Over the years, staff at Tribal have delivered countless online training sessions, live broadcast webinars and virtual demos. So, we've pooled our advice together on how to make virtual lessons a little bit easier.
At the moment, face-to-face lessons and lectures are not an option. But as many providers begin to harness the power of live learning, how can you ensure delivery of engaging, excellent course content, that provides students with a creative alternative to classroom-based lectures, whilst keeping that all-important student experience?
Well, here are some tips to help you …
1. Leverage the technology that you already have at your fingertips.
Using Office365? MS Teams is a great way of sharing screens whilst also presenting via video link. Did you know it has a whiteboard function too? Using GoToWebinar? Find ways of building its polling functions into your lessons, use the 'hands up' facility to ensure questions aren't missed and above all always create the opportunity to engage ‘beyond the broadcast’ – use your platform’s functionality to gauge responses and your audience’s opinions; use multiple media types that the platform supports to appeal to different learning styles; prompt questions throughout to keep engagement high and also to check understanding.
2. A virtual classroom is a real-time simulation of an online learning environment
Whilst it's handy that students can 'dial in' from a mobile phone wherever they are, they just aren't going to get the same experience as if they were in the room. Ensure that students have the lesson or lecture in their diaries and calendars (your learner management system should do this for you) and check they are set up appropriately. It's advisable to send them a reminder around one hour before, to make sure they have the right tools installed and are planning to be somewhere they can concentrate.
3. Practice. Give yourself a trial run, using the technology and your course notes.
Ensure plenty of time, so that if something did go wrong, you have time to implement a plan B. In our experience, if people have taken the time to join a virtual environment, they aren't all that forgiving when things don't exactly run smoothly.
4. In the classroom, you'd pick up on student frustration or energy levels and quickly adapt your style to regain their attention.
Virtually, this can be a little more difficult to gauge. So get creative and resourceful with interactivity tools such as https://directpoll.com/ or give everyone an active role in the lesson… keep it as two-way as possible. Also, look at your own delivery style and intonate your voice, traditionally monotone voices will be exaggerated in a virtual environment where distraction is everywhere. Ensure your own energy is lifted by delivering the lesson standing up rather than sat at a desk – it encourages more emotion in the delivery.
5. Put yourself in the right space, mentally and physically.
If you're conducting lessons from home, tidy your surroundings of anything that might distract you or the students and keep interruptions to an absolute minimum - mute your phone, turn off email notifications, and close down any applications that you're not using in the lesson. Finally, a simple one but easy to forget when you are back to back with online meetings and content delivery, ensure you are properly hydrated and fuelled. The function of the brain is hugely impaired when we are hungry or dehydrated.
Remember, whilst this is temporary, it could be a great way to empower learners all over the world in a brand-new way. If you would like to speak to us about how to get the most out of your systems at this time, please do contact us for a chat Hello@tribalgroup.com or take a look at our website for more ideas www.tribalgroup.com.