How to Teach Virtually | Intellezy Trainers | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is Virtual Training

    • 3. Key Planning Decisions

    • 4. Designing your Virtual Course

    • 5. Virtual Training is Still Training

    • 6. Maximizing your Software Platform

    • 7. Preparing Yourself for Success

    • 8. How to Maintain Engagement

    • 9. I See What you Mean

    • 10. Can you Hear Me Now?

    • 11. Questions in the Virtual Classroom

    • 12. Using a Producer

    • 13. Dealing with Difficult Situations

    • 14. Time Management

    • 15. Prepare Well, Perform Well

    • 16. Course Recap

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About This Class

In this course, learners will get an introductory overview about Virtual Training. They will gain insights as to the tools necessary for interactive design, how to structure their courses, matching methods with content, using voice and visuals to engage their learners, dealing with questions, difficult situations and overall time management and preparation tips.

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Intellezy Trainers

Learning Simplified


Intellezy collaborates with organizations to help implement and adopt technology to its full potential. Our online videos include 250+ courses designed to educate and empower individuals

Our library, recognized by top influencers such as The Craig Weiss Group, Training Industry and eLearning Journal, provides dynamic and task-focused videos, quick reference guides, and assessments right at your fingertips, right when you need them.

In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, it is imperative to make sure your team members have the skills and expertise required to succeed. Intellezy offers custom content development to ensure learning materials, and the delivery approach is aligned to meet intended outcomes and address your specific training needs without covering topics t... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello everyone. My name is Lynn, and I'd like to welcome you to our course on how to teach a virtual class. For many reasons, individuals and organizations have turned to virtual training courses to accomplish their learning objectives. Technology has made it possible to learn together virtually, even if we cannot physically be together. In this course, we will provide you with everything you'll need to know to reach your learning goals online while keeping the learning process engaging and interactive. Let's get started. 2. What is Virtual Training: First, it is important to define virtual training is there are many ways out there to gain new knowledge and skills. People are probably most familiar with live in-person traditional training, where the instructor and the students are together in one place. Now we have the virtual classroom where the instructor and participants do not have to be in the same location. With technology, learning events can be synchronous, where an instructor and participants are together in real time. Or it can be asynchronous, where participants can take the training on their own time. A true virtual training course includes the presentation of knowledge, students applying that knowledge and getting feedback from the instructor. There are also other virtual events that you can conduct, like webinars. These typically allow two-way communication between a presenter and participants. Finally, you can conduct webcasts that are used primarily to convey information to large audiences over the web. They can be either live or prerecord it. Unlike virtual training courses, webinars and webcasts typically do not have practice exercises. 3. Key Planning Decisions: Before you get started doing any training online, it's important to select the right tool for the job. There are so many software platforms to choose from and more are entering the marketplace every day. Software tools that were used exclusively for business meetings in the past now include more functionality than ever, making it possible to use those tools for virtual training classes. If you have an opportunity to choose a new software platform for your organization, you might be wondering what you need to know. Here are two key factors to consider. First, will the training platform you choose be compatible with any software systems or applications that you may need to teach at your organization. And secondly, we'll your training platform include the tools and features needed to design and engaging and interactive training course. These tools would include things like annotation tools, breakout rooms, chat holes, private chat, video streaming, and white boards. After this video, you should have a better understanding on choosing the right software for your training needs. 4. Designing your Virtual Course: Once you have a software platform in place, you're ready to design a virtual training course. Designing a virtual training course is pretty much like any other design project. However, let me share with you some best practices unique to virtual training that will impact your design plans. The length of your virtual sessions should be somewhere in the range of 60 to 180 minutes, with 120 minutes being a nice sweet spot. Virtual sessions should include five to 10 minute breaks every hour. It's preferable to only schedule one virtual session per day. If you need to have more than one virtual session per day, then there needs to be a minimum of a one-hour break in between sessions. If you need to give out class assignments in between sessions, then it's a good idea to make sure that they take no more than 90 minutes to complete. Class sizes should not exceed 15 learners to allow for maximum engagement and interaction. Of course, the factor that will have the greatest impact on your design plans will be time. Unlike a traditional classroom, where you can spend an entire day or even multiple days with your class. The virtual classroom is different. Time spent on learning must be significantly less. It is possible to be online for an entire day. But realistically, how much engagement, focus, and learning retention are you going to get from your participants? When it comes to time? The best thing you can do is come up with a timeframe for your course that falls somewhere in between the business needs of your organization and the best practices in virtual training. 