Virtual Classroom Tips We Learned From the Pandemic Year

Posted by Cindy Earl on May 26, 2021 11:00:00 AM

05252021 Blog Tips Learned From PandemicThe year 2020 marked the accelerated transformation of virtual learning. With the L&D industry forever changed, what did we learn from the pandemic year? A few of InSync Training’s top facilitators, instructional designers and producers weighed in. Here are some of the top tips they shared…

Production Tips

  • Check for updates before every single virtual session and be prepared to guide your learners through any changes.
  • Reconsider asking people to turn on their cameras. Some participants may not be ready to invite people into their homes.
  • Research shows “Zoom” fatigue is real. Take frequent breaks.

Learner Tips

  • Since platforms have near constant updates happening, check for updates before every virtual session.
  • You do not need to keep your video camera on 100% of the time. However, DO turn on your video when asking or answering a question so your facilitator can connect your name and voice with a face.

Facilitation Tips

  • Acknowledge that roles, teams, direct reports, projects, etc., have changed due to Covid and may still be changing. Remote meetings are very different than face-to-face and new team members, etc., that are now remote still have cultural lenses to be aware of. Covid has changed content that may have been facilitated before Covid. The technology might be new to participants and it is important to let them know that as a facilitator I am aware of that to put them at ease.
  • Pre-Covid rules still apply with regard to webcam: staring at somebody’s face for 3 hours does not add engagement.
  • Learn how to effectively use Pause/Freeze in any platform you teach in. It will help you transition between screens more easily and won’t give your participants visual whiplash.
  • When using chat for multicultural teams - it still works. Just remember to give them a bit longer as their process looks something like this: understand question in second language, translate to own language, compose answer in head in own language, translate into second language then write into chat.

Design Tips

  • Plan on including a review of platform tools in EVERY SINGLE design. Since platforms have near constant updates happening, it’s smart to key in on recent changes as well.
  • Pre-Covid rules still apply with regard to use of media. For example, just because cool tools like Menti exist, it does not mean you have to use them. Choose your methods and media based on the learning objectives, not on your need to experiment with new tools.

Project Management & Logistics Tips

  • The biggest issue for any virtual session is audio, so DO include specific instructions on best practices for audio. For example, use of noise canceling headsets, testing early, etc.

Above all, give grace…

You have no idea what people are experiencing (frequent interruptions while managing kid’s Zoom calls; lack of focus because they are worried about finances; emotional distress because someone they know is sick). We all need to provide a little more support and patience during these times.

 

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