Photo by: Kyletperry via Canva
I experienced many learning opportunities after spending hours in the virtual classroom as a contract producer last summer. I also developed a few “pet peeves…”
If you’re facilitating in the virtual classroom, steer clear of these pitfalls in your next training session to ensure your learners are more engaged!
1. Not giving learners specific feedback
After participants complete and share the results of an activity, ensure they get specific feedback via an answer key, their peers, or you, the instructor. If you don’t take the time to validate their successes and clarify any misconceptions, you risk demotivating for your learners.
2. Taking a “coffee break” during breakout activities
As a facilitator, it’s your responsibility to monitor the participants during breakout activities. This isn’t the time to sneak a break. I like to visit each breakout room during the exercise. I typically act as a silent observer, making sure the groups stay on track. This way, I can also be available to answer specific questions as needed.
3. Starting or ending late
It’s equally important to start and end your virtual sessions on time. Honor the prepared participants and be ready to start the session on time. In turn, honor the commitments your participants have after your training session. Be sure you start on time following a break as well. This strategy will keep you and the learners on the same team. If time allows, I schedule a forum after the training that allows those with more extensive questions to stick around and get extra support or catch up on anything they may have missed if they were late. Record your training sessions as another way to support those who log in late, leave early, or have technical difficulties.
4. Telling the learners, “It’s easy”
This is one of my biggest pet peeves! Telling a participant, likely a novice with less experience, that the skill you’re sharing with them is easy, will NOT be helpful if they struggle. Remember, you’ve had a lot of practice and experience which makes you feel the task is “easy.” This isn’t necessarily true for your learners. Demonstrate the task and give hints and tips, but don’t set your learners up for failure by telling them it will be easy.
5. Communicating poorly
Finally, it’s imperative the facilitation team communicate verbally before the session or via chat during the session. Use the pre-session time to discuss any expectations that vary from the lesson plan or checklist. Proactively avoid this type of situation by developing a list of items to review prior to the session. Ensure everyone is on the same page before the session goes live!
Keep these “pet peeves” in mind during your next session to ensure the best experience for your learners! Interactive, fun, and engaging performance-based training doesn’t have room for annoying behaviors. Remember your participants are always one click away from checking out of your virtual classroom!
In case you missed it, here’s part one of this article where you’ll find five additional “pet peeves” and how to avoid them.
In our Maximizing Engagement in the Virtual Classroom workshop, we focus on how to encourage simultaneous learner interactions, involve learners in the presentation of content, create interactive application activities, and so much more. Check it out!