5. Virtual Training is Still Training: An important thing to remember is that virtual training is still training. So you would still apply adult learning principles and you would still need a suitable core structure conducive to learning. You may need to make some slight modifications to adapt to an online environment. But you will still be able to use those fine tune teaching skills. Just like any training course. A good idea to conduct some quick activities at the beginning of your course, just to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, especially if it's their first time with learning online. Here are some best practices you can use. Be sure to greet everyone by name as they enter the session. Involve learners right away by engaging them in some small conversation. Or you can even offer them a fun brain teaser activity to work on. Share a quote with them, or ask them some warm-up questions using a pole. Be sure to have some type of introductory icebreaker so everyone can get to know one another. And of course, make sure to introduce yourself. By doing these types of activities right away. You'll be telling your class that the training will be interactive and highly participatory. In the virtual classroom, you may need to spend some time explaining how to use the tools like chat and white boards just to make sure that your learners are ready to fully participate. Also, your discussion around class ground rules will be slightly different than in the traditional classroom. You will need to remind people such things as turning off their smartphones. Securing a quiet environment in which to take the class. You'd want to inform them as to when and how to use their mute function. You'd also want to show them how to raise their virtual hands and any other feedback icons that their software may have. Making sure that they know how to use the chat window, including how to message you or other students privately. If your software allows for private chat. Telling your class right from the beginning that you will encourage their participation and you may call on them by name periodically throughout the class. Since time is a premium in the virtual classroom, all the more reason to be sure that you have a solid core structure to maximize learning results. I'd like to give you a sample structure that you can use. First you want to start your lesson just like any other. Communicate your objectives, Benefits, and your agenda for the class. Provide your class with the knowledge that they need to complete their job tasks and then give them away to apply that knowledge. You'll still be able to monitor your class in the virtual classroom. This way you can give them feedback on how well they're doing with their practice exercises. Then you want to wrap up your lessons with some type of summary activity. And then you're done. The key part of this quick structure that I just gave you is the application of knowledge. What can sometimes happen online, just like in the traditional classroom, is that an instructor can spend too much time presenting knowledge and not conducting any or enough practice exercises. Here might as well give your learners a pillow in that case. Remember, early on when I talked about selecting a software platform that had plenty of features and tools. Well, the importance of those tools really come into play when you want to design practice exercises into your virtual training. The fewer tools that you have, the fewer activities you'll be able to design. And this could potentially lead to less training results for your organization. 6. Maximizing your Software Platform: If your software platform has top functionality, then sky's the limit on the different types of activities you can include in your virtual training. However, even if you're using a software tool designed primarily for collaboration or meetings with a little creativity. You can still make your sessions interactive. Let me give you some examples. Let's say you're teaching a three-step method on how to handle angry customers to a group of call center associates. If your software has electronic breakout rooms, then you could divide the class into teams of three to practice that role-play. Each person would take turns playing the role of the angry customer, but call center associate and then an observer. But let's say your software did not have electronic breakout rooms, then you could still do the role-play, but you would just have to design it in a different way. You could have each learner put the main classroom Audio call on hold while they call each other separately to conduct the role-play. Let's look at another example. If you wanted to show a group of people how to solve a math problem, you can first demonstrate how to do it using your class whiteboard tool. Then for learner practice, you can show students a slide of a new problem to solve. And then you could either ask everyone to provide you with the answer. They could use the chat window, or you could even give the class a multiple-choice poll question. In that way they can give you the answer. Let's look at a third example. Let's say you are teaching a conceptual skill, like how to analyze a profit and loss statement. You could first teach the class how to do it using a slide of information. Or you could even show them a pre-recorded video. Then for practice, you can screen share an example of a profit and loss statement with the class. And then you could have them individually take their own personal notes as to what they see. Then you could refocus the class back together and you could ask everyone to take turns sharing their top three observations with the class. When teaching online, it is vitally important to be very specific about giving your class directions on exactly what you want them to do and what tools you want them to use. Also, you need to give people exact timeframes for how long you want them to spend on any given activity to help keep them on task. With all these concepts in mind and with a little design creativity, you can build a virtual experience in which your learners interact with you and with their classmates in a variety of ways. And trust me, they will love you for it. 7. Preparing Yourself for Success: Some of you may be quite savvy and comfortable with technology, while others not so much. If you're just starting to teach online for the first time that I'd like to share with you, three steps to prepare yourself. So success. Step 1. Do your homework, participate in a virtual class yourself. So you can see what it is like to learn that way. Think about how training virtually is both similar and different than training in a traditional classroom. Master your software platform inside and out. Practice using all the tools like the breakout rooms, whiteboards, and all of the annotation tools. Step to adjust your attitude. If you need to adjust your attitude about teaching virtually, if you're like me, you might be kicking and screaming, transitioning from the traditional classroom into the virtual one. Take the time to reflect on the benefits from learning virtually. And think about how successful you will be and how you will still be teaching just in a different way. Depending on your circumstances. Virtual training classes may be the only way to reach your learners. And step three, secure organizational support. Be sure to secure the proper support from your organization. So your virtual courses will be successful. Make sure you get enough time to practice using your software platform, as well as practice teaching the class before you actually do it live. If your class includes a variety of activities, it may be a good idea to get approval to use a producer. I will talk more about producers later on in this course. And just like any software tool, it is important to ensure you have all the necessary support from your IT department to keep things running smoothly. 