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There is more to online learning than just virtual classrooms

Online learning is more than taking your classroom content and delivering it in a live virtual classroom. Learning in an online environment is different for both you and your learners. Effective online learning means making smart choices about how you use your core training skills to design online learning, how to facilitate confidently and support your learners to help them achieve success .

Virtual classroom facilitation skills

You could describe training and facilitating in a virtual classroom as ‘the same but different’. Your core classroom training skills are important but how you use them will be different. The virtual classroom has many challenges. Learn to adapt and manage the session and your learners as naturally as you would do in the physical classroom; encourage and maintain learner engagement throughout the session. Learn how to handle the technology and tools with confidence and how to guide your learners in using them so they feel at ease. Learn how to read the room by recognising digital body language cues and the importance of your own digital body language.

Virtual classroom design skills

Whilst the principles of good training design remain essential, how you design the content for a virtual classroom will differ from that of a physical classroom. Activities designed to work in the physical classroom will translate as well in the virtual environment. Rather than trying to make them fit, successful design leverages the benefits of virtual classroom tools to design for engagement and participation. Learn how to structure a virtual learning session; design activities for engagement and participation taking into account how larger participant numbers will affect timings; prepare virtual classroom session plans for facilitators and co-facilitators, learner guides to help everyone be prepared; build contingency plans and alternative activities to help facilitators adapt for larger/smaller numbers.

Self-paced online facilitation skills

The great thing about self-paced (asynchronous) online training is the flexibility it offers. Learners can learn individually and collaboratively at their own pace, in their own time and from almost any place. As an online trainer you will help your learners learn and thrive in an asynchronous learning environment.

Learn strategies to foster a sense of community and safety and maintain group cohesion when learners are are distanced by space and time. Learn how to encourage participation and collaboration in activities and maintain momentum. Learn how you can help avoid learners feeling isolated or demotivated especially when learning over several weeks or months. Learn how to read digital body language in the asynchronous environment to help you recognise cues to help you decide appropriate strategies to manage challenges. Learn how to use written communication effectively to coach and support your learners .

Get in touch

With over 25 years’ experience in learning and development and ’ experience designing and facilitating online and blended learning. We’ve worked with L&D teams from large corporates to freelancers to help them do the same.

If you are looking for support, consultancy or mentoring in developing your, or your team’s, online training design and facilitation skills please get in touch to see how I can help.

I will be happy to chat with you over a virtual coffee.