Photo by : Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels
We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past few months. Everyone is scrambling to get their training content online. For us, as trainers, changing to a new virtual environment can be stressful, even without a pandemic. So how does one make the transition from traditional classroom training to the virtual classroom?
People tend to focus on the technology and possible content changes that are required. However, one of the biggest challenges during this transition is preparing yourself to train in this new platform. Let’s face it, this change can bring up feelings of unease or uncertainty. 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—it is as effective as a traditional classroom environment.
- Be prepared to adapt or develop the 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 can 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. 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. We recommend having a producer for every session and you may need IT support as well.
- Inform your manager that you will need time to decompress after each virtual classroom session. For example, no meetings after class and no back-to-back classes.
- Inform your manager of the extra time you will need to devote to administrative duties and the asynchronous aspects of the course. For every hour of synchronous facilitation, there will be at least one hour required for asynchronous tasks and administrative duties.
In our workshop, The Virtual Trainer, we discuss these challenges and brainstorm ways to overcome them. We also practice using the synchronous software tools, co-teaching with a producer, handling unexpected issues, and engaging learners, just to name a few. By the end of the workshop, we’ll build your confidence and help you create that “wow factor” as a virtual trainer! Remember, you play an important role in making this transition successful.
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?