tool in the virtual classroom is the whiteboard, where slides and documents are shared as if they were flipcharts in a traditional setting.

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series

Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: Chat

Posted by Jennifer Hofmann on Mar 21, 2014 10:53:00 AM

This is the second post in a series of seven titled Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics: A Virtual Engagement Primer. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.

Virtual training design doesn't need to be difficult - but designers do need a working knowledge of the features each virtual classroom tool provides.

In this blog series, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics, I'll be sharing high-level summaries of virtual classroom tools, including chatbreakout roomswhiteboardsapplication sharing, synchronized web browsing, and survey and feedback tools.  

chat-icon_w580_h435

If you are an experienced virtual classroom designer, please build on the basics and share your expertise.

Chat

Chat is probably the most familiar tool in virtual classrooms. It can be used for so much more than Q&A! I always encourage facilitators to make both private and public chat available to participants no matter what the audience size. It's the easiest way to encourage interaction

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Topics: Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design, Virtual Classroom Tool Design Basics Series