8. How to Maintain Engagement: I've mentioned before that when people look at an electronic screen for long periods of time, they can become tired easily. Another thing to keep in mind is that your learners could be taking the class in their work or home environment. They're going to be surrounded by all kinds of possible distractions. I'd like to give you 10 ways to keep your groups more engaged. Tip number 1, clearly show your class the course objectives so they know what to expect and what they will accomplish during this session. Tip number to express a strong benefit statement which explains how your class will gain something from the training. Tip number 3, use your learners names often, especially if you don't hear from some of them during the class. Tip number four, create a sense of community. Share the class list, or at least keep it showing throughout the class. You want to work in teams often and use inclusive words like we and us instead of I. Tip number 5. Engage as many senses as you can by using your voice, using video, using images, using color, and of course, using hands-on activities. Tip number 6. Don't be afraid of silence. Those moments will give you time to think and give your learners a chance to process what they are learning from you. Tip number 7. It's difficult in the virtual environment, but you need to listen actively to your learners comments and questions so that you can address them properly. This also includes keeping your eyes on the chat window for any questions that might pop up during the class. Tip number 8, provide clear and simple instructions for your activities. You can't afford wasting time helping people figure out what to do. Tip number nine, you want to build fun activities into your training session. Adults learn better when they're having fun. And finally, tip number ten. In the virtual classroom, make the learners do something different every three to five minutes. In other words, have your class use a variety of your online tools consistently throughout the training. I promise you, if you follow these tips, your training will be just as interactive. If not more interactive than a traditional classroom training. 9. I See What you Mean: In the virtual classroom, people will be looking less at you and more on what you show them. Show them visuals that will make an impact. Instead of using those typical bullet points on a slide, use videos, colorful photographs, and interactive whiteboard displays. To approve your PowerPoint design skills. You may want to consider using the rule of thirds. You can learn more about this rule and from many articles and videos that you can find online. Make sure your visuals enhance learning and follow the usual PowerPoint tips surrounding font size, color, and keywords. The great part about virtual training is that you can actually interact with your visuals in creative ways. For example, you can draw boxes around key elements or highlight important steps. You can also create whiteboards that your learners can interact with, both in the main classroom and depending on your software platform in individual breakout rooms. 10. Can you Hear Me Now?: Your vocal delivery skills should always be strong regardless of where you teach. But in the virtual classroom, everything is magnified because your learners are looking and listening to you through a screen. I'd like to share with you some vocal best practices to keep in mind. Be sure to use what we call good vocal variety when you teach. When you vary things like pace, volume, inflection and tow, your learners will stay more engaged with you. It's also a good idea to slow down your rate of speech slightly when you're teaching online. This way, everyone's going to be able to keep up with you. While important to use a script. Be careful not to sound like you're reading from it. Some of you may choose to keep your camera on while you teach virtually, while others may keep it off. There are pros and cons to each approach. But either way, be sure to smile when it's appropriate when you speak. This way, your class will be able to hear the enthusiasm in your voice. 11. Questions in the Virtual Classroom: Questions are an instructor's best friend. They can be asked to measure knowledge acquisition and retention. They can also be asked to stimulate thinking. And they can be asked to even to motivate your class. Due to time constraints in the virtual classroom. How you ask questions needs to be slightly different from how you would ask them in the traditional classroom. In the virtual classroom, you need to use more closed-ended questions. And those questions need to be a lot more concise. When asking questions. You need to tell your class specifically how you want them to respond. Because in the virtual classroom, there are many ways that they can do that. For example, you'd need to tell them to answer your question either by raising their virtual hand, responding verbally, or by using the chat window. In the traditional classroom, you may not call on a person by using their name. If they don't raise their hand, you know, fearing that this might make them feel uncomfortable. However, in the virtual classroom, you do need to use people's names often to ensure that everyone in the group is engaged in with you. You'll find that sometimes it's a bit more challenging to get learners to answer questions verbally in the virtual classroom. One of my favorite tricks that works really well is to ask a question. And if I get only silence in return, then I'd say something like, looks like I'm going to have to call on somebody. And when people hear that, they typically respond rather quickly. When it comes to answering questions, you have two choices to make. How you answer questions depends on how you're doing on time. If you are ahead of schedule, if you want, you can redirect questions to the entire class, and this can get a nice discussion going. If you are behind schedule, then you would have to answer all the questions quickly by yourself. 