The virtual trainer’s inner superheroes

Two cartoon people, one woman, one man dressed in every day clothes positioned in a power stance. Their shadows appear larger behind them as super heroes wearing capes indicating they have inner superhero powers.
Your inner superhero

“A superhero is a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t. So in order to be a superhero, you need a power that is more exceptional than any power a normal human being could possess, and you need to use that power to accomplish good deeds.”

Stan Lee

Over the last few weeks, hubby and I have been on a Marvel-fest on Netflix watching the films in chronological time order not their release dates. I’m a little bit of a superhero fan with the 1960s Batman (Adam West) series being my all-time favourite.

Whilst my mind is in the Marvel Universe I began to think about the varied roles we have as a trainer (I know – a little sad aren’t I?) and how their qualities are as important online as they are in the physical classroom. To help us do battle in the virtual learning world they will need to don their capes and suits, master their super powers and ‘spidey-senses’ to become our inner super-heroes. 

12 inner superheroes you might recognise?

  1. The Administrator
  2. The Architect
  3. The Assessor
  4. The Author
  5. The Coach
  6. The Creative
  7. The Counsellor
  8. The Facilitator
  9. The Host
  10. The Expert
  11. The Presenter
  12. The Psychologist

Some of what they do

The Administrator – record keeping, reporting, note taking, corresponding, organising

The Architect – analysing and planning a multi-modal learning strategies

The Assessor – setting criteria for competencies, monitoring progress and judging individuals’ achievements against criteria

The Author – creating the content that’s easy to understand

The Coach – supporting individuals’ growth through observation, questions, self-reflection, feedback, development plans

The Creative – generating ideas for activities and visuals

The Counsellor – providing emotional support and a safe space to share and learn

The Expert – providing the subject matter expertise

The Facilitator – prompting and guiding discussions, encouraging participation and sharing of ideas

The Host – welcoming people, making sure they are comfortable, have what they need when needed

The Presenter – presenting content clearly with style and confidence

The Psychologist – understanding the person to help influence actions and behaviour to achieve goals

We shape-shift between our inner superheroes seamlessly to provide our charges with a smooth, engaging and effective learning experience.  But, as in the movies, even superheroes need outside support: think of Alfred to Batman, Lois Lane to Superman, and Pepper Potts to Iron Man. These are the people who might take on logistics, organisational and admins jobs so we don’t have to do it all by ourselves. So some of the roles above are shared with other people whilst we would carry out elements of them ourselves.

Getting used to a different world

Just like Princess Diana of Themyscira (aka Wonder Woman in case you hadn’t guessed) dressed as Diana Prince  entered WWII London for the first time, your inner superheroes may find the experience quite strange and perhaps a little uncomfortable while you learn to adapt and interact. It will take a little time to adjust. 

Getting a little help from your friends

You’ll find more inner superheroes waiting for you in the online world. Some may become sidekicks- those superheroes who work along side you on a task so you can concentrate on all the other things that you need to do. Sometimes, they too will join you as an inner superhero for you to shape shift between.

5 more superheroes to help you in the virtual world

  1. The Learning Technologist
  2. The Community Manager
  3. The Producer
  4. The YouTuber
  5. The Radio Star

Some of what they do

The Learning Technologist – researching and analysing learning technologies, deciding appropriate tools to use, create digital learning activities, supporting others to use them

The Community Manager – maintaining engagement and overseeing content in asynchronous environment

The Producer – making sure the sessions run smoothly, providing technical support and guidance

The YouTuber – staging the scene, appearing natural, comfortable and confident on camera, 

The Radio Star – engaging the audience with clear, natural and friendly tone even when there is no camera

So next time you’ve finished the day exhausted from online training, remind yourself just how many jobs you actually do. I’ll be exploring some of these in more detail in the future.

Who can you add to the list and what super powers would you like to help you in your virtual training?

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