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Your Virtual Classroom Roadmap

August 11, 2011

To extend our discussion on virtual classroom training (VCT), there are many ways we can approach and execute VCT. As mentioned in my previous blog The Case for Going Virtual, there are some critical differences between ILT and VCT. Consider the following points to help you map out the best route to take:

  • The types of activities you use in a live classroom don’t translate well in the virtual world. Do not teach a live session concurrent with a virtual session. Have all students participate in the same manner with relevant activities best suited for the mode of delivery.
  • Look at your ILT course and identify the changes you’ll need to make to your content, instructional design and delivery to fit a virtual environment.
  • You don’t have to tackle your entire course library at once. Start with one class, deliver it well then build the next course.
  • Do your research and choose the right delivery platform—Adobe Connect, WebEx, GoToTraining, LiveMeeting. Each program has a different set of features and tools that will drive the types of activities you can do.
  • Involve others in your learning strategy: instructional designer, marketing, IT, facilitator and an executive partner. Rely on the strengths of your team to develop a successful VCT program.
  • Promote virtual accountability by setting the users’ expectations for participation.
  • Use activities that will motivate them out of their own self-interest and draw them into your presentation by making them relevant, interactive and enjoyable.
  • Have a relevant interaction every 2-3 minutes using chat, hand-raising, emoticons, polls and break-out sessions based on the features of your platform.
  • When you ask a question, give people time to think and formulate an answer…and condition them to know that you expect an answer.
  • For breakout sessions and independent practice activities, have student workbooks they can print and have available.
  • If you’re not an expert in using the interactive tools of your platform, PRACTICE! Observe other virtual learning events to get a feel for the types of activities you’ll want to incorporate into your VCT, and imitate the examples that you see.

The important thing is to start your VCT journey. We all make a few wrong turns and may even need to stop and ask for directions along the way, but as long as we’ve got our virtual sneakers on and we’re traveling the maze, we’re heading in the right direction towards change.

Are you a CLASSclub client? Register to attend my virtual classroom webinar on October 20th here – http://bit.ly/raGWOq

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