Since the launch of our newest workshop, The Virtual Trainer, I’ve received quite a few questions about how to make the transition from traditional classroom training to the virtual classroom. People tend to focus on the technological and content changes that are required however, one of the most common challenges during this transition is preparing yourself to train in this new platform. To help address these questions below I’ve included an excerpt from our virtual trainer course where we cover this very topic.
Moving to a new training delivery approach and platform is a big change, not only for you, the trainer, but for your organization as well. This change can bring up feelings of unease or uncertainty. As the trainer, you’ll play an important role in making this transition successful. So, as part of your preparation to become a virtual trainer, complete the following three key steps:
1. Adjust your Attitude - Believe in the effectiveness of online learning (i.e., that it is as effective as a traditional classroom environment).
Be prepared to adapt/develop your instructional skills required for the virtual classroom environment.
2. Do your Homework - Participate in a virtual classroom course to understand how the online learner’s experience differs from a traditional classroom experience.
Talk to an instructional designer to find out how the course design differs for a virtual classroom course.
Master the virtual classroom technology and tools so your delivery appears seamless and you are able to provide adequate support to learners.
3. Obtain Organizational Buy-in and Support - Confirm that you’ll be given time to acquire the skills needed for the virtual classroom environment.
Secure support for adequate rehearsal time (i.e., you should be given time to practice for every virtual classroom course).
Secure management’s support to use the human resources required for successful virtual classroom courses (e.g., a producer and IT support).
Inform your manager that you will need time to decompress after each virtual classroom session (e.g., no meetings after class, no back-to-back classes).
Inform your manager of the extra time you will need to devote to the asynchronous aspects of the course and administrative duties. (Note: for every hour of synchronous facilitation, there will be at least one hour required for asynchronous tasks and administrative duties.)
Your first homework assignment is to take a tour of the virtual classroom, get a feel for using the synchronous collaboration tools and features, and enroll in our sixty-minute introductory session, Learning in the Virtual Classroom.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.” Are you ready for the virtual classroom?
For more great tips and techniques to ensure success in your virtual classroom sessions, check out these blog posts!