12. Using a Producer: A well-designed course will engage your learners about every three to five minutes, often using many of the features and tools that are built into your software platform. So a great deal of multitasking is required to make a virtual course runs smoothly. You know, something that can prove challenging for even the most experienced virtual trainers. One of the best ways to make sure that your course runs well and stays on schedule is to pair up with a producer. There are two roles a producer can play in the virtual classroom. They can play a support role or an instructional role. If you decide to work with producers, you need to decide what role or roles you want them to play. And what exactly do you want them to do during your class? If they act in a support role, they can handle all course correspondence, handle technical support issues, record your session, and prepare all the tools that are going to be used in the class. You want them to help you facilitate the class. Then they can conduct the warm-up activities. They can provide a second voice presenting content. And they can also help you answer questions. Sometimes it's challenging to get additional resources to have a producer for every time you teach online. But it is so worth it when it comes to delivering a truly interactive and well-run course. 13. Dealing with Difficult Situations: When it comes to dealing with difficult situations, this is where it really pays off to have a software platform with all the bells and whistles, especially private chat. For example, let's say you have someone who's taking the class from their home and their dog is barking in the background, disturbing the class. No problem. You or your producer can privately chat that person and ask them to put their audio on mute. Or with most applications, you as the presenter can mute participants yourself if you have too. How about if you have people in your class who are unfamiliar with using your software tools and they keep interrupting you and asking for help. No problem here. Have your producer, again use private chat to help those students separately. And this way you can keep the class moving. Finally, how about it? If you have a learner who knows everything about everything and keeps trying to dominate the class. No problem here. Just divide your class into separate breakout rooms and you're going to redirect the energy in the room. If you do not have these types of tools with your software, or if you're not working with a producer, then you could still deal with these issues. But you may have to handle them in a less than private way. And this in turn, could affect the learner self-esteem, which is something very important. As far as adult learning principles go. Sometimes difficult situations happen because of technical problems. Perhaps someone cannot log into your class because of firewall issues or poor bandwidth. This is where it really comes in handy to have a producer who can help that person resolve their issues either during warm-up activities, during the class, privately if necessary. Most software platforms allow you to record your virtual classes. So if someone is experiencing technical problems that cannot be resolved at all or quickly enough, then worse comes to worse. They'll have to log out of the session and watch the recording later on. I recommend that you develop a plan for every possible technical issue beforehand. So that if that unexpected thing happens during the training, you'll be able to handle them like a pro. 14. Time Management: Time management. This takes on greater importance to the virtual trainer because you'll be training in a lot less time. You must greet the class, conduct an icebreaker, Qi Ge, all of the content, conduct practice exercises, take breaks, and then summarize your lessons all while keeping in line with the best practices for virtual training. I'm going to share with you six of my favorite time management tips that will help you stay on schedule. Tip number one, encourage your class to log into the session a few minutes early. So this way you can resolve any technical issues that might come up. Tip number two, do not stop your class for latecomers. If you have a producer, have the producer acknowledge that latecomer and get that person up to speed as necessary. Tip number three, keep a close watch on your lesson plan timings to make sure you stay on schedule as best you can. Tip number 4. Use a virtual parking lot for questions you might have to put off during the class. You'll have to attend to later on. Tip number 5. And now it's time reminders during breakout room activities to keep your groups on task. Tip number 6. During breaks, bring up a countdown timer. There's certainly plenty on the Internet. So this way, everyone sees how much time is remaining and can return to the class on time. Following these time management suggestions will help you stay on track when you teach online. 15. Prepare Well, Perform Well: It goes without saying that just like traditional classroom training instructors would, virtual trainer should prepare themselves well to ensure success. If you work with a producer, both of you need to rehearse together to iron out all the small details and to decide who will be doing what and when. During the class, you must master both your content and your software platform, especially if you're teaching brand new material. Prepare a troubleshooting guide on how to handle technical issues. So that this way, if they come up during your class, you're not scrambling around to figure out what to do. Prepare a quiet and neat workstation to use while you teach online and be sure to have some water available. You also may want to invest in a hands-free headset. So you can multitask a lot easier. And finally, log into your classroom early with your producer and ensure both of you are ready to go when your participants arrive. 16. Course Recap: We've covered a tremendous amount of material in this class. We started out by defining virtual training. We then covered topics dealing with preparing to teach online, designing virtual training, and then delivering virtual training. The prospect of training online may be a daunting one, especially if this is your first time. Now that you viewed this course, I'm confident that you'll be ready to take on this challenge with competence.