Presenting Virtual Classrooms
“77% of organisations in the USA are using virtual learning”*
*Source: “Developing global leaders in a digital world.” Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School. May 2017
We have worked with many experienced face to face facilitators and leaders who needed to master the skill of working in virtual classrooms and our approach has enabled them to excel. Continue reading to find out more about our approach.
What will I be able to do after the training?
- Thoroughly understand the core principles that underpin effective virtual training and facilitation.
- Use all the back and front office functionality of your chosen platform.
- Design a virtual training session that:
- Follows the Virtual Learning Cycle (see below) to maximise learning effectiveness.
- Engages participants mentally and emotionally and which leads to action/ change.
- Troubleshoot your own and participants’ technical issues regarding logging in, audio, webcam and broadband.
You will also come away from the programme with a comprehensive toolkit that will support you in designing and delivering your own virtual classrooms.
You can download this page as a iPDF brochure by clicking here
Approach & Methodology
During the past three years, we have developed an approach to virtual learning that maximizes the effectiveness of this learning technology. It addresses the main challenges we have seen when experienced face-to-face L&D Professionals begin to transition into the virtual world.
Because they are in their own transition process (along with participants) they frequently get too focused on the technology and it is easy to lose sight of WHY they are doing what they are doing. This can manifest in using the available tools for the sake of it (gimicky), often resulting in low levels of learning effectiveness.
We have developed a Virtual Learning Cycle that addresses this challenge. It has a number of elements as shown below. We model these during the PVC programme.
1) Introduce (pre-course work)
Participants complete short pre-course activities with the purpose of:
- Preparing them for the course by providing a clear outline of the objectives.
- Maximising the learning during face-to-face time in the virtual classroom.
- Providing an opportunity for them to identify their personal learning objectives – so they start to engage with the course content by seeing how it could benefit them.
Participants complete short welcome activities that include:
- Building rapport between themselves, their colleagues and the facilitator.
- Answering some questions that have varying degrees of ease/challenge – to help them relax and start engaging with the content.
- Helping them understand how the technology works and the rules of engagement within this class – to create both comfort with the technology and psychological safety.
- Highlighting the benefits of the topic to be covered which should arouse interest.
- Sharing both the challenges they currently face (related to the content) and opportunities the learning will provide.
The new concept, theory, skill or technique is taught using the appropriate method (e.g., video, presentation, and modeling).
Participants practice applying the learning in interactive exercises using breakouts, quizzes, games, discussions and clinics to:
- Build confidence and understanding.
- Stimulate questions or areas for further clarification.
- Practice in a safe environment with support.
- Check their understanding of the topic.
- Get feedback on how they are progressing.
5) Embed & Support
Participants apply the learning to their own real-life situations. This is achieved through activities, such as, reflection, answering questions, discussing a real-life scenario they face and planning to apply what they have learnt. This has the purpose of enabling them to:
- Transition the learning back into the workplace.
- Identify how and when they will use their new learning and insights.
- Proactively bridge the gap between the classroom and their role.
Matthew has spent the last 25 years working in the field of personal and organisation change, most of it with large corporates. Most recently he spent nine years as a Senior Manager at KPMG. Out of a desire to work more holistically, in 2005 he completed a MSc in Change Agent Skills and Strategies.
He began using virtual classrooms when the technology was in his infancy and has stuck with it! He brings substantial expertise in both presenting virtual classrooms as well as training L&D professionals and technicians in this skill. He has personally trained over 170 professionals to present virtual classrooms.
His clients frequently say he has done an excellent job at upskilling their people, enabling them to excel in the virtual world and rapidly become self-sufficient.